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2014 Nissan X-Trail pricing and specifications

The new third-generation T32 Nissan X-Trail arrives in Australian showrooms this week, with the popular mid-size SUV now offering the option of seven seats for the first time.

The only other mid-size SUV to offer seating for seven is the Mitsubishi Outlander, but the cheapest seven-seat X-Trail – the $31,580 ST 2.5L auto 2WD – undercuts the cheapest seven-seat Outlander – the $36,490 LS 2.4-litre petrol auto 4WD – by nearly $5000. Seven-seat X-Trails cost barely $1000 more than equivalent five-seat models, but the Nissan lacks the Mitsubishi’s all-wheel drive.

Within a smoother body than its angular predecessor, the new model rides on a 75mm longer 2705mm wheelbase, is 30mm wider at 1820mm, 10mm taller at 1710mm, but just 5mm longer overall at 4640mm. Much of the extra wheelbase length has gone into improving second row seating accommodation, with more heavily sculpted front seat backs further aiding knee room.

The X-Trail range continues to be split into ST, ST-L and Ti trim levels, and each continue to be available in either two or all-wheel drive. The seven-seat layout is available in either ST or ST-L grades, but is limited to two-wheel drive only. All variants feature 40/20/40 EZ Flex sliding and reclining second row seating with ISOFIX and top tether child seat anchorage points, theatre-view seating, 80 degree wide-opening rear doors, a centre console can swallow a 10 inch tablet, and five-seat models feature the clever Divide ’N’ Hide Storage System.

ST models come equipped with cruise control and air conditioning, a 5-inch multimedia screen with reversing camera, Bluetooth phone and audio via the NissanConnect system, proximity keys, and 17 inch alloys. The ST-L adds leather-accented trim, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, the multi-camera Around View monitor system with a 7-inch multimedia screen, satnav, digital radio, privacy glass, roof rails, and front fog lights.

The top-tier Ti adds a sensor-activated power tailgate, blind-spot, moving object detection and lane departure driver alerts, powered sunroof, auto wipers and headlights, LED headlights and 18 inch alloys. The new X-Trail’s revised petrol drivetrains include a 106kW/200Nm 2.0-litre, which gains 4kW/2Nm thanks to the addition of direct fuel injection and a compression ratio bump from 10.1-11.2:1. The still-port injected 126kW/226Nm 2.5-litre gains just 1kW through a compression ratio boost from 9.6-10:1, and both are still happy to run on Regular 91RON unleaded.

Turbodiesel variants will follow late in the third-quarter of the year, but in the meantime petrol fuel efficiency has improved marginally for equivalent new models. The 2.0-litre manual drops from 8.5-8.2L/100km, and the all-wheel drive 2.5-litre models drop from 9.1-8.3L/100km. The new two-wheel drive 2.5-litre models at 7.9L/100km are the efficiency headliners though, while the heavier seven-seat versions consume 8.1L/100km.

Unlike the previous X-Trail, the 2.0-litre is now limited to the price-leading entry model, with all other petrol variants jumping to the 2.5-litre engine. The base 2.0-litre is now manual-only and the sole variant not to be equipped with an Xtronic CVT auto. The new X-Trail’s extended wheelbase has seen the turning circle grow by 0.3m to 11.3mm, while ground clearance has dropped by 5mm to 210mm and entry and departure angles have been reduced from 28-24.8 degrees and 24-17.3 degrees respectively.

Despite marginally reduced clearance and the retention of a spacesaver spare wheel across the range, all-wheel drive models continue with Nissan’s All Mode 4x4-I system. This splits into three drive modes of either two-wheel drive, automatic four-wheel drive, or with drive locked 50:50 front-rear at speeds up to 40km/h.

The new X-Trail is yet to be independently crash tested, so is yet to be awarded a star safety rating. However, all models are equipped with a standard reversing camera, dual front and side airbags, curtain airbags for the first two rows, stability control, ABS, EBD, brake assist, active ride and trace control, and hill assist.

Weight is up slightly over equivalent previous variants, with gains of 6-37kg to now spread 1437-1574kg. Braked towing capacity is also now 1500kg across all petrol variants, down from the 2000kg of previous 2.5-litre models and matching the previous 2.0-litre manual.

This reporter is on Twitter: @Mal_Flynn