Nissan X-trail test drive


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Nissan Motors India Limited are looking to expand their portfolio of cars in India and clearly want to gain a market share with the burgeoning car market in India.They first launched the Nissan X-trail soft roader in 2004. Now, after 6 years, Nissan Motors India Limited thought of giving the Nissan X-trail a refresh. Now, I was always a fan of the X-trail and its capabilities. The only sore thumb in this wonderful package was the high price and not the X-trail vehicle in itself. Since Nissan Motors India Limited offered to loan me their new SUV for a drive, I was all bonkers for it and immediately agreed. After all spotting a Nissan car on the road is as difficult as spotting a Dodo on Indian soil. I jumped at the opportunity and presented myself at their Chennai facility. Here is what happened on the road with me and the Nissan X-trail for company.

Looks

Not much has changed from the earlier Nissan X-trail to the new one. The looks are more rounded now and the head lamps are made up of Bi-Xenon projector lights. The lens variety used is also polycarbonate and clear. The honey comb grille features two vertical slats which are finished in chrome and have the lightning Nissan logo sandwiched between them. The nose job speaks of aggression. The fog lamps are 3D slotted now. It still feels boxy though. This though, does have its own usefulness in the way space has been amplified inside.

From the side profile, one can see the high wheel arches as well as big windows. There are body colored outside rear view mirrors and they have the indicator lights embedded into them. The 215/65 R17 Bridgestone Dueller alloys fill the wheel arches well and are in a class of their own.

The rear profile shows vertically stacked clear lens head lamps, typical of SUVs. One of my colleague commented on it that it looked like a Christmas tree. Couldn’t agree with him more. The high mounted tail lamp sits atop the roof spoiler. There are roof rails as well which look tasteful with body colors. The rear glass is also big and a lone wiper and washer do duties there. Overall, the Nissan X-trail does lack the presence that you would so associate at this price point in India.

Interiors

The interiors of the Nissan X-trail are as spacious as any SUV in its class. They have leather seats as standard. They were so good in their bolstering and hug that I firmly believe that Nissan can teach all those sofa makers a thing or two about making seats. The dash design looks a bit plain but it is made of soft touch materials and have a premium feel to it. The cup holders are located in a very different style and just above the AC vents. The standard fare is a 6 CD changer, powered and heated seats for front passengers with 6 way memory functions, climate control with rear seat passengers having their own AC vents and a huge sun roof. The second row of seats is also quite comfortable for three passengers. The boot is split and quite spacious, more so than the Honda CR-V. It also has a luggage cover so that all your luggage doesn’t bounce around. These are all removable and washable as well. The rear seats feature a 60:40 split arrangement and this makes the boot space even more bigger than it already was. Nice touches abound in the cabin.

Handling and ride quality

The Nissan X-trail has McPherson Strut suspension in the front and multi-link system at the rear. This provide quite a pliant ride quality both on the terrain and off it. There is also minimal amount of vibration while the car is going through mid-sized pot holes. The handling of the SUV is at par with that of the Honda CR-V though the steering is a bit artificial in its operation. Nevertheless it has good feedback dialed into it and makes parking as well as reversing chores easy.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

All the changes to the new Nissan X-trail are under the skin. A new 1995 cc Crdi motor does duties now. Don’t be disappointed as it now makes more power than the old 2.2 liter engine, precisely 140 Bhp @ 5,300 rpm and about 33.4 Kgm of torque @ 2,100 rpm. The gear box is a 6 speed manual with nicely spaced out gear ratios. The Nissan X-trail races from 0-100 kmph in a scant 10.2 seconds. Be it in the city or on the highway, the Nissan motor never feels strained and is very quiet in its operation.The gear box is also a sweet shifting unit which actually helps the tractable motor in its work.

The Nissan X-trail reached a top speed of 163 kmph and is in line with the factory claims of 171 kmph. Braking is dutifully done by 4 wheel disc brakes along with the usual electronic nannies like ABS, Brake Assist and EBD. Safety is handled by the self leveling head lamps, dual Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) airbags and the side torsion beams.

Fuel efficiency was also quite good with the Nissan X-trail returning 11.4 kmpl in the city and 16.2 kmpl on the highway run. This and the diesel running costs would ensure that the Nissan X-trail is cheap to run. Nissan Motors India Limited are going to launch 8 new show rooms per month and this would certainly widen the appeal for Nissan cars.

The Nissan X-trail is a CBU unit and hence it is a costlier option. There are three trim levels available. They are Comfort, X-pecial and Elegance. Prices start from Rs.20.3 lakhs {ex-showroom, Delhi} for the Comfort and going upto Rs. 25.2 lakhs {ex-showroom, Delhi} for the Elegance trim.

Nissan X-trail specifications

Engine Configuration: 1997 cc 4 cylinder DOHC Crdi
Maximum power:
140 BHP @ 5800 RPM
Maximum Torque:
196 NM @ 4800 RPM
Fuel Type:
Diesel
Gears:
6
Transmission:
Manual/ 6 speed automatic
Fuel Capacity:
65.0 Liters
Seating Capacity:
5
Doors:
4
Length:
4631 mm.
Width:
1787 mm.
Height:
1695 mm.
Wheelbase:
2730 mm.
Front Track:
1520 mm.
Rear Track:
1539 mm.

Suspension:
Front:
Independent, Mac Pherson Strut
Rear: Independent Multi-link
Steering: Rack and Pinion with Electronic Power Assist
Tyres: 215/65R17 Alloy wheels

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