Nissan X-Trail Tekna

DIG-T 163

Nissan X-Trail, 2016, nose
Nissan X-Trail, 2016, side
Nissan X-Trail, 2016, front, action
Nissan X-Trail, 2016, front, static
Nissan X-Trail, 2016, rear
Nissan X-Trail, 2016, interior

THE Nissan X-Trail has undergone something of a transformation.

Once firmly in the camp of rugged off-roaders, it now resides in the rather more stylish crossover sector combining the looks of a modern SUV with street car skills and a large dash of practicality - pay an extra £1,000 and you can turn it into a seven-seater.

Out go the upright stance and straight-line design of the original X-Trail and in come a body full of curves, a natty LED light signature at the front as well as a set-up much more conducive to driving to the supermarket than taking on the wilderness.

The influence on its development of smaller highly successful siblings, Juke and Qashqai, cannot be overestimated as Nissan has seen demand for sophisticated family-friendly, high-riding, SUV-style crossovers of all sizes soar.

The X-Trail cabin has similarly undergone a dramatic makeover so is now far more comfortable and user-friendly while boasting the raft of technology expected in a classy modern motor.

It hasn't totally forgotten its roots though as this is still a spacious motor that can consume vast amounts of shopping, luggage or your golf gear while offering plenty of room for passengers front and rear.

A raked theatre seating layout also ensures everyone gets an excellent view of the motoring world around them.

There are plenty of cubby holes for your nik-naks, including a front armrest covering a storage box, while the rear seats split, fold, recline and slide to your heart's content.

The cavernous boot features a floor that can be moved up and down with Nissan claiming 18 different combinations for the load area.

It is also an extremely safe motor thanks to some of the most advanced passive and active systems on the market today.

Neat bits of kit include Active Trace Control which can adjust the line if the car senses you are running wide in a corner and Active Ride Control to help smooth out the humps and hollows of more challenging roads.

Accident avoidance technology includes forward emergency braking as well as lane departure and blind spot warning systems. There are six airbags in case a crash does occur while hill start assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system are further aids to the driver.

There are two engines to choose from - a 1.6-litre turbodiesel and the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol power unit under the bonnet of the motor I drove.

With the petrol version only front-wheel drive is available - 4x4 versions being reserved as an option for the oil burner - but bearing in mind the road-going bias of the new X-Trail this shouldn't really matter to the vast majority of people who are attracted to it.

The petrol model is reasonably frugal with fuel but struggles a bit for get up and go when it comes to overtaking when fully loaded.

It is more at the relaxed end of the motoring spectrum thanks to a smooth six-speed gearbox and light steering, while parking sensors and cameras in the nose, tailgate and door mirrors help you negotiate the urban jungle.

All versions of the X-Trail get plenty of goodies with even the entry-level Visia model fitted with choice cuts such as Bluetooth connectivity.

FAST FACTS

Nissan X-Trail Tekna DIG-T 163

Price:£27,285

Mechanical:163ps, 1,618cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:124mph

0-62mph:10 seconds

Combined MPG:44.1

Insurance Group:20

C02 emissions:149g/km

Bik rating:26%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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