By: DOROTHY NEJE
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]igerian motorists who often do on-the-road and extreme off road driving have now got another able and trustworthy auto partner. Nissan X-Trail it is. A bold and confident Sports Utility Vehicle with extreme off road capability, all new X-Trail was recently unveiled to Motoring press in Nigeria by Stallion Motors, the nation’s major franchise dealer for Nissan.
Addressing the media during the unveiling and presentation of the vehicle, the Group Managing Director of Stallion Motors Nigeria Limited, Mr. Parvir Singn, who said the new X-Trail would target and appeal to new generation of auto lovers in Nigeria and around the world, expressed optimism that the new seven-seater SUV would win more customers to the brand from the nation’s crowded SUV market.
“The arrival of all-new X-Trail is expected to change the perception of fond admirers of the predecessor model”, Mr singn pointed out, adding that the car had been completely transformed to a fashionable, safer and more family-oriented SUV with a new variant, offering a seven-seat capacity. “
What Has Really Changed in X-Trail?
Motoring World can say authoritatively that X-Trail remains the same old rugged and no-nonsense Sports utility Vehicle. As Nissan rightly explained, what the new X-Trail has done is to trade off its boxy lines and upright stance for trendier and fashionable styling.
From our own finding, the new X-Trail shares the same platform as Nissan Qashqai. And like Volvo brand of old, the outgoing X-Trail did not care about aesthetics. It was all about strength and ability. Boxy and robust, the old X-Trail was the last Nissan’s traditional SUV, preceding the birth of crossovers. What has changed then? X-Trail has been restyled with all sorts of dips and curves that give it ability to partake in automotive beauty pageant. But under those trims and curves remains the muscles. In essence, let no one be deceived. The new X-Trail is still the same old no-nonsense SUV and even more when fitted with the optional, part time four-wheel-Drive-System. It only now looks more handsome. Out to compete with the likes of Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute, Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the new X-Trail now possesses some unique and innovative features that would make it attractive to adventurous young people.
The new X-Trail’s comes with plenty of soft touch surfaces and bruised metallic accents, height-adjustable driver’s seat and front armrest with airy and spacious cabin to deliver very comfortable space up front. The interior appeals with new steering wheel, instrument cluster and a liberal spread of piano black plastics that complete the makeover. Unlike the old model, the second row seats are now on rails that allow them to slide, as well as recline with a 40/20/40 split-fold layout. The result is substantially more rear legroom and easy access to the third row, where applicable. Passengers in the second row can also sit elevated in stadium style, while children in the third row enjoy improved visibility from correspondingly raised seats.
The car is equipped with push button start, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, dual zone climate control, rear seat air conditioner vent with shut vent, intelligent key and panic alarm with Bluetooth phone connectivity and music streaming. Its infotainment, which include five-inch LCD screen located in the centre of the instrument cluster is one thing that would appeal to auto lovers of this age.
The X-Trail’s safety shield features include Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and SRS Airbags System. This is in addition to the ‘zero-gravity’ inspired front seats that are superbly cushioned and wonderfully designed to make long stints behind the wheel a real pleasure.
Under The Hood
The X-Trail has 2.5-litre petrol engine, noted as essentially a carryover from its predecessor, with just an extra kilowatt of power added to increase output from 125kW to 126kW, but with 233Nm of torque. The four-cylinder engine delivers sufficient punch off the line (without feeling sporty), and there is decent mid-range pull for safe high-speed overtaking on country roads. It also came with an improved Continuously Variable Transmission described as more refined than the competition.
Given the old rugged reputation of X-Trail, which has now been combined with arrival of the all new X-Trail is expectedly will change the perception of loyalists of its predecessor model that over the years gained reputation for its practical, go-anywhere compact SUV slogan with generous load space and towing capability.