Next Generation Nissan X-Trail Spied Testing

Known to be as the Nissan X-Trail in India and as Rogue in North America, this Japanese SUV is doing with the same looks quite for many years.

Seeing the same old school looks almost for the last one decade its makers now had got the things to be sorted out cosmetically by rolling out its facelift model possibly till the next year or so.

The images which we had posted over here is of the next generation Nissan X-Trail wearing heavy camouflage doing test rounds in the Death Valley. In spite of this much heavy camouflage, it can be easily concluded this off roader will boasts the same looks of Europe ad US previewed Hi-Cross Concept. And hopefully the technical gimmicks too will be changed a bit for the better refinements. Some weird expectations also say that Nissan may launch the same badge in supercharged version as well.

Nissan X-Trail Spied Testing
Tokyo Motor Show for the Asian countries, Los Angeles for the Americans and Geneva for the rest of the world may become the previewing paddock for this newbie. Well, we Indians too may get this because we are also bored looking at the Nissan flagship for many years, whereas the recent conclusion of Micra facelift on Indian shores along with its global debut also conveys, this automaker will not delay for the India launch of this SUV after the global debut.

Image Courtesy: Car Scoops.

Nissan previews next-gen X-Trail SUV with Hi-Cross Concept

Nissan gives a preview of what the X-Trail, its next-gen SUV will look like by revealing its Hi-Cross Concept at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

With the Nissan X-Trail still under development stage, Nissan gives a preview of the Hi-Cross Concept in a teaser video. The detailed review of the concept will only be revealed at Geneva.

From the video, we can make out the flow-lines of the SUV concept. It probably has LED headlight, and a very aerodynamic design that follows at the rear with the spoiler in place. A darkened B-pillar and pronounced wheels arches also feature in the concept SUV. The aviation inspired steering and console however, are not likely to be seen when the SUV goes into production. The digital display shows the vehicle’s orientation could be a lane-assist or park-assist feature of the car.

Nissan previews next-gen X-Trail SUV with Hi-Cross Concept

Further details will be available only after Geneva Motor Show, however, some details suggest that the new X-Trail will come in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. Powerplant for the X-Trail is said to be 2.0-litre diesel, with choices from petrol and diesel on a smaller size engine.

More information will be released at Geneva, starting on March 6.

NISMO division of Nissan identifies India as potential market

The Motorsports division of Nissan – NISMO has identified India as an important market for them in the future. However, nothing has been finalized as on date as the project is still being considered. The President of NISMO, Shoichi Miyatani shared his opinions on this project with us. He said that the company was undertaking a study of the Indian auto market for a possible introduction of NISMO variants of Nissan’s sports cars in the country. They also expressed their intention of taking part in various sports events including rallies and motorsport racing in India.

Nissan has identified the potential of the Indian auto market and given it top billing and was hopeful of being able to introduce their line-up of sports cars into those countries, where they have market presence albeit in other segments. India topped the list of such types of market as the company enjoyed a reasonable market share in the country having four successful models selling here. These include the Nissan Micra in the hatchback segment, the Nissan Sunny in the sedan segment, Nissan X-trail in the SUV segment and the Nissan Teana. All these vehicles have shown their presence on Indian roads. With India becoming a popular hub for motorsports gives Nissan all the more reasons to bring in the NISMO to India. The motor sporting arena within the country received a significant boost with F1 coming to India. Awareness of this category is therefore gaining significant strength.

NISMO division of Nissan identifies India as potential marketThe NISMO from Nissan has been slowly gaining importance even in their home country of Japan. The overall image of the company is being given somewhat of a resurrection, though the company had been formed in 1984. Cars from NISMO have been participating in various sports and rallies in Japan. It has also registered its presence in the segment of selling sports cars other than structuring and designing.  However, all these activities have been confined to Japan as of today. In the Tokyo Motor Show of 2011, Nissan has showcased their latest concept vehicle Nissan Juke Nismo.

Nissan Juke Nismo

Comparing the Nissan X-Trail with the Renault Koleos

Both the Nissan X-Trail as well as the Renault Koleos has been launched in the premium SUV segment, in Diesel-variant only, for the Indian market. The article attempts to analyze the features of both these vehicles, to give the reader the basic idea of which vehicle to go for, in line with their requirements.

Engine Specifications:

Both the vehicles have been provided with 1995cc, 4 cylinder diesel engines. The maximum power and torque for both the vehicles are also a similar 150 Bhp @ 4000 rpm and 320 Nm @ 2000 rpm, respectively. Both the vehicles are expected to reach a top speed of 180 kmph.

Nissan X-Trail in India

External Dimensions:

[table id=15 /]

While the X-Trail scores in its length, the Renault Koleos adequately compensates with greater width and marginally greater vehicle height. The Koleos looks smaller from the outside than a standard SUV, but has greater space inside.

There is not much to comment on exterior features, both cars having come from a common sharing platform of Renault and Nissan.

Renault Koleos in India

Interior Decor:

The Renault Koleos provides ample storage inside the cabin, with an eye-catching as well as functionally greater interior features. Four AC vents are fitted in a manner that the vents are facing the occupants thereby ensuring better airflow. However, the audio and AC controls have been fitted very low in the dashboard, making it cumbersome to reach them.

Renault Koleos interior

Renault Koleos interior Renault Koleos interior

The Nissan X-Trail interior gives the feeling of it being a high-class sedan. The rear side-seats being foldable, makes the space so large that even a bicycle can be placed inside.

Nissan X-Trail interior

Nissan X-Trail interior Nissan X-Trail interior

Safety Features:

Powerful suspension in the Nissan X-trail makes it a very safe car for varied driving conditions. Four advanced technologies have been incorporated in the braking system, which gives the car better control during braking. Standard dual airbags have also been provided.

The Koleos has been provided with a host of advanced safety features that include the Anti-Lock Braking System that has been perfectly complimented with the Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, front fog lamps, airbags, parking sensors, all disc brakes and the likes.

Nissan X-Trail in India

Mileage:

The Koleos is a clear winner in this segment with an average mileage of 13.7 kmpl as against around 9.0 kmpl of the Nissan.

Summarization of the benefits and also the negativity of both the cars is as follows:

[table id=16 /]

Renault Koleos in India

Pricing:

Both the models are in the same price bracket, with the off-road pricings varying from Rs.22-24 lacs, based on the model and features. So, not really much to differentiate in monetary terms!

Chevrolet Captiva vs Nissan X-Trail vs Hyundai Santa Fe


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The Indian soft roader scene has become very tough now. Earlier it was the sole dominion of the Honda CR-V with the occasional fight from the Hyundai Tucson. Later on, the Chevrolet Captiva joined the party and due to its diesel power plant and cheaper price tag, it won over the Indian hearts. Nissan India Limited started their operations in India with their world famous soft roader, the Nissan X-Trail. Due to its highish price, it only found takers in the hotel luxury segment. Now enters the fourth and the most recent player of this segment, the Hyundai Santa Fe. It seems that this SUV was long in the coming and we have been hearing about its impending arrival from the year 2006. However Hyundai Motors India Limited chose to launch this car recently. Now, checking out by the target set by Hyundai Motors India Limited for this car in India, they have already exhausted it. Now, the bookings for this SUV have been temporarily stopped and the company is importing more cars into India. With the launch of this new player, things have evidently heated up and it was obvious that we get them all for a showdown and decide the newest king of the soft roader segment. Since the CR-V is one of the those cars which the Indian public nowadays shuns due to its high price, we didn’t include it in this comparo, however, it is still the benchmark to beat. Also the Mitsubishi Outlander wasn’t available as for a test and hence it had to be ignored as well.

Looks

Chevrolet Captiva- This is one of the best looking soft roaders in this country apart from the Honda CR-V. It muscled stance with those soft looks lend it some sort of character. The pictures don’t do justice to this car and it would seem small however in reality this soft roader is big. Infact it is as big as the Hyundai Santa Fe. The head lamps are quadrilaterals and the Chevy bowtie sits atop the partition in the grille. The fog lamps sit just above the meshed air dam. It has a plastic skid plate to protect the bumper from scratches and rocks. The side profile reveals big outside rear view mirrors with blinkers on them. The 17 inch tyres for the Chevrolet Captiva in India also have some sort of substance in them and this lends them a character. The wheel arches also have a plastic cladding over them. The rear shows a coupe like stance with angular tail lamps. The rear bumper also sports the skid plates under which are located the twin tail pipes.

Nissan X-Trail- This is one boxy looking SUV. It has the typical Nissan grille with brick like head lamps. The air dam is almost absent. The fog lamps are placed at both the sides of the wheels as opposed to in the lower bumper. The 17 inch tyres are also elegant. The wing mirrors are also big but are amongst the smallest in this comparo. The roof rails are also subtle and barely protrude from the roofs. The rear end is particularly boxy and has vertically stacked tail lamps. A black plastic covers up the bumper and a single tail pipe protrudes from underneath.

Hyundai Santa Fe-
The newest kid on the block is actually not so new world across. It is actually the seventh generation one. It has Hyundai’s fluidic concept design elements with a horizontal AC slat grille with oblong head lamps and an air dam which has a big aggressive opening. The fog lamps are housed in their own slats and look very nice. The turn indicators are also located in the outside rear view mirrors. The rear in comparison to the front looks a bit heavy. It has those elongated tail lamps with clear lens. Covering the lower bumper is the black plastic cladding and this houses one or rather two of the largest tail pipes in this segment.

This is a tough one however, overall the Chevrolet Captiva in India wins this due to its easy on eyes look.

Interiors

Chevrolet Captiva- The Chevrolet Captiva features a higher stance than the others in this class and hence climbing up should be a bit of a hassle. However once inside the cabin, you would be greeted with a smart dash board. Brushed aluminium strips contribute to the nicely made up central console. The instrument panel looks simple and is supported by a big steering wheel with the Chevy bowtie resting on it. There is a navigation system, of which, the fonts are illegible in the bright sunlight. Unfortunately the quality of materials used seems inferior to the competition. There are some bad plastic bits abounding in the cabin. The gear lever is also half made of leather and the other half of metal. Powered goodies abound however only the driver gets powered seat. The aircon is one of the talking points in the Chevy and it has a microprocessor which filters particulate matter in recirculate mode. The front seats are comfortable however the rear ones seem a bit lacking in under thigh support. The access to the third row seats is quite easy however these are best left for kids. The boot space is also limited with all the seats up however the gas mounted strut tug lever helps in folding the second row of seats flat.

Nissan X-Trail- This is one of the interiors which is subtle at its best. The first thing that you notice is that this car has hard wearing but soft to touch materials. Its 3 spoke steering wheel is devoid of audio controls. The instrument binnacle is one of the best in this segment for the Nissan X-Trail in India. The driver as well as passengers get heated seats. In a country like India, these are redundant however those living in the cooler climes would welcome this feature. The standard audio system has good sound quality and features aux and USB ports. One of the thoughtful touches in this cabin is that it has a chilled bottle holder. Room in the cabin is also abundant in all the rows. Sorely missing though is the lack of third row of seats. The boot space as a result is huge. It even has a washable plastic floor. The second row of seats also get their own AC controls.

Hyundai Santa Fe- The biggest vehicle on the outside also is bigger from the inside. The front seats are way too comfy and would accommodate the biggest of the frames. The steering wheel is a 4 spoke affair and has cruise control, Bluetooth pairing and also the standard audio controls. The quality of materials used is also un Hyundai like and is of very high quality. This however is no patch for the Nissan X-trail’s cabin. What the Hyundai Santa Fe has in oodles is space and equipment. There is also a roof mounted entertainment system, 6 CD and 8 speaker audio system. However the layout of buttons makes the cabin seem a bit cluttered. The second as well as the third row of seats get their own AC controls. Access to the third row is a bit tricky though and the system is complicated than the simplistic one on the Chevy.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a heavily loaded vehicle with lots of equipment on offer and space in plenty.

Handling and ride quality

Chevrolet Captiva- Been on a car platform, this means that all these soft roaders are easy going in the city. Starting with the steering wheel, it is light for city use however like all the Chevys in India, the Chevrolet Captiva’s unit doesn’t weight up nicely once the speeds rise. This makes it a bit vague. Been on a raised platform means that the car rolls a fair bit. On the sharp bumps, this translates to an unsettled ride quality. Once the speeds build up, the self leveling suspension works its magic. Overall, this can be called as an average performer in this lot and is nowhere near the segment bench mark, the Honda CR-V. Cornering at sedate speeds is acceptable on this car.

Nissan X-Trail-
This is the most car like to drive in this lot. Its well weighted steering wheel is a delight to use and to even hold in the hand. It makes driving an occasion. The levels of the grip in this car is also quite high than its competition. It has less dive on the roll however the softer suspension does make its presence felt time and again by bobbing up and down. The ride is sort of perfect with its good ride quality at low speeds and sort of nervous ride at high speeds. Cornering is better achieved in the Nissan X-Trail in India since it controls its body roll quite well.

Hyundai Santa Fe- The tallest of all these cars does have a stiffness in its suspension. It is also of the self leveling types. However it is rock solid on the highway and doesn’t get buffeted around due to its sheer weight. Absorbing all of the road imperfections are the tall springs. It also corners well however not in the same ball park as the Nissan X-Trail.

It does show a top heavy feeling however that is to be dismissed considering that people aren’t going to take this to a race track. The steering wheel is typically Hyundai with some of the sensitivity lost at high speeds. This saying, it is better than the Chevrolet’s unit.

This round goes to the Nissan X-trail with the Hyundai Santa Fe following closely.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

Chevrolet Captiva- The 4 cylinder 1995 cc turbo charged common rail direction injection diesel motor makes 148 Bhp and 316 Nm of torque. The manual transmission car is offered only with 2 wheel drive mode and hence this means that this car is quick off the block. It has one of the smallest motor and output in this segment. It races from 0-100 kmph in 11.72 seconds. It has a top speed of 176 kmph. The gear box is sort of notchy like the other Chevrolet units but nevertheless slots into gate well. The turbo in this unit is peaky and this means that there is sort of turbo lag at low speeds however get past 2000 rpm and the motor performs with gusto. The motor is also very smooth in its operation.

Hauling this car to a stop are disc brakes both at the front and rear coupled with ABS and ESP. Safety is also taken care by the Chevrolet Captiva featuring collapsible steering wheel, twin air bags and 3 point seat belts. Fuel efficiency due to the shorter gearing is good in the city at 9.5 kmpl and 11.5 kmpl on the highway.

Nissan X-Trail- This car features a 4 cylinder 1995 cc turbo charged, common rail direction injection diesel motor putting out 150 Bhp of power and 327 Nm of torque. It features on demand 4 wheel drive and a 6 speed auto gear box. Both the engine as well as the gear box are a perfect complement to each other. The engine revs sweetly all the way to its 5,200 rpm. This despite it been a diesel. There is little turbo lag however that is dispatched quickly. The clutch action is also quite light and ideal for city driving. The car sprints from 0-100 kmph in only 10.88 seconds and goes on to register a top speed of 201 kmph. This car gets a choice of manual tranny as well. Braking is handled by all wheel disc brakes aided by ESP, traction control and ABS. Safety is taken care by collapsible steering wheel, 6 air bags and also 3 point seat belts.

Hyundai Santa Fe- The Hyundai Santa Fe in India is blessed with a 4 cylinder in line 2199 cc turbo charged engine, common rail direction injection diesel which makes 195 Bhp of peak power and 429 Nm of torque. This is by far the biggest capacity motor in this comparo. It has company in a 6 speed transmission which is slick however not as good as the Nissan X-trail’s unit. This is a dynamo of a motor which powers the 1868 Kg vehicle from 0-100 kmph in 9.61 seconds and reaches a top speed of 190 kmph. The motor is highly refined and doesn’t make one realize the stratospheric speeds that the vehicle is capable of. The only dampener in the package is the heavy clutch which requires a firm shove. Braking is also good however the pedal action needs to be re-calibrated since it requires a push. There is no automatic option as of now however Hyundai Motors Limited India says that they would introduce it very soon. Assisting the powerful disc brakes are ABS, ESP and EBD. The Hyundai Santa Fe in India is also one of the safest SUVs around. It features a roll over sensor, 6 air bags, seat belts with pre-tensioners and a collapsible steering column.

This round squarely goes to the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Verdict

The Indian buyers are spoilt for choices with the number of new or refreshed soft roaders coming their way. Out of the three evaluated here, they have a wide price range difference with the cheapest of the lot been the Chevrolet Captiva followed by the Hyundai Santa Fe and then the Nissan X-Trail. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the latter is the best in this lot. Infact, it sits squarely in the middle. Starting with the Chevrolet Captiva, it is a well rounded package and has the looks to go with all the show. If you are in the market to buy a Captiva now, you would get a discount since the 2011 model is just some days away. Its price for the Indian market for the two wheel drive version is Rs.17.96 lakhs for the two wheel drive manual version whereas for the 4 wheel drive version, it is Rs.21,46 lakhs. The Nissan X-Trail may not seem a logical choice considering the company’s miniscule operations in India however it cannot be ignored since it has many of the good things that one would want in their soft roader. It is very quiet in its operation, has good fuel efficiency and the best of ride, handling package. However its high price of Rs.26 lakhs for the top end 6 speed auto is a dampener. The Hyundai Santa Fe on the other hand is a butch soft roader which can easily pass off for a hardcore SUV. It has got immense road presence, good space, high equipment list and a bomb of an engine. Adding to its immense list of potentials is the fact that it is also one of the safest SUVs around. Its sticker price of around Rs.23 lakhs also make it a sensible buy and hence our choice of soft roader in this segment.

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