More power for

Nissan X-Trail

Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, front, off road
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, front, off road, water splash
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, side, off road
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, front, action
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, rear, action
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, dashboard
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, interior
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi, 2017, engine
Nissan X-Trail, 2017, boot

WHEN I drove the Nissan X-Trail last year, I was hugely impressed by the 1.6 diesel's wide range of abilities but felt that the engine was a little under-powered for the weight.

Maybe others said the same thing, but the company has now added a new 2.0- litre diesel to the range, filling in the performance gaps in fine style.

It's available with six speed manual and CVT automatic gearboxes, and with or without four-wheel--drive.

The Renault-sourced 1.6 diesel has 130bhp on tap, but this is a pretty big vehicle, so the new engine's 177bhp can really be felt from behind the wheel.

I recently had a taste of the manual six speed in the South Downs in Sussex and found that it lacked nothing at all when compared to others in the class.

In top grade Tekna specification the new 2.0dCi X-trail is priced from £32,480 and has a top speed of 126mph with a 0 to 60 acceleration time of 9.4 seconds - significantly quicker than the 1.6.

There's loads of interior space with big front and rear legroom and a massive boot. There is also the option of fold-up seats to produce a seven seater - something that many families find very useful.

The new X-Trail has been deliberately styled on its smaller Qashqai sibling, and from a distance, they are very difficult to tell apart. But the X-Trail is bigger in every direction while still being just as easy to drive and to live with.

I drove the Tekna model with all wheel drive and the six speed manual ‘box. It comes with all the bells and whistles, but there are lower order models available priced from £29,555..

The new power unit gives plenty of urge as you might expect, and at most speeds is reasonably quiet and refined.

It is happy at very low revs in all gears, and pulls well from about 1,500 - which is not far above tickover.

There is enough performance for almost every eventuality including good acceleration in sixth gear, but there was a definite thrum around motorway cruising speeds, which I found disappointing.

Top spec brings sat nav, cruise, parking sensors and a rear camera, and Nissan's all round view camera which is a great safety idea. It gives a complete view round the car when reversing into tight parking spaces.

Tekna grade also brings electrically adjustable leather seats, keyless entry and starting, powered tailgate and stereo and cruise controls on the steering wheel.

Like most cars today, it's also fitted with automatic start-stop to save fuel when stationary but I found I could catch it out when I wanted to start off again almost immediately I had stopped.

Officially the 2.0-litre diesel is rated at 50.5mpg with emissions of 149g/km and in the real world you can expect around 35 to the gallon.

The ride is comfortable almost all the time at speed, but does seem to feel more of rippled surfaces when going a little slower.

Roadhodling feels secure, with little roll, and grip is excellent. Also, there is very little of the 'bump-thump' prevalent in so many bigger 4x4s fitted with large wheels and tyres.

The new diesel engine will definitely increase the number of people to whom the X-Trail will appeal, and with a maximum towing weight of 2,000kg it should also be of interest to many who tow regularly.

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