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Nissan Australia is gearing up for a busy 2022 with the likes of the new Qashqai crossover and Z sportscar on the horizon, but arguable no model is more important than the third-generation X-Trail mid-size SUV.
Aimed directly at the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson, Nissan will be looking to steal attention away from competitors with an all-new design and engine line-up that is likely to be topped by an exciting e-Power variant.
Little concrete information is out there about the new X-Trail, but here is what Nissan is hoping will stand it apart from a very competitive (and crowded) segment.
The closely-related US-market Nissan Rogue was revealed in mid-2022, but the all-new X-Trail didn’t break cover until earlier this year, revealed at the Shanghai motor show.
Differences in styling are very slight and likely grade dependent, with the Rogue featuring a chunkier front bumper lip and different rear bumper design, so expect the Australian-market X-Trail to look very similar to what is already out there.
Key to this new aesthetic though is a boxier, more upright look, with a prominent V-motion front grille, split-headlight design and rear tailgate with nameplate front and centre.
The cabin is also all new, with a larger multimedia screen, redesigned steering wheel and small shifter helping modernise the X-Trail.
Retaining its CMF-CD platform as its predecessor, the 2022 X-Trail might not seem like its changing much from before, especially when comparing dimensions which carryover largely unchanged.
However, the new bodywork has liberated more space for passengers, with US reviews of the closely-related Rogue highlighting a notably increase to legroom.
Also expect a seven-seat option to carryover to the new car, offering buyers the flexibility of a third-row without having to shell out for a large SUV.
In the US Rogue, boot space is smaller than a RAV4’s 542 litres with all seats in place, but with the second-row stowed, the Nissan X-Trail is said to outclass the Toyota’s 1690L.
Expect higher-end grades to offer up features like a powered tailgate, keyless entry and a two-step boot floor.
In the US, the Rogue is offered with a 2.5-litre petrol engine, which outputs 135kW/245Nm, which is paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Though the CVT in the current X-Trail is not exactly beloved, Nissan is promising changes to the tune to make it shift smoother and feel less elastic – though we will reserve judgement for when the car arrives.
If this engine arrives, it will be a healthy bump over the 126kW/226Nm outputs of the current 2.5-litre X-Trail, but the base 106kW/200Nm and 130kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel options are likely to be axed.
In China, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine is also offered, though outputs are yet to be revealed, which could replace the base 2.0-litre engine in Australia.
In the small SUV, a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine is paired with an electric motor to deliver 140kW/330Nm, but the larger and heavier X-Trail could adopt a more potent configuration.
Another possibility for the X-Trail, now that it shares the same underpinnings as the Outlander, is the adoption of a plug-in hybrid powertrain, though Mitsubishi’s new system is still yet to be detailed.
The Nissan Rogue might have been revealed before the new-generation Qashqai and Pathfinder, but the concrete details on the X-Trail are still yet to surface.
As such, don’t expect the X-Trail to be available until well into 2022, possibly even late into the year.
Nissan Australia is busying preparing to bring the Qashqai to market in early 2022, before turning its attention to the Z sports car.
It’s then a race between the Pathfinder and X-Trail as to which Nissan model will release next, but given the former has already been revealed and detailed extensively, we’d bet it will come out before the latter.
The big question mark over the X-Trail is how much the new-generation model will cost.
For reference, the current car kicks off at $30,665 before on-road costs for the base ST manual and tops out at $45,965 for the Ti grade.
With Nissan ditching the entry-level manual Qashqai, expect them to do the same here, and with a new-generation leap in technology, refinement and safety, the 2022 X-Trail could start around $35,000.
This means the flagship versions with all the equipment and a cutting-edge electrified powertrain could creep well over $50,000, making it the most expensive X-Trail to date.