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X-Trail 1.6 dci Tekna 4WD MY18 | Nissan

Date of Release: October 2017
Number of Reviews 1

As promised by Nissan SA, the Japanese based auto manufacturer forges ahead in its pursuit to capture more of the local passenger car market – this time with the new Nissan X-Trail. Attractive looks, great build quality, comfortable interior and smart tech characterise this popular C-Segment SUV.

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The Torque Rating:  

Generic:

Value
Safety
Exterior
Interior
Performance

SUV/MPV Lifestyle

School run dice
Sticky finger proof
Easy access boot
Baby seat fitment
Climate control

Design

Distinctly Nissan, the new X-Trail has received a number of updates to keep it in line with high consumer expectations. The front end of the car has a powerful presence, assuring you – the owner – that it’s ready for adventure at a moment’s notice.

Performance

The top of the range models come in the form of a 2.5l petrol engine linked to a CVT gearbox, but THE TORQUE’s pick of the lot is the 1.6 dci Tekna 4WD. This advanced diesel engine produces 96kW/320Nm and is linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Safety

The X-Trail comes with the usual standard safety features of any modern car, but then goes over and beyond the norm thanks to a healthy dose of cutting-edge tech, Nissan calls ‘NIM’. Smart technology helps the driver avoid an accident before it even occurs.

THE TORQUE REVIEW

Nissan South Africa launched their facelifted version of the 2nd generation X-Trail in the Eastern Cape this past week and THE TORQUE was there to test these popular SUVs. We would love to say we were blown away by our first look at the car, but in reality, it was Port Elizabeths infamous wind that nearly blew us away. Jokes aside, the new X-Trail instantly strikes you as a good looking car. Our adventure started by heading West along the spectacular coastline, before heading inland to enjoy a delicious country style breakfast at Crossways Country Kitchen. A highlight was being able to look up at the Van Stadens Bridge; a bridge that so many of us have whizzed over at 120Km/h, not realising the beauty that lies below along the old coastal road.

Our morning break gave us a chance to have a closer look at the X-Trails exterior styling. Highlights include:

  • A completely new front-end that is distinctly Nissan looking, thanks mostly to the signature LED Daytime Running Lights as well as that classic V-shaped grille. We like how the Nissan badge actually sits on top of solid plastic panel versus your traditional grille mounting it helps make the Nissan badge stand out and look very clean
  • The halogen-based headlights compliment the V-shaped grille well, giving the car a strong and progressive look
  • A new front bumper that features integrated fog lamps as well as a chrome strip that visually amplifies the cars width
  • Looking at the side of the car, one notices the X-Trails chrome door handles, chrome-lined window frames and integrated roof racks
  • At the rear, the taillights have been darkened and rear bumper updated to help continue the style set by the lower front bumper

Perked up by a delicious plus-size cappuccino, we were off again, travelling along multiple dirt roads north of the N2. The wild Eastern Cape countryside is beautiful in its own unique way and one appreciates the noticeably sweet smelling air. When approaching a dirt road, simply rotate the traction control knob into i-4X4 mode. The X-Trail continues to power the car through the front wheels only but is constantly monitoring the grip levels, instantly transferring power to the rear axle when any slippage is detected. The net result? The car feels considerably more stable, yet at the same time, the tech is not overly intrusive, leaving the real driving up you something we like!

Having all-wheel drive gives one the courage to go places where two-wheel cars can lose traction (this happens quicker than you would think), such as thick sand dirt roads, beaches (where permitted), steep inclines littered with small pebbles etc. That said, dont think you can thunder through the African continent with your eyes closed. The X-Trails ride height is better than that of a hatchback or sedan, but cant be compared to a proper off-road vehicle fitted with all-terrain tyres.

Back on the tar and the X-Trails solid handling continued to impress us. You can tell the car is built on a quality chassis. Another aspect that grabbed our attention is how well the X-Trail performed in a mock emergency braking scenario the ABS brakes working well to stop the car quickly.

Next, we focused our attention on the X-Trails interior styling. Dominated by stitched black leather, with some plastic panels even imitating black stitched leather, the cabin is definitely a comfortable, good-looking place to be. Highlights include:

  • Fully customisable driving position thanks to an all-electric seat complete with 4-way lumbar support as well as a full rack&reach D-shaped multi-function steering wheel (incl. cruise control)
  • A good looking dashboard that features a touchscreen, Bluetooth enabled infotainment system and full onboard trip computer. The sound system was impressive!
  • Fully automatic climate control including rear passenger vent
  • USB, audio jacks as well as a 12V power point
  • Panoramic sunroof with powered shade cloth
  • Automatic everything (headlights/windscreen wipers/handbrake/central locking)

The X-Trail is available in a 7-seater configuration. That, however, is not available in our favourite engine and trim spec the 1.6 dci and Tekna combination. Click here for the full model line-up incl. prices. Something to point out though is that the 6th and 7th seat are only really suitable for children. The boot is equally big with whichever seating arrangement you opt-in for but the 5-seater model exclusively features a full-size spare wheel.

We break for lunch at the cant adequately describe it in words you have to go there! Walskipper restaurant located right on the beach within Jeffreys Bay. If youre in the market for an SUV, your purchasing thought pattern might resemble our lunchtime conversation: There are many SUV cars available offering the same dynamic all-wheel drive performance - a family adventure is not a Nissan X-Trail exclusive event. And, youd be right, but consider this... The Nissan Intelligent Mobility or NIM technology that comes standard in the Tekna derivatives, is usually found in far more premium cars.

NIM highlights include:

  • Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention  alerts the driver to the presence of vehicles in blind spots diagonally behind the car.
  • Intelligent Lane Intervention  alerts the driver when it detects that the X-Trail is straying from its lane.
  • Intelligent Cross Traffic Alert when backing out of a parking space, this feature can detect and warn the driver of vehicles that are approaching behind the X-Trail.
  • Intelligent Emergency Braking uses radar technology to keep an eye on your speed and proximity to the vehicle in front of you, and will alert the driver before engaging the brakes.
  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning helps alert drivers of an impending collision with a slower moving or stationary car.
  • Intelligent Auto Headlights automatically changes between high and low beams when it detects oncoming vehicles at night.
  • Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection a support technology that assists drivers to park more easily by providing a better understanding of the vehicles surroundings.

The around view monitor, in particular, gives any parent with young children peace of mind. Now and again, we need to leave home whilst the children stay and play with a guardian or caretaker. One is always nervous (even though we check a hundred times) that they have wondered behind the car when reversing. Thankfully, that is now a thing of the past.

We leave Jeffreys Bay and after some more enjoyable back road country driving, we eventually re-joined the N2 highway back to PE. The 1600 turbo-diesel is happy to cruise along at just over 2,000 RPMs whilst travelling at 120km/h. Our average fuel consumption for the day, an impressive 6.6l/100km. One should easily be able to get that down into the high 5s. Nissan claims a combined fuel consumption of 5.3l/100km. That, combined with a 60l fuel tank, makes long distance trips a pleasure.

We arrive at the airport the end of a fantastic journey, a day filled with our team enjoying a part of our beautiful country that weve commuted through so many times before, but never explored. Before we conclude, let see how the MY18 Nissan X-trail 1.6 dci Tekna 4WD stands up against our SUV lifestyle criteria:

School run dice (4 out of 5): Does your car have enough oomph to quickly get past any irritating slow coaches or misbehaving taxis?  Whilst turbo-diesel engines definitely give one a feeling of acceleration thanks to their superior torque, they can sometimes run out of oomph at the top end of the rev range. The 1.6 dci revs all the way up to 5,000 RPMs (a touch above average). Take that, and combine 320Nm of torque (that starts to pull nicely at very low RPMs) with a 6-speed manual gearbox, means that overtaking is truly a breeze.

Sticky finger proof (4 out of 5)Does your car transform from clean to dumpsite in less than 10 seconds, or does it hold its own? Whilst not all of the plastics used within the cabin have that superior feel, they are certainly durable. That, combined with the all-leather seats, means your X-Trail should hold its own against the inevitable family car mess. We love how the centre bottle holders are cooled via your aircons cold air very clever!

Easy access boot (4 out of 5): Is your boot easy to pack/unpack, even when your hands are tied up with other things like your children? The boot does not feature a powered tailgate, but that said, the boot floor is perfectly flat, meaning its easier to load and unload heavy items.

Baby seat fitment (5 out of 5): There's a good chance you are going to use one of these. Is it as easy as 1 2 3? ISOFIX points are definitely the way to go as they eliminate human error when it comes to properly securing a child seat. However, during the first part of your precious ones life, its recommended that you rear-face your child seat. The problem with some cars is that the ISOFIX points are situated low down, where the back of the chair and the bottom cushion meet. Due to the bottom parts of all car seats being tilted upwards for safety reasons, this causes your rear-facing baby seat to tip forward, resulting in your infants chin resting on their own chest not a position you want. Thankfully, some forward-thinking manufacturers have worked hand-in-hand with child seat manufacturers and raised their ISOFIX points to negate the situation described above. The new Nissan X-Trail is one of the first cars weve seen that feature these new, improved ISOFIX points.

Climate control (4 out of 5)How quickly can you cool down your car? Fully automatic, including rear air vent the X-Trail scores well here.

CONCLUSION

Good looks, class-leading safety technology, comfortable cabin, all built on top of a quality and compliant chassis the new Nissan X-Trail has to be on your SUV finalists shopping list. As an added bonus, the X-Trail comes standard with a 6-year/150,000km warranty as well as a 3-year/90,000km service plan. Is it the right SUV for you? Well, with its i-4X4 traction control system, the new X-Trail will certainly open new doors of opportunity for you and your family. Its up to you, however, to make the decision to go through. We've all heard the saying many times before we at THE TORQUE have challenged ourselves to start living it Its not about the destination, its about the journey along the way.

Likes:

  • Impressive safety technology at an attractive price
  • Bold exterior looks, bolstered by fantastic paint colour options
  • Well-built car that gives one a solid planted handling feel, both on tar and dirt roads
  • Taking into account the warranty and service plan, pricing is very competitive

Dislikes:

  • It would have been nice to have Bi-Xenon or LED headlamps with the Tekna trim
  • Whilst the drivers seat comes with 4-way lumbar support, the front passenger seat doesnt. In our opinion, the front seats should be identical.
  • Being a family car, rear passenger USB ports can be useful, especially on long trips
  • The software interface design (both on the infotainment system and the onboard computer) is not our favourite

The MY18 Nissan X-Trail model line-up is as follows:

  • 2.0 Visia | R 369 900
  • 2.0 Visia 7s | R 374 900
  • 1.6 dci Visia 7s | R 392 900
  • 2.5 Acenta CVT 4WD | R 425 900
  • 2.5 Acenta CVT 4WD 7s | R 429 900
  • 2.5 Acenta Plus CVT 4WD 7s | R 444 900
  • 1.6 dci Tekna 4WD | R 457 900
  • 2.5 Tekna CVT 4WD 7s | R 469 900



Do you own or regularly drive the new Nissan X-Trail? Tell SA what you love about your car by quickly rating it on THE TORQUERegister today!

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THE TORQUE is an independent platform dedicated to car reviews. Instead of judging a car based on one or two peoples opinions, THE TORQUE allows you to see what like-minded, real people, who actually own or regularly drive the cars have to say about them.

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