By Malusi Msomi
If there is one thing you have to appreciate about Japanese and Korean car manufacturers is how they are not afraid to push boundaries when it comes to design. They have started off pretty ordinary but now most of their design look futuristic and truly desirable. This bring me to the latest generation Nissan X-Trail, not only does it sport a bold and futuristic design but is also packed with the latest tech to keep up – if not – surpass its competitors. Nissan recently flew us to the picturesque Slovenia to sample their new SUV.
Bold new look
As a recent passport holder, I find myself one of the luckiest people out there. First time getting to use my passport – and boom and international trip. When I heard the news that I’ll be doing my first international abroad, I was extremely stoked. My first impression when seeing the press release, I knew this car would look great in the metal. It’s quite a departure from its predecessor with only the rear taillights design remaining as a remanence. One word to describe the new Nissan X-Trail is stunning.
Nissan has really stepped up the quality and equipment on the new X-Trail. The interior is playing in the premium segment now with the use of quality materials and plenty soft touch surfaces. Practicality is good with a 5 or 7-seater options. The interior also gets a 12.3-inch touch screen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Bose sound system, full nappa leather, tri-zone climate control, 10.8-inch heads-up display and heated rear seats. To get all these niceties, you do have to opt for the top of the range model. It has plenty of interior space (which hasn’t been affected by the electrification tech) and the doors open 85 degrees for easy entry and exit and for child seats. As the world moves in the direction of being button-less, we’re glad Nissan has stuck to its guns by retaining buttons.
Nissan’s ProPilot driver assist comes with quite an extensive list of safety features that include:
- Blind Spot Intervention
- Full Auto Park
- Around View Monitor
- Intelligent Front Collision Warning
- Intelligent Driver Alert
- Rear Automatic Braking
- Adaptive High Beam
- Speed Limiter
- Moving Object Detection
- Cross Traffic Alert
- Intelligent Emergency Braking
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Lane Departure Warning
- Intelligent Lane Intervention
- Emergency Lane Keeping
The party piece for the Nissan X-Trail has to be its e-Power drive-train. The idea behind e-Power is basically a system that consists of a high-output battery and a powertrain with a 150kW front electric motor, power generator, inverter, and a variable compression ratio petrol engine. Due to this unusual engine, the only source of power for the wheels is an electric motor, producing a quick and linear reaction to the accelerator. With e4RCE however, its a powerful dual e-motor system that has a total output of 157kW thanks to the rear 94kW motor that will allow the X-Trail to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 7 seconds. The ride is quite comfortable even riding on 20-inch wheels. We drove on some beautiful Slovenian mountain roads where the X-Trail did quite well. It truly does have a electric drive feel and when accelerating one even forgot that it sports a CVT transmission. Acceleration is smooth and the car feels quite quick. Chucking it around some hairpins, it felt planted with and showed very little body roll.
We enjoyed our time in Slovenia with the new X-Trail. It’s packed with new tech and of course a bold new look. Nissan South Africa has not yet announced if the Nissan X-Trail e-Power e-4orce will be available in the country. We eagerly await the news as we believe that the new X-Trail will be a great offering in the 7-seater space.
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