X-Trail won't stand

in way of progress

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

NOT all changes to the world order are gleefully embraced. Sometimes you look and think, umm, I am not going to like that.

Take, for instance, the demise of the curry hook. Once a feature of the old Nissan Almera this simple device was celebrated by lovers of a Saturday takeaway who really did not want to spend Sunday morning scrubbing rogan josh stains out of the footwell.

These days they seem not to feature at all in any design brief. We certainly are not eating any less from the Best Exotic Marigold Tandoori so presumably it is deemed redundant thanks to food delivery couriers who can make it around to your house by scooter quicker than you can say Peshwari naan after a six-pack of Cobra. Much quicker.

There are other advantages to home delivery. You have no long wait reading a year-old copy of Country Capers and Furnishings while the kitchen clears a telephone order from a wedding in Lahore.

Neither do you run the gauntlet of drunks staggering in to struggle with sub-continental pronunciation. Assembled customers once enjoyed the repeated assertion that a dish of prawn zingari be prepared before it dawned this was prawns in garlic. Followed up, by the way, with saggy loos.

With this in mind the arrival of the latest Nissan X-Trail threatened mixed feelings. I liked the old shape a lot, butch and square shouldered it suggested its off-road credentials were impeccable. The trouble is everyone now expects their SUVs to have a roundedness to their profile.

To add to concerns this one was to be the two-wheel drive, six-speed manual DIG-T 163 Tekna, a high-spec crossover with the look of a modern day SUV but minus the go anywhere ability. One for the school run, I think.

Especially with seven seats, the third row folding flat, giving the car family and friends capacity for a shade over £28,000 depending on choice of paint job.

So what do you get for your money?

Well for a start the 1.6-litre petrol engine pushes what is a big car along at a respectable pace. 0-62mph comes up in 9.7 seconds although the real grunt is only evident above 2,000rpm. If you plan to tow then perhaps a look at the diesel version would be a good idea.

Combined consumption is claimed at 44mpg, aided and abetted by a stop-start system and the petrol engine is refined, you will really notice a difference over the diesel around town. Out in the sticks there is a bit of body roll but it is an able performer and gobbles up the miles without fuss.

Inside these is a heavy influence from the Qashqai. Soft-touch plastics abound and the overall finish is high quality, high enough to have people who may have been thinking further up the automotive protein chain considering the cash they could be saving.

There is plenty of head and leg room back and front and a generous width makes the rear bench seat adequate for three.

Equipment levels match the best. For a start technologies include blind spot warning and forward emergency braking as well as traffic signal recognition. The rest of the safety package is as expected with plenty of passive features.

Comforts and treats include leather seats, the driver's is electric, park assist and an electric tailgate. There is a panoramic sunroof should you see any sun and the usual automated lights and wipers. Central to the instrument package is a seven-inch touch screen housing the entertainment system and satellite navigation. That is also where the front, rear and side cameras display their findings.

With the optional third row of seats folded away the load area is good. Those seats, by the way, are quite tight and you would not be buying into MPV land here.

The petrol engine version represents a considerable saving over the two-wheel drive diesel. So far as the wind of change goes it is a worthy addition to the Nissan range. But I still think it should have a curry hook.

LATEST Nissan NEWS

NISSAN'S latest X-Trail is more a replacement for the previous Qashqai+2 than...

Read more View article

TALK all you like about how a car looks but for lots of people how it fits in...

Read more View article

YOU don't have to live with the new Nissan X-Trail for long to appreciate why...

Read more View article

LATEST NEWS

Google+