In one of the most competitive segments of the automobile industry one company has
called on rivals for one of its most important products. Nissan has put together its fourth
generation X-Trail with parts from the Mitsubishi Outlander on a Nissan-Renault Alliance
CMC-F platform.

Weighing in with six petrol-powered variants in front or all-wheel drive – there are two e-
Power hybrid electric vehicles on the horizon – the bitser takes on the task of making up
ground on well-established rivals such as Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage,
Hyundai Tucson.

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, with a mix of five or
seven seats – 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, on test was the ST-L AWD 7 seat priced at

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

Nissan says the new CMF-C platform, from its alliance with Renault, allows for 27 per cent
greater torsional stiffness than before, while the use of ultra high-tensile steel in the body
has almost doubled over the old car.

Weight savings have been found by using composite material for the rear tailgate, and
aluminium for the front and rear doors, front fenders, and bonnet.

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.

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 ST-L rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels.

A spacious cabin is versatile, with sliding second row seats to allow for passable access to
the optional third row, maximising seating for up to seven. Rear doors open wide, allowing
ease of loading.

Despite retaining the same 2705 mm wheelbase as the previous X-Trail, there’s more
space in the second row, with generous leg and knee room. There’s no skimping on
headroom. The big let-down, however, is the lack of leg room in a third row only suitable to
take children.

Synthetic leather seats, heated at the front, include power-adjustable driver’s seat. There’s
dual-zone climate control, 360-degree parking camera view, auto-dimming rear-view mirror
and leather-accented steering wheel. Inside, the vehicle is dominated by black surrounds.
However, brown inserts scattered around the cabin, plus white contrasting stitching
surprisingly give the gloom a lift.

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 ST-L is fitted with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, wired Apple CarPlay and
Android Auto, Bluetooth, and AM, FM and DAB+ digital radio.

There’s a USB-A and C port up front – two more USB ports (one USB-C and one USB-A)
in the back – and a wireless charger.

One blessing is the air-conditioning controls are left out of the touchscreen, instead in the
form of a row of dials and buttons that are easy to use when driving. The driver also can
take advantage of an instrument display consisting of twin analogue dials flanking a 7-inch
screen with important info such as speed, fuel economy, safety systems and tyre

Launching on a brand-new platform, the new X-Trail is offered with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder
petrol engine – the same unit as in the Outlander – 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 safety tech earned the X-Trail a five-star ANCAP rating in 2022. On hand is lane
keeping assist, lane centring assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning,
blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, driver attention alert,
front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree vehicle view and door exit warning.

Forward autonomous emergency braking, with pedestrian and cyclist detection, while low-
speed reverse AEB is handy when parking, the latter producing a shock to the driver’s
system when first introduced to it in the test vehicle without forewarning.

Performance has seen the benefit of extensive engineering work, with the ST-L skipping
along nicely on the bitumen. An upgraded (9 kW / 18 Nm) 135 kW / 244 Nm 2.5-litre four-
cylinder petrol engine delivers more pep with little noise, vibration and harshness making
their way into the cabin.

Fuel consumption on test rose as high as 11.5 litres per 100 kilometres in town traffic,
while the best recorded was 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres on a motorway run, averaging
within the 7.8 combined urban / highway consumption 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 ST-L offers five drive and terrain modes – Auto,
Eco, Sport, Snow and Off-Road – accessed by a rotator on the centre console.

It’s anyone’s guess how the Nissan will compete on the congested mid-size SUV sales
trail. The well-specced ST-L could hold the key.

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


ST 2WD $36,750
ST AWD 7 seat $37,790
ST-L 2WD $43,190
ST-L AWD 7 seat $46,290
Ti AWD $49,990
Ti AWD ePower hybrid $54,190
Ti-L AWD $52,990
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 ST-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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