Nissan X-Trail 2007 review
Owners of the current model said they liked the compact, chunky looking five-seat off-road wagon just the way it is.
The message must have got through because the second generation X-Trail looks remarkably like the previous one.
It's a bit longer with a larger load area and as such naturally looks different in profile _ but viewed from the front you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart.
The uncanny similarity is not surprising considering X-Trail is Nissan's second largest seller and the company was wary of jeopardising this success.
While it looks the same, however, the new model sits on a new platform and is in fact all-new from the ground up.
It arrives towards the end of the year, along with kissing cousin the crossover Dualis which shares the same platform.
But rather than wait Nissan invited us to be among the first to see and drive the new X-Trail at the international launch in Greece this week.
No demand for diesel?
It's powered by a revised version of the 2.5-litre four cylinder petrol engine in the current model.
Disappointingly, Nissan has not taken the opportunity to add a diesel to the lineup as might have been expected.
There's just no demand for one, a defensive marketing manager Ross Booth declared.
That's a shame because the diesel we drove is a good one and, with 320Nm of torque, was the less powerful of the pair available.
”We've had a diesel engine available to us for a number of years with X-Trail in Europe, as has Honda as has Toyota _ but no one has brought one out yet because at this stage there isn't a market there," Mr Booth said.
Of course the situation could change if one of Nissan's competitors decided to introduce a diesel tomorrow.
The revised 2.5-litre petrol engine is good for 124kW of power at 6000rpm and 233Nm of torque at 4400rpm. That's 1kW less but 3Nm more than before, but the big improvements are in smoothness and economy.
Twin chain-driven counter-rotating balancer shafts have been added to reduce vibration. This time around the engine is hooked up to a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic (CVT) that makes a big difference to fuel economy.
The CVT also offers a six-speed manual modecom and as its name suggests continuously varies the gear ratio for optimal power and economy .
Fuel consumption drops from 9.8 to 9.3 litres/100km, compared to the old four-speed auto. The manual on the other hand creeps up 0.1 of a litre to 9.5 litres/100km. To put this in perspective the car has gained about 70kg in weight.
Inside, current X-Trail owners will immediately notice the speedo has been moved back behind the steering wheel. Controversially, in the current model, it sits smack dab in the centre of the dash. The main reason for the move is to make way for a computer screen to accommodate satellite navigation and a reversing camera, plus an in-dash CD changer. Ironically, we won't be getting either satnav or the camera.
X-Trail's increased length (up 120mm to 4630mm) translates to a touch more rear leg room, but the biggest gains are in the load area which is wider, taller and deeper _ 85mm deeper to be exact. A removable false floor has also been added that conceals another sectioned storage area. With the seats folded _ and, by the way, they fold 40/20/40 _ Nissan claims load capacity is now best in class.
The ride is car-like
As half X-Trail customers come from cars, the emphasis has been on making the ride as smooth and car-like as possible, with reduced interior noise levels. The second generation all-wheel drive system is also smarter and can anticipate dangerous situations. On the road the vehicle feels competent and comfortable, with a smooth ride and mostly supple suspension.
Pushed hard through corners it exhibits noticeably less understeer than before, but the petrol engine remains hash under load and lacks the pulling power of the diesel.
Off road X-Trail can still mix it with the big boys, with the addition of hill descent control and a hill holder braking system. Thirty per cent of owners go off road regularly and for this reason the vehicle retains a full-size spare, while the load area remains carpetless so it can be easily wiped clean.
Is new X-Trail different enough?
Well, Nissan reckons it will prop up residual values for one thing. Buyers were attracted by the original's size, price and practicality, as well as the fact it was well equipped. But perhaps just as important were its off road ability and chunky, masculine styling. The longer design detracts from the look but perhaps not too much. You can certainly fit more gear in the back, including a bike.
As for pricing and specification, they will not be revealed until the Sydney motor show in October.
Range and Specs
|ST (4x4)||2.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$2,490 – 9,999||2007 Nissan X-Trail 2007 ST (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|ST-L (4x4)||2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO||$5,500 – 13,990||2007 Nissan X-Trail 2007 ST-L (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|ST-S X-Treme (4x4)||2.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$5,800 – 7,998||2007 Nissan X-Trail 2007 ST-S X-Treme (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Ti (4x4)||2.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$3,913 – 11,771||2007 Nissan X-Trail 2007 Ti (4x4) Pricing and Specs|