With more than two decades under its belt and nine-year run of the previous model –
pandemic and parts paucity to blame here – the X-Trail had been left, well trailing, its rivals
in the mid-size sports utility vehicle segment.

With the latest model finally making landfall Down Under, the fourth generation takes on
the task of making up ground on well-established rivals such as Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-
5, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. Weighing in with six petrol-powered variants in front
or all-wheel drive – there are two e-Power hybrid electric vehicles on the horizon – there is
little doubt it means business.

The new X-TRAIL comes with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in front-wheel drive or
optional Intelligent 4×4, with all four grades – ST, ST-L, Ti and Ti-L – fitted with an Xtronic
Continuously Variable Transmission.

Well-equipped from the entry-level ST front-wheel drive at $36,750, plus on-road costs, to
the range-leading Ti-L AWD, $52,990, the latter (the test vehicle) boasts such luxuries as
quilted Nappa leather seat trim, 10 speaker Bose premium audio, built-in rear door
sunshades, remote engine start, power tailgate with hands-free opening and heated
steering wheel.

All X-Trails are covered by Nissan’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside
assistance over the same period. Service packages are available.

The test car paint job turned out to be something of a work of art, the basic white with
black highlights really holding the redesigned rear together, giving the vehicle a unique,
sharper look than before – Sportage and Tucson take note.

The signature V-Motion grille and double-decker headlamps add to the Nissan(ness) of
the MY23 model, while two-tone body colours – white and black here – make their Nissan
debut. The SUV rolls on 19-inch alloy wheels.

A spacious cabin is versatile, with sliding second row seats. The Ti-L misses out on an
optional third row maximising seating for up to seven but cargo space benefits here. Rear
doors open wide, allowing easy access.

Despite retaining the same 2705 mm wheelbase as the previous X-Trail, there’s more
space in the rear, with generous leg and knee room. Even in the Ti-L, with the panoramic
sunroof, there’s no skimping on headroom.

Inside, the vehicle is dominated by black surrounds. However, brown inserts scattered
around the cabin surprisingly gives the expected gloom a lift. All-round comfort is
optimised with three climate control zones, heated front and rear seats, memory front
seating and built-in rear door sunshades.

Storage includes generous cup holders up front, room for big bottles in the doors and a
huge central bin. Under the console is another large tray.

The boot floor is split into two removable panels that lift and slot in vertically to separate
and hide items. It also includes limited under-floor storage for slimmer items. The X-Trail
has a temporary spare wheel.

The Ti-L debuts three information displays, which include a 12.3-inch touch screen, 12.3-
inch digital instruments and 10.8-inch windscreen head-up set-up all presenting vital
information in a clear and concise manner not before encountered in a Nissan.

Android Auto is wired but Apple CarPlay not so. There’s a USB-A and C port up front and
a wireless charger.

Launching on a brand-new platform, the new X-Trial is offered with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder
petrol engine, producing 135 kW of power and 244 Nm of torque.

In front-wheel drive or optional Intelligent 4×4, all grades are fitted with an Xtronic
Continuously Variable Transmission. Maximum braked towing capacity has been
increased to 2000 kg.

Advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety technology, thinking fast and reacting faster,
combines ProPilot semi-autonomous driving, Head-Up Display and a comprehensive suite
of active safety systems on hand to intervene in any situation.

This includes automatic emergency braking, cruise control, lane departure warning and
assistance, rear cross-traffic alert and reverse auto emergency braking, while ProPilot
adds adaptive cruise control.

Performance has seen the benefit of extensive work to get the X-Trail back to its spot at
the head of the mid-size SUV queue. Advancements in equipment and technology
abound, especially in the higher grades.

For example, the new model range makes use of an upgraded (9 kW / 18 Nm) 135 kW /
244 Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, designed to put more pep into performance.
This it does with little noise, vibration and harshness making their way into the cabin.

Fuel consumption on test rose as high as 12.9 litres per 100 kilometres in town traffic,
while the best recorded was 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres on a motorway run, well within
the 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres combined claimed by Nissan.

Following a full overhaul of chassis and suspension tuning, the new X-Trail has improved
on-road ride and handling considerably. With the new Intelligent 4×4 system designed to
react quicker than before, power off road is seamlessly transferred from front to rear
wheels to help with stability and traction.
As well as hill descent control, the X-Trail Ti-L offers five drive and terrain modes – Auto,
Eco, Sport, Snow and Off-Road – accessed by a rotator on the centre console.

Fans of the former best-selling Nissan X-Trail will, no doubt, be glad the mid-size SUV
appears to be out of the wilderness. It’s another matter to see if the new ‘Trail’, in a dense
undergrowth of rivals, leads to the success it once had.

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 6/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 7/10
Comfort: 6/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 5/10


X-Trail ST 2WD $36,750
X-Trail ST AWD 7 seat $37,790
X-Trail ST-L 2WD $43,190
X-Trail ST-L AWD 7 seat $46,290
X-Trail Ti AWD $49,990
X-Trail Ti AWD ePower hybrid $54,190
X-Trail Ti-L AWD $52,990
X-Trail Ti-L AWD ePower hybrid $57,190
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Nissan dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Nissan X-Trail TI-L AWD 2.5L 4-cylinder petrol, CVT automatic, AWD

Capacity: 2.488 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 135 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 244 Nm @ 3600 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 91 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.8 L/100km
Emissions CO2: 183 g/km

DRIVELINE: CVT automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 4680 mm
Wheelbase: 2705 mm
Width: 1840 mm
Height: 1725 mm
Turning Circle: 11.1 metres
Kerb Mass: 1672 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres


About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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