By Mike Torpey on 2018-05-05 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Nissan X-Trail 1.6
DIG-T 163 Tekna 2WD
SPENDING vast sums of money on car advertising can pay off big time, as the ads scorching across our TV screens become smarter and more sophisticated.
And make no mistake, we are talking very big money indeed - well into the billions annually for the bigger spending automotive groups.
The bottom line for the punter though is that the vehicle you're buying has to do the business, whether the priority be style, safety or speed.
Telly addicts, and particularly those feasting on football, will be familiar with the ad for Nissan's newly upgraded X-Trail model with its ‘built to build families' theme.
It certainly inspires that spirit of adventure as three kids seated on surfboards race their dad in his X-Trail down the side of a volcano.
The ad may be surreal but there's nothing artificial when it comes to the X-Trail, which is actually the world's best selling crossover car having tripled its UK sale over the past three years.
Fot its new generation model, Nissan turned to the people who matter the most - the customers - to ensure the latest X-Trail has the quality, flexibility and freedom they require.
Feedback from customer clinics was focused on three principal areas - design and premium quality, practicality and space, and innovative new technology.
And Nissan has meticulously addressed all three in a stylish-looking vehicle that's available with a choice of three engines - two diesels and a petrol - manual or XTronic auto transmission, four trim grades and prices from Â£23,385.
While the car has a more streamlined look, it's inside that small but effective changes have made a big difference.
So there's now a new D-shaped steering wheel, soft knee pads for the driver and front seat passenger and gloss black inserts on the dash have an upmarket appeal.
Space for five is extremely good, the second row of seats both sliding and reclining, and on seven-seat variants - which cost an extra Â£1,000 and make up half the sales - access to the third row is easy.
That said, these individual back row seats are realistically only for kids and having them in place severely restricts boot space.
But with space at a premium there is actually more room now as repackaging the car's suspension has resulted in an extra 15 litres, for five-seat versions at least.
Another practical feature is the ability for a driver carrying bags or carrying young children to kick their foot under the bumper to open the tailgate.
Apart from a new eight-speaker BOSE sound system - standard on the tested Tekna grade - the technology spotlight is centred on Nissan's Intelligent Mobility features which include the likes of Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition and Stand Still Assist.
The result is a better-looking, more versatile and safer SUV for families whether they want a two-wheel drive version for everyday conditions or a 4×4 for those pioneering weekends.
Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T 163 Tekna 2WD
Mechanical: 163ps, 1,618cc 4-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission
Max Speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 9.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 44.1
Insurance Group: 20
C02 emissions: 145g/km
Bik rating: 30%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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