Nissan X-Trail 2.0 AT road test

Trail Blazing With The Nissan X-Trail 2.0 AT

We have always loved SUVs, may it be the Nissan Patrol, Toyota Landcruiser, Mitsubishi Pajeros or the Land Rovers. Nissan launched the facelifted X-Trail some months back. We drove the latest version of the Nissan X-Trail 2.0 top-of-the-line 6-speed automatic and were more than amused with what it had to offer. Before we get our hands dirty with the actual road test, we would like to enlighten our readers a bit more on the history of this very competent off-roader.

Nissan first introduced the X-Trail in 2001 as a crossover-SUV. The first generation X-Trail used the Nissan FF-S platform which it shared with the Nissan Almera and the Nissan Primera then. Then, later in 2008 Nissan launched the current generation X-Trail that was previewed at the 2007 Geneva Motor show, and later it went on sale around Europe in the third quarter of that year, this latest X Trail was slightly bigger than the previous model, Nissan has utilized its C platform on this one. This current generation X-Trail is what we have here in India presently.

Nissan claims to have sold over 800,000 X-Trails around the world and the boxy looks of the vehicle was liked and admired by many hence Nissan thought of retaining the car’s unique identity and looks and keeping the basic shape and looks same as the out going one,hence the current X Trail has a square rugged looks overall, the vertically aligned Christmas tree tail-lamps at the rear and a very hunky front end coupled with a very muscular looking front bumper are the basic elements of this Nissan.

Design

The triangular shaped Bi-Xenon headlamps along with the Nissan chrome front grill give the X-Trail its unique front looks. Muscularly chiseled bonnet looks amazing even while you see it from the drivers seat, and the front profile of the X-Trail makes it stand out from the current breed of SUVs in its segment. The side profile of this SUV is largely taken up by the large sized windows and muscular wheel arches along with a low waistline that neatly blend its sides. The rear again has the tail lid that opens upwards decorated with the Christmas tree tail lamps, The X Trail looks the best from the front and the side view .

Interior

First thing you notice upon entering is how easy it is to get in and out of this vehicle its like stepping in and out of a sedan. Doors are large in size and open wide.

The view from the drivers seat is excellent aided by the huge glasshouse all around, this drivers positioning helps negotiating the difficult terrains during off-roading. The seats of the X Trail are one of the best that we have experienced, cushioning is perfect and they offer good thigh support and back rest. Front seats are electric adjust for height and reach on the top end variant and the drivers seat has lumbar support. We would have liked the X Trail to have captain seats in the front. At the rear too the seats offer good support and the back rest has 3 setting to tilt it according to comfort level, a nice touch. The centre back of the rear seat folds down and converts into an neat arm rest.

The dash is in beige and is well laid out and the instrumentation is easy to read with all the tell tales present, The instrumentation is now on the drivers side as compared to the older X-Trail where it was on the centre of the dash.the top-end variant that we drove comes fully loaded with ESP, ABS, EBD and front, side and curtain airbags aswell. The sun-roof on the X-Trail is huge with a capital H and many of those who saw the vehicle with us were amazed to see such a big roof. The 2 din music system looks basic but sounds good, Ipod connectivity and USB ports are missing from here, the climate control works flawlessly and chills the large cabin quickly. There is a lot of space to stuff all your belongings and like the sunglass compartment and small places to hide your keys etc everywhere in here, the big glove-box swallows a lot of things aswell. There are 2 can holders intelligently designed on both ends of the dash which are also connected to the AC vent and keep cool the cans that are put in there. Switches and knobs are of high quality and feel nice to operate.

The boot of the X Trail is very unique with trays that slide out to keep your bits sorted and separately, very cleverly designed. And when you want more space in the boot to store you simple remove the trays and the partition parcel flap and we have a huge boot. Quality of the plastics and the interiors is top notch and everything works and feels rather well.

As we mentioned earlier that the X-Trial is built on the Nissan C-platform which also makes use of the Renault alliance that shares a lot with the Qashquai which is a very good looking crossover from the Nissan Stable, built on a monocoque chassis with an all independent suspension and a transversely mounted engine which powers the front wheels. The off roading capabilities of this vvehicle are further enhanced by the unique suspension system that’s connected to the body by a rubber that insulates the sub frame, this system helps the X Trail to glide over rough terrains and off roads.

Nissan has implemented its advanced four wheel drive system, which it calls ‘All Mode 4×4-i’, this system can be activated on the move by simply twisting twist the knob placed next to the drive select lever. There are 3 modes, 2 wheel drive where the vehicle drives with the front wheels powered, Auto mode where the vehicle senses the terrain and the system then sends upto 50% of torque to the rear wheels, this system works on the inputs provided by the sensors and is the brain behind the 4×4-I system. This system helps the driver to drive the X-Trail in a relaxed and calm manner even in worst of conditions may that be slippery roads or rocky hills. The 3rd mode is the Lock mode which divides the torque evenly to all the wheels. There is also an option for hill ascent and descent aiding the driver and working in tandem with the Lock mode to give the X-Trail commendable off-roading abilities in its class.

Nissan X-Trail 2.0 AT: Engine and specifications

Powered by a very able and robust 1995cc CRDi diesel motor which is sourced from Nissans French partner, Renaults stable. This engine pumps out 150PS of power at as low as 4000rpm and a torque figure of320Nm is available as low-down as 2000rpm. Mated to a 6speed Automatic transmission the gear changes are very smooth and hardly noticed. The turbo steps in early but the best part is that the power delivery is very linier and not hard hitting as in other CRDI engines. Engine is smooth and free revving , it’s a bit noisy on the outside but inside the cabin is well insulated and sound proof.

The X-Trail is designed for your highway drives and to take you for a bit of off-roading on the weekends when you wish. This engine has solid mid-range punch that makes it a pleasure to drive, it is also quick off the line. During our road test, we managed to hit the 180kmph mark on this off roader and the 0-100 mark came up about 11seconds which is rather quick for a vehicle this size and weight of 1630kgs.

The X-Trail feels very planted and reassuring as the speed builds up. The vehicle grips the roads and drives very sanely. Even while off-roading the X Trail felt very safe, sturdy and confidence boosting. The drive is top notch and the feedback that the driver gets is pretty good. Sharp bends and corners are handled cleverly by the X Trail aided by the stiff suspension setup and the car held its ground even when we did a few skids and drifts as seen in our pics. The steering is an electric unit, but it gives the correct amount of feedback and doesn’t feel dead.

Suspension

The front suspension is handled by independent McPherson struts while there is a multi-link suspension doing its job at the rear. The increased wheelbase of the new X Trail along with this well configured suspension setup on both ends and 20mm wider track than the older X Trail helps in the superior handling during on and off road driving conditions. The suspension is hard and chews the bad roads and tarmac is a nice soft manner. The overall ride quality also is bettered in a big way by this setup. There is no body roll on the X-Trail and behalves sanely most of the time.

Then at times, If you want more fun just switch off the ESP and the X Trail turns as naughty as a school boy. As the pics would speak for themselves you can make out the amount of fun we had with it with the ESP shut off during the road test.

We experienced an overall fuel efficiency of 14.5kmpl on the X Trail which makes it one of the most efficient vehicle in its class.

To sum it up, the Nissan X Trail is an very able vehicle, capable of handling any terrain that’s thrown in its way. With a gem of an CRDI engine mated with an 6speed flawless auto box. The feel-good-factor attached to the X-Trail is immense and driving through the town or the mountains, it’s a pleasurable experience.With recent rumors that Nissan may manufacture the X-Trail and Teana at its Chennai plant, this would sharply reduce its price and it could very well be the segment leader. The Honda CRV, Chevy Captiva, Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Pajero play its rival in the segment. The X-Trail does a splendid job and plays the role of an off-roader as well as an on-roader and does that very smartly. Whichever way you look at it, this is a great all-rounder from Nissan.

Things we missed on the X Trail

USB/I-Pod connectivity on the music system.
3rd row seats would have been wonderful on this vehicle.
Telescopic adjustment for the steering.
Steering audio controls.
Rather basic music system
No park assist.

Things we loved on the X Trail

Powerful bulletproof engine and its drivability.
Superb 6speed gearbox that up-shifts and down-shifts seamlessly.
Panoramic sun-roof giving a feel that of a convertible.
Super comfy seats.
Handling and off-roading abilities.
Ease of entry and egress.
Large boot with unique tray.
Can holder with internal cooling thru the AC.
Overall quality, fit and finish.
Intelligent Fly-by-wire 4 wheel drive with hill descent and hill start function.

Specifications

NISSAN X-TRAIL2.0 DIESEL

Width – 1785mm

Rear interior width – 1420mm

Boot volume – 479 litres

Ground clearance 200mm

ENGINE

Fuel Diesel

Type 1995 cc, 4-cylinders

Installation Front, transverse

Bore/stroke 84/90mm

Compression ratio 15.6:1

Valve Gear 4 valves per cyl, DOHC

Power 150bhp at 4000rpm

Torque 327nm at 2000rpm

Power to weight 92.02bhp per tonne

TRANSMISSION

Gearbox 6-speed manual

CHASSIS & BODY

Weight 1630kg

Tyres 215/60 R17

SUSPENSION Front Independent, MacPherson strut

Rear Independent, multi-link

STEERING Type Rack and pinion,

Type of power assist Electric

BRAKES

Front Ventilated discs

Rear Ventilated discs

WHAT IT COSTS

On-road price (Mumbai) 28.89 lakh

Warranty 24 months / unlimited