Nissan powers up


Nissan X-Trail, 2022, front
Nissan X-Trail, 2022, side
Nissan X-Trail, 2022, rear
Nissan X-Trail, 2022, console
Nissan X-Trail, 2022, interior
Nissan X-Trail, 2022, boot

THE mighty Nissan X-Trail has clocked up seven million global sales over the years making it one of the most successful family adventure vehicles of our time.

And now the Japanese manufacturer has upped the ante with the launch of a fourth-generation model that takes its inspiration from the expertise of previous versions.

It's a five-door SUV that is big on style, technology, comfort and performance.

The 2022 X-Trail is on sale in three formats. Firstly, the entry level model features mild-hybrid technology and is priced from £32,030 to £42,520.

Next is the e-Power version which offers EV-like handling without the need to plug in - this costs an extra £2,435.

Finally, customers can get the e-Power with e-4orce adding £2,200 to the price but bringing all-wheel drive to the mix.

Well-equipped trim levels are called Visia, Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna+ and the latest model is on sale with five or seven seats with the latter costing an additional £1,000.

We tried the range-topping Tekna+ model with e-Power and e-4orce plus seven seats priced at £48,155.

It is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a high-output battery, power generator, invertor and 150kW front electric motor. The e-4orce version has an additional 100kW rear motor to deliver the 4WD and increases the total output to 213ps.

It is the second Nissan model behind the Note to feature e-POWER which works in a unique way. The petrol engine is used solely to create electricity and the wheels are driven completely by the electric motor.

When it comes to performance, our car could reach 62mph from a standing start in 7.2 seconds and maxed out at 111mph, while delivering a combined 43.1-43.8mpg and carbon emissions of 146-148g/km.

The vehicle has a bold, muscular design without being too aggressive in the process. Eye-catching styling cues include a V-Motion grille, headlight clusters that appear moulded within the front bumper and a floating roof. The C-pillars resemble dolphin fins and there are muscular wheel arches, wraparound rear lights, a panoramic sunroof and smart alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the interior quality has been improved immensely with quilted leather upholstered seats that are power-operated and can be heated. There is a pitch perfect 10-speaker Bose sound system, wooden veneers, white ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch centrally-positioned touchscreen infotainment system, plus a 12.3-inch digital driver display behind the wheel.

The floating centre console houses the chunky drive selector, a wireless charging pad, two cup holders and e-shift buttons for EV mode or e-Pedal Step driving.

On-board technology also impresses with full smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a head-up display, along with an Amazon Alexa personal assistant to help with tasks such as making phone calls, checking out venues at a destination or simply altering the radio station. Connecting a phone is easy and the navigation system also worked well on a lengthy driving route through the picturesque mountains of Slovenia.

When it comes to performance, the latest X-Trail lives up to its big build up with instant acceleration and bundles of power for overtaking slower vehicles. You can hear the engine quietly working away in the background, but you have to listen really hard to pick it up. Generally, the silent-running of the vehicle is a top feature and has been achieved partly through noise cancelling speakers.

On country lanes or twisting mountain roads, the SUV is well grounded and the all-round visibility is another plus point. In addition, this model can cruise effortlessly on faster moving motorways and there is always extra power available whenever needed.

The steering is nicely-weighted and a Sport mode livens reactions up a little. There is an e-Pedal Step system that allows the driver to use just the accelerator which is great when driving in congested town centres and a B mode increases the level of the regenerative braking on the fly.

But the X-Trail with e-4orce 4WD must to be a capable off-roader for the more adventurous owner. And it is exactly that with all the appropriate driving modes to deal with sand, gravel, mud and snow as well as a hill descent system to control more perilous slopes. These worked very well on a challenging off-road course during our test drive.

In addition, a camera will project images onto the touchscreen when your view ahead is obscured. This is ideal on steep hill climbs or for spotting rocks or the likes below the driver's view-line.

There is an advanced ProPilot set-up that Nissan claims will intervene if an obstacle is detected in the blind spot. I'm glad to say we didn't need to explore that feature any further. Or indeed the array of high-end safety kit and driver assistance aids.

Nissan has also given careful thought to the simple practicalities of family life when designing the new X-Trail. For example, the rear doors open to 85 degrees offering great access to a child seat. And even the central cubby box has a butterfly opening rather than the traditional rear-hinged lid. This makes it easier for the driver to pass things backwards or for the second-row passengers to dip in for the sweets themselves.

The space in the second row will suit adults of any shape or size with bundles of legroom, while the third row of seats can accommodate anyone up to the height of 1.6 metres.

The boot is generously sized too with a capacity of 575 litres if the pair of third row seats are folded flat. This can be increased to 1,298 litres with the second row of seats also lowered. These conveniently split in a 40:20:40 formation on high-end models so it is possible to have four adults in the car along with skis or snowboards.

All in all, the latest Nissan X-Trail, with its towing ability of 1.8 tonnes, is an impressive piece of kit. It retains its go anywhere character and capabilities, while moving forward with the times. The e-Power technology could be viewed as the perfect stepping stone for buyers who are not quite ready to make the move to fully electrified vehicles just yet.


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