NISSAN X-TRAIL: flagship model has family appeal

WHAT started off as a relatively cheap and chunky 4×4 back in 2001 has become something a bit different – particularly when it comes to quality.

Because there’s nothing cheap about the interior of the latest X-Trail, Nissan’s flagship SUV – the fit and finish is way above what you got for your money back then.The fourth generation has had a trip to the bespoke outfitters and now sports an improved interior that befits a range topping car.

There’s a 12.3 inch infotainment screen, and the X-Trail feels spacious, airy and relatively plush inside.

The information on the head up display is comprehensive when you’re using the sat nav, which also displays between the instruments and on the main central screen. You’ll never get lost!

The shiny plastics around the gear selector and touchscreen get grubby with fingerprints but overall the interior is a step up from what went before.
The version sampled here – Tekna e-POWER e-4ORCE – still needs the occasional nozzle inserted into the fuel tank, but the electric power part of the equation is a bit more interesting in that the 1.5 litre three cylinder unit doesn’t actually power the wheels. That task is undertaken by the electric motor. Standard models are two wheel drive, but e-4ORCE adds another motor on the rear axle for four wheel drive. The onboard computer prompts the X-Trail to produce the power where it’s needed most.

Occasionally you can hear the petrol engine click into life but the sounds from thast area are faily well subdued.This sort of hybrid is an acceptable alternative to a plug in or going fully electric. It stores energy that would otherwise be wasted under braking and keeps it stored in an onboard 2.1kWh battery, ready for use.

It has the desired effect of making that car more efficient when it comes to fuel usage and that certainly seemed to be the case during our spell behind the wheel where we got fairly close to the official combined figure.

Power is instant, so exiting junctions is easy and the speed builds up quickly when you need it. Obviously it’s very quiet around town but the noise levels will rise if you’re trying to force more speed from it. It’s by no means small but the steering is light and responsive which makes manoeuvring less of a chore.

There’s plenty of room in the middle row of the car and these seats have the ability to slide to give a bit more room for those in the sixth and seventh seats at the back, but really they are for those of smaller and Yoda-esque dimensions only. The low window line along the doors and panoramic roof let plenty of light in.

Sales-wise, X-Trail hasn’t the same popularity as its smaller Qashqai SUV, but it offers basically the same perks with the benefit of more space. And for a big family looking for day to day useability and economy that’ll be the clincher.


Nissan X-Trail Tekna e-POWER e-4ORCE

Price: £46,075 (£47,170 as tested)
Engine: 1.5 litre, three cylinder, petrol, e-POWER|
Power: 210bhp
Torque: 387lb/ft
Transmission: single speed
Top speed: 111mph
0-62mph: 7.2 seconds
Economy: 42.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 152g/km

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