The Sydney International Motor Show has its fair share of debuts and Nissan are adding their all-new X-Trail SUV to the list. Looking remarkably similar to the model it replaces the new X-Trail is now larger in all dimensions.
Nissan claim that new X-Trail offers higher degrees of refinement, comfort, safety and quality in a package that abounds in clever innovations and offers greater practicality, yet retains the basic elements that made the original X-Trail a sales success.
The new X-Trail sees the introduction of an optional stepless CVT automatic transmission that is said to not only improve driveability but also reduce fuel consumption. All-paw grip is provided via the ?intelligent? ALL MODE 4x4-i four-wheel drive system and a revised version of the outgoing models 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine powers the new model.
With twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, the 2.5-litre engine also uses a sophisticated CVTC (Continuous Valve Timing Control) system to ensure a useable spread of power and torque over a wide operating range. The result is 125kW and 226Nm of torque and Nissan claim that the mid-range response is where the most improvement can be felt, primarily the result of an improved torque curve. Fuel economy is said to be excellent with the CVT version returning better fuel economy figures than both the outgoing automatic and five speed manual variants.
There are three-models in the new X-Trail range ? ST, ST-L and the range-topping Ti and they are all equipped with Nissan?s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) including Stability Control and Traction Control with Active Brake Limited Slip, hill descent control and hill start assist. The Hill start assist and hill descent control are part of the electronically controlled ?intelligent? ALL MODE 4x4-i four-wheel drive system and are new to the X-Trail and help extend its off-road capabilities.
All models are equipped with four-wheel disc ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) while passive safety features include the fitment of dual front, front side and full-length curtain airbags on all models, along with front active headrests, side intrusion bars and a collapsible steering column.
The new X-Trail may look much like the old X-Trail but it features a new chassis based on the Alliance C-Platform that contributes to enhancements in driveability on the road as well as abilities off-road. MacPherson strut suspension at the front and a multi-link system at the rear, enable the new X-Trail to offer a more refined, comfortable ride. Fuel efficiency receives a boost by the adoption of electric power steering. Although being physically larger, the new X-Trail retains the same 10.6-metre turning circle as the previous model.
Nissan have also increased wheel sizes for the new X-Trail, with the move to 16-inch steel wheels with 215/65R16 tyres for ST models and 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels with 215/60R17 tyres for the ST-L and Ti versions.
The new X-Trail offers even more space for five passengers as well as a luggage area that can be expanded to a maximum of 1773 litres when the new 40/20/40 rear seats are folded and the clever two-level floor with its sliding drawer is removed.
Familiar X-Trail innovations include cup holders at either end of the instrument panel that are able to heat or cool drinks, enhanced now by two similarly heated or cooled cup holders for the rear-seat passengers as well.
Perhaps the most noticeable and welcome change over the outgoing X-Trails is the adoption of a dashboard layout that places the instrument binnacle directly ahead of the driver rather than in the centre of the dashboard.
Standard in all new X-Trail models are a trip computer, exterior temperature gauge, cruise control, height-adjustable driver?s seat, air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, 12-volt cargo area power outlet, cargo area tie-down hooks and roof rails.
ST-L and Ti models gain 17-inch alloy wheels, climate-control air-conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with six-stack, in-dash MP3-capable CD player, while the Ti comes with a glass sliding power sunroof, heated front leather seats with power adjustment and rear parking sensors.
The good news is that the pricing for the entry level ST remains unchanged at $31,990* for the manual and $33,990* for the CVT automatic despite the improved specifications. The mid-specification ST-L is priced from $35,990* for the manual and $37,990* for the CVT automatic while the range topping Ti is priced from $38,990* for the manual and $40,990* for the CVT automatic variants.