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Driven: Facelifted Nissan X-Trail sharpens up

Good oil: A new larger 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit replaces the 1.6L donk in the outgoing Nissan X-Trail.

Standard AEB, new diesel AWD auto variants improve subtly updated Nissan X-Trail


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5 May 2017

NISSAN Australia’s X-Trail has undergone minor cosmetic surgery but significant specification upgrades with range-wide autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as well as a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel heart transplant, bringing an automatic and all-wheel-drive combination for the first time in the series’ 16-year history.

Pricing for all petrol-powered X-Trails remains the same or less than before, while the diesel variants – delayed until September due to production constraints – cops small price rises over their discontinued 1.6-litre predecessors.

That means an unchanged $27,990 plus on-road costs for the base ST front-wheel-drive petrol manual, with the FWD auto and AWD auto still adding $2500 and $4000 respectively to the price.

Opting for the FWD-only seven-seater versions adds another $1500.

While the volume-selling ST-L FWD petrol auto remains at $35,590, choosing the AWD variant from $38,590 now brings a $900 saving despite the AEB.

Nissan says it expects the sharpened value, the safety upgrade and the diesel AWD auto will help the X-Trail conquest customers from the recently launched new-gen Mazda CX-5 and popular Hyundai Tucson in the mid-size SUV segment.

“While the proportion of total X-Trail sales have been low with the old diesel – they’re at single digits – we’re hoping to lift that to around 15 per cent,” according to Nissan Australia managing director and CEO, Richard Emery.

“Particularly as 95 per cent of the medium SUV diesel segment is AWD auto, which we didn’t have previously.”

The X-Trail’s visual changes run to the grille, headlights, LED daytime running lights, foglights, bumpers, tail-lights and alloys and roof-mounted antenna, while inside there is a new flat-bottomed steering wheel with revised switchgear, centre console, gear knob, and updated material and trim finishes.

Meanwhile, the diesel range has halved with the switch to AWD auto-only variants, meaning that the old 96kW/320Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo unit gives way to a 2.0-litre engine producing 130kW of power at 3750rpm and 380Nm of torque from 2000rpm.

Paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), it averages 6.0 litres per 100km (for a CO2 carbon dioxide rating of 192g/km), or 0.7L/100km more on the slightly heavier TL. Braked towing capacity is 150kg more than the petrol versions – 1650kg.

Other than the retuned spring and damper rates that this larger diesel engine requires, there are no other significant modifications to the chassis, suspension, steering or noise-suppression systems in the latest X-Trail.

The T32-series X-Trail was launched in 2014, and employs the Renault-Nissan Alliance Common Module platform.

As a full monocoque, it is unsuitable for hardcore off-roading, but offers a competitive 210mm ground clearance, and approach/departure angles of 24.9 and 17.2 degrees respectively in AWD versions. Steering is electric, MacPherson-style struts are fitted up front and the rear suspension consists of multi-links.

Only the ST FWD with a six-speed manual gearbox features the MR20DD 2.0-litre direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine with twin variable timing control, delivering 106kW at 6000rpm, 200Nm at 4400rpm, 8.2L/100km and 190g/km.

As before, all auto petrol-powered models use the 126kW/226Nm QR25DE 2.5-litre unit. Its outputs also occur at the same revs as the smaller engine, returning 7.9L/100km and 183g/km in FWD guise, while the 46kg-heavier seven-seater and 56kg-weightier AWD variants add 0.2 and 0.4L/100km apiece respectively.

Six airbags, electronic stability control, a central screen, rearview camera, keyless start, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, cruise control, sliding/reclining and 40/20/40 split-fold rear seats, floor storage and a space-saver spare wheel are standard in the ST, while 17-inch alloys replace the 16-inch items.

The newly-standard AEB also includes a Forward Collision Warning alert and works up to 100km/h.

The latest ST-L gains Pedestrian Detection that brakes for people up to 60km/h, as well as Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring Alert and an around-view camera with moving object detection. Additionally, now there’s front foglights and leather trim.

Moving up to the flagship Ti (petrol) and TL (diesel) scores buyers adaptive cruise control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Intervention (that nudges the steering) adaptive headlights that maximises beam effectiveness according to prevailing conditions, as well as an inch-larger alloys (at 19 inches), motion sensors for its electric tailgate, heated rear seats and steering wheel, and a Bose audio upgrade.

Nissan reckons the ST-L will continue to be the most popular variant, followed closely by the ST.

Year-to-date sales figures put the X-Trail in fourth place with 11.7 per cent of the medium SUV class (down from 13.5 per cent over last year), behind the Toyota RAV4 (13 per cent), Tucson (14.1 per cent) and CX-5 (16.5 per cent).

Sourced from Japan, more that 200,000 X-Trails have been sold in Australia since its 2001 launch.

2017 Nissan X-Trail pricing*
ST 2WD Petrol$27,990
ST 2WD Petrol (a)$30,490
ST-L 2WD Petrol (a)$36,590
ST 2WD Petrol seven-seat (a)$31,990
ST-L 2WD Petrol seven-seat (a)$38,090
ST 4WD Petrol (a)$32,490
ST-L 4WD Petrol (a)$38,590
Ti 4WD Petrol (a)$44,290
TS 4WD Turbo-Diesel (a)$35,490
TL 4WD Turbo-Diesel (a)$47,290
*Excludes on-road costs

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