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Price cuts for more efficient X-Trail

X-factor: Price down, fuel efficiency up for Nissan's X-Trail compact SUV.

Nissan slashes prices by up to $1750 for upgraded, more efficient new-look X-Trail

8 Sep 2010

NISSAN has announced price and fuel consumption reductions of up to $1750 and almost a litre per 100km respectively for its upgraded X-Trail, which arrives in Australian dealerships this month.

As we reported when it was revealed in Europe a month ago, the midlife makeover for Nissan’s three-year-old second-generation X-Trail brings a full frontal facelift, improved interior comfort and perceived quality, enhanced aerodynamics and increased equipment levels.

Now, however, Nissan Australia has cut prices by $1000 at base level, $1750 for the mid-range ST-L petrol and TS diesel models, and $500 for the flagship petrol Ti, while the top-shelf TL diesels are unchanged and manual versions of the ST-L and Ti petrol variants have been discontinued.

The move lowers the X-Trail’s entry-level manual ST petrol price to $31,990 – lineball with Toyota’s base RAV4 AWD, Hyundai’s cheapest ix35 AWD and the most affordable AWD versions of Mitsubishi’s ASX.

Now priced within $100 of Nissan’s own Dualis AWD, the base X-Trail undercuts the least expensive Mazda CX-7, VW Tiguan and Ford Escape by $2000, but remains $1000 pricier than the lowest-priced versions of Subaru’s top-selling Forester, Honda’s CR-V and Suzuki’s Grand Vitara.

However, Nissan is expected to reveal its first 2WD X-Trail variant at the Sydney motor show on October 15, priced well below $30,000 to compete with entry-level front-drive compact SUVs like the RAV4 (from $28,990), Holden Captiva ($27,990), ix35 ($26,990), ASX ($25,990), Kia’s new Sportage and, inevitably, Nissan’s own Dualis (both priced from $24,990).

12 center imageA one-time small SUV sales leader, the X-Trail has found almost 100,000 Australian homes since going on sale here in 2001 and being replaced in October 2007, before diesel power arrived in mid-2008.

However, while X-Trail sales are up more than 25 per cent so far this year, overall compact SUV sales have surged more than 35 per cent and the Dualis, which was bolstered in August 2009 by the 2WD entry model and more recently by a facelift and a seven-seat version, is 300 per cent more popular in 2010.

To August this year, the X-Trail has slipped behind the CX-7 to be Australia’s fourth best selling compact crossover with an 8.6 per cent segment share – the same share that Hyundai’s relatively new ix35 achieved last month.

According to VFACTS, the Forester remains dominant with 14 per cent, ahead of the RAV4 (12.7), CX-7 (8.8), Outlander (8.0), CR-V (6.7), Tiguan (6.2), ix35 (5.9), Subaru Outback (5.8), Dualis (5.7) and Grand Vitara (3.6) in 10th place.

“When we launched the original X-Trail in 2001, there were few competitors in the segment, but now there are more than 20,” said Nissan Motor Co Australia CEO, Dan Thompson.

“However, the X-Trail continues its popularity winning awards in its latest iteration. Continued cost amortization over the life of the X-Trail has also enabled us to trim pricing. The latest X-Trail now offers unprecedented value.”

Australia’s 2011 X-Trail will also bring more efficiency across the range, thanks to a range of detail changes including an improved aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.35Cd via the use of underbody cladding, weight-saving casting to reduce the weight of 18-inch alloy wheels on some models and an upgraded six-speed automatic transmission for diesel TS and TL variants.

The latter now shifts into a ‘near neutral’ position when the vehicle is stationary in drive mode, reducing engine load and therefore fuel consumption and vibration at idle. The X-Trail diesel is also said to offer reduced transmission oil friction by optimising flow through the gearbox, making it quieter, smoother and more economical.

The result is a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 0.7L/100km for the X-Trail’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, which continues to offer 127kW/360Nm as a manual and 110kW/320Nm as an auto, but now returns 7.2L/100km as a manual (down from 7.5L/100km) and 7.4L/100km as an auto (down from 8.1L/100km).

Petrol X-Trails are also Euro 4 emissions-compliant and therefore more efficient, with the 125kW/226Nm 2.5-litre inline four now consuming 9.1L/100km in both manual and continuously variable transmission (CVT) guises – down from 9.3L/100km for the manual and 9.5L/100km for the CVT.

Models equipped with either the updated torque converter or continuously variable automatic transmissions also gain a recalibrated Hill Descent Control system that allows drivers to control the speed of descent – either by applying the brake or the throttle – over speeds between 4km/h and 15km/h.

Rounding out the mechanical changes are wider new double five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels for the ST-L and TS variants, which now measure 17x7.0J and come with 225/60 R17 tyres (up from 17x6.5J with 215/60 R17s).

For Ti and TL models, the standard 18-inch alloy wheels now wear 225/55 R18 tyres instead of the previous 215/55 R18 rubber.

The rest of the changes are as per the European upgrade we covered a month ago, including the addition of a new ‘X’ theme for the front-end to deliver a more “progressive and sporty crossover-like look”, new headlights with clearer Xenon lights on Ti (petrol) and TL (diesel) models and a new LED tail-light cluster for all models.

The new front bumper makes the X-Trail 10mm longer overall, while the upgraded wheels also make it 10mm wider.

Flagship Ti and TL models score keyless engine starting, automatic lights, rain-sensing wipers and a factory rear cargo blind, while all models gain telescopic steering wheel adjustment and Bluetooth hands-free phone operation with steering wheel controls (now on ST models).

All models also get an easier to read instrument cluster with larger dials for the Nissan Vehicle Information Display trip computer as seen on the Dualis, a heated and cooled glovebox, upgraded seat trims with new patterns and thicker materials, and additional silver highlights.

Also inside, redesigned front seat backs are claimed to increase rear knee room by 10mm without compromising comfort, while the ST obtains a six-CD changer and the stitching on leather-lined models has a more exclusive appearance.

Finally, four new exterior paint colours – Tempest Blue, Brilliant Silver, Snow Storm and Burning Red - join carry-over colours including Flint, Diamond Black, Twilight and Precision Grey.

“The market appeal of the Nissan X-Trail has remained consistent and strong since the launch of the second generation in 2007,” said Mr Thompson.

“The diesel model (added in 2008) has been successful and now we are freshening the styling and adding new features, and reducing running costs with an improvement in fuel economy on both petrol and diesel versions.”
2011 NissanX-Trail pricing:
ST petrol$31,990&nbsp (down$1000)
ST petrol (CVT)$34,490 (down $1000)
ST-L petrol (CVT)$38,490&nbsp (down$1750)
Ti petrol (CVT)$44,490&nbsp (down$500)
TS diesel$35,990&nbsp (down$1750)
TS diesel (a)$38,240&nbsp (down$1750)
TL diesel$42,990&nbsp (unchanged)
TL diesel (a)$45,240 (unchanged)

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