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Nissan goes rogue with X-Trail facelift

Hybrid theory: While Nissan North America will offer a hybrid version of its Rogue, it is unlikely to make it Down Under.

US-market Nissan Rogue update previews likely look for Aussie-spec X-Trail


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12 Sep 2016

THE facelifted version of Nissan’s X-Trail SUV has been previewed in the United States over the weekend, with the North American-market Rogue making its debut with a new hybrid powertrain.

Nissan North America ripped the covers off the refreshed Rogue at the Miami motor show, revealing styling enhancements to the front end including a deeper grille with a more pronounced version of its V-Motion grille, new sleeker headlights and a new front bumper design incorporating restyled foglight housings.

At the rear, the tail-lights have been redesigned and carry a more modern look than the existing model, while new wheel designs and colour choices add to the changes.

Inside, the US-market Rogue gains a new steering wheel, tweaked dash panels, and new materials and finishes that, according to Nissan, are designed to give the SUV a more premium feel. This is evident from the two-tone upholstery treatments and what appears to be more plush leather seats with more eye-catching colours than before.

While the Australian-spec X-Trail will likely look a lot like the updated Rogue, Nissan Motor Company Australia general manager of corporate communications Peter Fadeyev said further details would be forthcoming.

“That is indicative of what the Australian market can expect,” he said. “But specification, pricing and all the details will be subject to a future announcement.”

Australian launch timing is yet to be locked in but it is believed that the updated X-Trail will not arrive in showrooms until 2017.

The other big news, for the US market at least, is the introduction of a mild hybrid powertrain that combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine, a compact lithium-ion battery and a 30kW electric motor connected to its continuously variable Xtronic transmission.

Nissan says the fuel economy is 34 miles per gallon which roughly equates to just under 7.0 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

However, Nissan is unlikely to offer the hybrid version in Australia as the company said at the time of the SUV’s launch in 2014 that the 1.6-litre turbo-diesel variants – launched six months after the petrol-powered versions – would fill that gap and appeal to buyers looking for fuel economy savings.

The larger Pathfinder SUV is available in Australia with a mild hybrid due to no diesel variant being available.

The 2.5-litre petrol engine carries across unchanged in the US-market Rogue.

Other updates include new active safety gear such as blind spot warning, an around-view monitor with moving object detection, adaptive cruise control and forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

The Australian specification will be confirmed closer to launch next year.

The X-Trail has been one of Nissan’s stand-out performers in Australia this year, with sales up by 46.6 per cent to the end of August compared with the same period last year.

Its 11,904 year-to-date tally keeps it just ahead of the Navara – 11,589 combined 4x2 and 4x4 sales – in its own range, but it sits in fourth spot in the competitive sub-$60,000 medium SUV segment behind the Mazda CX-5 (16,428), Toyota RAV4 (13,319) and Hyundai Tucson (12,760).

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