The new Nissan X-Trail made its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show – and it will go on sale in July 2014. The 4x4 gets a sleek new look inspired by the brand’s popular Qashqai and Juke models as well as an array of high tech driver aids.
It will launch with a 1.6-litre dCi turbodiesel, offering 128bhp and 320Nm torque, and be available in two and four-wheel drive. The new X-Trail will be among the most efficient cars in class, emitting 129g/km CO2 in two-wheel drive form, which should translate to economy of almost 60mpg.
A 161bhp DIG-T turbocharged petrol engine will be added to the range in 2015.
It will come in a choice of three trim levels: Visia, Acenta and Tekna. All cars will get air-conditioning, alloy wheels, six airbags, LED daytime running lights, five-inch colour combimeter display, Bluetooth with microphone, cruise control and speed limiter, hill start assist, follow me home lights and a luggage board system.
Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn told Auto Express the X-Trail will be built in five plants worldwide and sold in over 100 markets. "It’s another segment busting model for us, like the Juke and the Qashqai,” he added.
As you can see from our photos, the hard angles and box-shaped design of the previous generation X-Trail have gone. In profile, the new X-Trail looks like a beefed-up Qashqai, with a sharply raked windscreen, a roof line that tapers off gently and high wheel arches bulging from the flanks.
There are a number of signature Nissan design touches, such as the aggressive, hawk-eye headlamps outlined with LED daytime running lights and the boomerang-shaped rear lights.
But Nissan is promising that the new style-focused X-Trail won't lose any of its predecessors' practicality or go-anywhere ability.
In fact, the X-Trail will be more spacious than the model it replaces, thanks to the fact it's built on a new, larger platform – the jointly-developed Renault-Nissan Alliance Common Module Family (CMF) platform. Nissan is promising best-in-class legroom as a result of the larger wheelbase.
It will also feature a sliding middle bench, allowing owners to increase legroom or boot space, depending on their requirements. While the optional third row of seats has a double-fold function, allowing them to be folded completely flat.
And all three rows of seats are arranged in a theatre-style layout, with the mounting points for the second and third rows being higher than the ones in front.
In addition, the rear side doors open to almost 80 degrees – far wider than normal – to allow easy access and loading. And leg room has been increased compared to the old model thanks to a longer wheelbase.
There’s also a double load floor for flexible storage options. It allows the cargo area to be portioned into upper and lower areas, to allow for the storage of – for example – a push chair in the lower half and smaller, lighter items in the compartment above.
A spokesman said: “New X-Trail is just as tough and accomplished as the previous generation model, but adds crossover style and efficiency, exciting design, innovative technology and exceptional comfort to set a new benchmark in the fiercely competitive C-SUV market.”
It will get the firm’s advanced, electronic ALL MODE 4x4i system, which gives drivers a choice between two-wheel drive, Auto mode or permanent four-wheel drive via a switch on the centre console.
In Auto mode, the system constantly monitors the throttle, engine speed and torque to anticipate and combat wheel spin, distributing torque between the front and rear axles as necessary.
The X-Trail also gets two brand new technologies: Active Ride Control and Active Engine Break. The first monitors the road surface to detect bumps and alters the damping to compensate. The latter aids the driver by adding engine braking when the car is cornering or decelerating to a standstill for better and faster braking control.
Active Trace Control will also feature – a system currently only found in the Infiniti M. It uses on-board sensors to monitor speed, steering angle, throttle opening and braking effort to brake the individual wheels as necessary to reduce understeer.
Uphill Start Support and Advance Hill Descent Control complete the array of technological aids.
The classy interior features a minimalist design, with high-quality materials finished in chrome and black. There will be a choice of cloth or leather for the seating, and the option of two extra seats to make the X-Trail a seven-seater.
There’s no word on prices as yet, but they should be announced in the near future.