Nissan considering another SUV for India; X-Trail anyone?

Nissan Chairman for Africa, Middle East and India, Mr. Takashi Hata, has revealed that the Japanese automaker has plans to launch another SUV in India, which will complement the brand engineered Terrano. The Terrano has been the best selling vehicle in Nissan India’s range right from its launch in October 2013. Clearly, SUVs are finding favour with the Indian car buyer and Nissan wants to capture a larger slice of the market with a new SUV offering.

While Mr. Hata has been guarded about the exact SUV Nissan is considering for India, the recently unveiled X-Trail SUV could prove to be a good option for the brand considering the fact that the Japanese automaker is betting big on vehicles based on the Common Module Family (CMF) architecture. The latest, 3rd generation X-Trail SUV was the first Nissan vehicle to jump onto the CMF architecture.

The new, 2014 X-Trail crossover, that Nissan debuted last year, features a monocoque construction that uses a raft of weight saving materials to reduce kerb weight by over 90 kilograms. The 2014 X-Trail crossover adopts styling that mirrors the new Nissan SUV family face, also seen on the likes of the Juke and the Murano. The SUV is larger than the outgoing X-Trail, in terms of length, width and wheelbase. Sitting slightly lower than the older X-Trail, the new SUV maintains ground clearance at a hefty 210 mm.

The larger dimensions make for a 7 seat layout as an option, giving the latest X-Trail enough ammo to take on other 7 seat luxury SUVs such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Fortuner. The 2014 X-Trail uses a 1.6 liter DCi 130 turbo diesel engine, which has been newly developed by Renault-Nissan. This engine outputs 128 Bhp-320 Nm and comes with two transmission options, a 6 speed manual and a X-Tronic CVT automatic.

The new, 2014 X-Trail gets its off road ability by means of a ALL Mode 4X4-i all wheel drive system. Available in front and all wheel drive guises, the 2014 X-Trail gets a host of new safety aids in the form of park assist, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, forward emergency braking, moving object detection and high beam assist. The SUV gains new infotainment and entertainment features, along with LED headlamps and daytime running lights.

Earlier this year, Nissan discontinued the previous generation X-Trail SUV from the Indian market. The previous generation X-Trail, which was imported into the country through the completely built unit (CBU) route, was a slow seller on account of its 5 seat layout and high price tag, when compared with more affordably priced, 7 seat rivals. The SUV had a run of 5 years in India, between 2009 and 2014, and used a 2 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine (150 Bhp-320 Nm) mated to 6 speed manual and automatic gearbox options. An all wheel drive layout was standard on the X-Trail right from word go.