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Nissan X-Trail

T31 X-Trail

Nissan logo1 Nov 2007

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

WHEN Nissan launched its second-generation X-Trail in late 2007, it insisted that's exactly what first-generation X-Trail customers wanted from a new car - to not change a thing.

In fact, the very familiar looks are only skin-deep. The new X-Trail, built on Nissan’s new C-platform shared with the Dualis, is longer, wider and taller.

It has a revised four-cylinder petrol engine, a choice of two completely new transmissions and an improved four-wheel drive system with had new features such as hill descent control, a hill-hold feature and stability and traction control.

Except for an identical front track width, the X-Trail has grown in all measurements. The key change is to the body’s length. It is 175mm longer, and the body structure has been treated to a 30 percent improvement in torsional stiffness over the previous generation. Nissan says the new model is quieter.

Australian-specification X-Trails are built to ‘Level 4’ specification, which means it will have 4kg of additional body reinforcement to cope with rough roads. Japan-market cars are built to a lighter Level 1 most of Europe is level 1.5, with the exception of Russia, which, like Australia, requires Level 4 vehicles to cope with its poor roads.

In 2008, with a growing interest in turbo-diesel variants of compact SUVs Nissan was the first mainstream player to take the plunge. After vowing last year that it would not sell a turbo-diesel X-Trail, the persistent queries by dealers and customers asking for the diesel changed Nissan’s thinking on the matter. The turbo-diesel - a Renault engine that is shared through Renault’s ‘alliance’ with Nissan - comes at a competitive $1000 premium over the petrol model.

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