Nissan X-Trail 2019 review: Ti
The Nissan X-Trail Ti is the top-of-the-line grade in this popular SUV, but does that make it the best one for you?
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As a father of three kids under the age of 12, I consider space a luxury - and particularly when it comes to cars. So if having more space is a good thing, then having all the space must be absolutely fantastic, right?
For my weekend test, I’m driving the entry-level Comfortline grade featuring the 110TSI petrol engine. Priced at $40,490, it comes jam-packed with standard creature comforts, including three-zone climate control, a proximity key (keyless entry) and push-button start, LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.
All of which should be more than enough to keep the entire family happy. But there's only one way to find out.
The schedule was packed, with the Tiguan Allspace required to help us run various errands around the city and suburbs.
In base-model guise, the exterior styling feels a little plain - even for an SUV - with just those familiar sharp creases along its bonnet and flanks to break up the space.
The Allspace offers the same width, at 1839mm, as the regular Tiguan, and at 1665mm, it's about the same height. But it is 215mm longer than the regular car, and I think this stretched version offers better proportions, giving it an almost wagon-like appeal. Not a bad thing.
The rear doors are noticeably longer, too. In fact, they look massive, and appear to be where much of the car’s additional metal has been used. They create a sizeable opening that makes the job of getting in and out of the second row easy, and provides ample room for parents getting their kids in and out of car seats or capsules.
Access to the third row was made slightly more challenging thanks to the fact the bigger section of the 60/40 split second row is located on the kerb side, and so requires a little more muscle to move forward.
The extra space has the added benefit of improving the airiness of the cabin. But while the interior looks almost identical to the regular Tiguan's, our test car lacked a premium feel. While I’m generally a fan of cloth seats, the ones in the Allspace were not a particularly good example.
The front seats in particular looked less than premium, and they lacked the comfort and support expected of a car at this price point. My kids didn’t seem to care, though, happily kicking back in the second and third rows without any complaints.
My eldest daughter connected my smartphone to the 8.0-inch touchscreen via Bluetooth in seconds, and so had her favourite playlist cranking through the eight-speaker stereo in double-quick time. The touchscreen in our Allspace also controlled the sat nav (standard), and featured Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The crystal-clear touchscreen interface is one of the better ones on the market. Simple and intuitive to use, my kids had no trouble navigating it. The only issue is the grubby finger marks that tend to tarnish the screen clarity after prolonged and repeated use.
In the second row, the kids were accompanied by air vents with temperature controls, two cupholders in the pull-down armrest, bottle holders in the doors and thoughtfully designed pull-up trays located on the back of each of the front seats. Each tray featured a groove at the front to help the kids stand-up their iPads - a nice touch.
Second-row legroom for grown-ups is ample, thanks largely to the ability to move the entire row forward or aft. I could sit behind my driving position with more than hand-width of room between my knees and the seat back, and with plenty of headroom, too.
With myself and the three kids onboard, the extra weight of the Allspace did not appear to trouble the engine too much. But acceleration from a standing start and in the mid-range was moderate at best, and I sensed it would start to struggle when fully loaded with seven passengers and gear.
Time for the weekly shop and then a trip to one of the local activity centres for the kids to expel some energy.
Sitting under the bonnet of our Comfortline 110TSI is a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is matched to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 110TSI Comfortline is the only variant in the range to arrive with front-wheel drive.
I found the dual-clutch transmission a little unpredictable, tending to cling to second gear for way longer than necessary under acceleration, which sounded like it was straining the small engine. It was a small annoyance that detracted from an otherwise enjoyable driving experience, with the Allspace offering excellent ride and handling on par with the regular Tiguan.
The Allspace displayed good manoeuvrability around our local supermarket car park, and allowed for plenty of visibility out the front, rear and sides. The image resolution from the reversing camera is one of the best I’ve seen for both day and night driving and, coupled with the front and rear parking sensors, made navigating tight spots a breeze.
With the third-row seats in use, there’s still 230 litres of boot space on offer - enough for a couple of kids scooters or the weekly supermarket shop. With the seats folded flat (and second row upright) capacity increases to an impressive 700 litres, an increase of 75 litres on the regular Tiguan.
Taking it up another notch with both rows folded flat provides a van-like 1775 litres of space. Under the boot floor is a storage area for the cargo cover, and under that compartment is the space-saver spare wheel. Access to the boot is made easy, thanks to a powered tailgate with kick access for when you have your hands full of groceries or kids.
There is a vast amount of storage elsewhere in the Tiguan, too, with various hidey-holes and two large overhead roof console compartments. You'd be hard pressed to run out of places to store stuff in this car.
The (maximum) five-star ANCAP-rated Allspace has an impressive amount of safety kit, including a suite of airbags that extend to cover the third row, AEB (for city and highway speeds), pedestrian monitoring, auto parking, lane keep assist and 'Manoeuvre Braking' that will brake the car if somebody walks behind it while you're reversing. More than enough to give any parent peace of mind.
Over the course of the weekend the four of us covered around 350km of city and urban driving, with the trip computer displaying a fuel consumption reading of 9.7 litres/100km. On the high side and a fair bit more than VW’s claimed 6.6 litres/100km. It's worth noting the 58-litre fuel tank in the 110TSI variant is slightly smaller than the rest of the range.
The Tiguan Allspace 110TSI Comfortline's impressive list of safety, technology and practicality features, and its stellar ride and handling, make for a compelling case, particularly at this price point.
If you are looking for a little more grunt, it’s worth casting your eye over the 132TSI Comfortline.
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