It’s essentially a meaty Qashqai and not just because it bears a strong family resemblance to one of Nissan’s own vehicle. Not both cars share the same platform. So the similarities are more than exterior, though the X-Trail’s skin is extended a bit further. It’s noticeably higher and longer, with an optional set of third row seating’s. This of course, means it replaces the Qashqai as Nissan’s seven-seat SUV. What you get is a full-size, family-orientated SUV. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and was inspired by the Hi-Cross Concept, followed by the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013 and the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Cut to 2014 and the new X-Trail’s connection to the kind of soft-roader being conceived at the end of the last century hangs by a thread. Sharing much with the all conquering Qashqai, the car is instead intended to fill out Nissan’s crossover range and sit triumphantly at the summit of the C-SUV segment.
There’s just the one engine on offer, the 1.6-litre diesel generates enough power to get the X-Trail from 0-100 in as little as 10.5 seconds in its fastest form. Interestingly though, that very same model is the cheapest to run. It’s the two-wheel drive version with the six-speed manual gearbox version fitted. You’ve got the option of a permanent four-wheel drive system too, but you need the extra versatility and peace of mind afforded by the rear wheels also being driven. It’s capable over very light off-road conditions. For those who prefer an automatic, Nissan has also made a CVT gearbox available for two-wheel drive models only. Known as the XTRONIC, this box only has one gear ratio but it’s been programmed to feature steps like a conventional automatic. What this means is instead of pushing the throttle and the engine’s noise increasing without the associated speed, there are discernible steps up in power delivery just like a normal auto.
The X-Trail comes with lots of safety equipment, including six airbags and a host of electronic systems that variously increase the braking force in an emergency stop and prevent skidding and improve the car’s stability.
With that high roof-line and extra girth, it looks huge. For the most part it is, though the rear headroom isn’t quite as accommodating as the roof-line projects. Spend some extra money and you’ll get a third row of seats, while the boot floor flips and folds into nine different positions, underneath which sits a bonus storage area. There are lots of adjustments for the driver seat and steering wheel, which makes it easy to find a position you like. The seven-seat X-Trail is probably useful only if you occasionally need to transport more than five people, as long as two of them are small. The X-Trail’s dashboard is neatly trimmed. The dials are clear and easy to understand, the various buttons and knobs are all logical.
Prices are pretty impressive unlike its rivaling brands, for £32,420 which is the cost of the top most variant and the basic is slated at £15,940.
A solid SUV that suits a family package, more than an individual preferably.
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