2016 Nissan X-Trail: First Drive Review
- by Kshitij Sharma
- Feb 15, 2016
- Views : 38122
The Nissan X-Trail was discontinued due to a downward sloping sales curve and the fact that the SUV had been around for a decade. But the new one was shown at the 2016 Auto Expo and we finally got our hands on one.
“I have to say it does look good.” I overheard someone say when were taken to the new Nissan X-Trail and I had to agree, the car does look rather good in the flesh. The design is now more rounded off compared to the boxy SUV design of the older car and it does have a slight crossover-esque feel to it. A slim blacked out grille sits in the front with a thick U-shaped chrome strip surrounding the Nissan logo. The air intake is also quite prominent flanked by two round fog lamps with chrome surrounds. The headlamps are now wraparound and feature LED DRLs which are a necessity these days. The side profile now looks much neater and the roofline slopes slightly giving the car a slightly sporty look. The tail lamps too have been designed as wraparound units and sit high on the tail gate. Overall, the car looks spacious and quite modern.
Inside too it is the same story, the new X-Trail now gets a completely redesigned interior. The seats are draped in leather and so is the steering wheel, the quality of plastic on the dash though could’ve been better. The middle of the dashboard is dominated by a 6-inch screen surrounded by buttons for tuner, radio channels and volume and tuner knobs, below which sit the controls for the automatic climate control system.
The seats are quite comfortable to sit in and the driver’s seat is electrically adjustable. The space at the rear too is ample and even with a particularly tall driver at the wheel, there is no dearth of kneeroom for the rear passengers. Even the middle passenger will not feel hemmed in or constrained. In addition, it also comes with cooled cup holders in the centre console and you also get heated ORVMs for added visibility.
When you thumb the starter, you are greeted by an eerie silence as the car wakes up with an utter lack of engine sound. You see, the new X-Trail is a hybrid. So rolling off the line is done in complete silence and the 31KW motor can get you up to a speed of 30kmph with ease, after which the engine makes its entrance. The car employs a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine making 144PS of max power at 6,000rpm and 200Nm of peak torque at 4,400rpm. That coupled with the 31KW motor, the car dishes out 186PS of combined output but is only available when you are going full throttle.
The engine is mated to a CVT gearbox which also has a manual mode. Going off the line is pretty straightforward and when accelerating gently the revs are kept in check and the CVT gearbox greatly complements your throttle inputs. But put your foot down and there is a considerable change in the car’s nature. It doesn’t throw you back into the seat but yet the acceleration is pretty brisk. Though you can feel the CVT shuffling through its infinite ratios to provide the best balance between acceleration and fuel economy.
Same is the case while braking and the car does tend to get a tad jerky under hard braking. The bite from the brakes is great but the brakes lack in feel and the travel on the brake pedal is way too much. The lack of feel can be attributed to the brake energy regeneration system but the travel could’ve been reduced. The ride quality on the other hand is quite good and the X-Trail will make for a great city can and a decent highway tourer. But going off road is out of the question for the X-Trail will only be available with a front-wheel-drive system.
All in all, the X-Trail provides a good balance of SUV presence, comfort, a decent output of power and is even kinder to the environment. But there are a few causes for concern pertaining to the success of the car. Nissan will be selling this car as a hybrid only and apart from that will be a CBU unit which already puts it in a very niche market just like the Honda CR-V. The X-Trail when launched will rival the CR-V, the Hyundai SantaFe, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW X1. So either Nissan will need to price the X-Trail really competitively or get a diesel option very soon otherwise the probability of it being a hit looks quite bleak.Recommended Variant : X Trail 2016 New