Nissan X-Trail Review
Car Tested: 2016 Nissan X-Trail Hybrid; Road Test No. 657
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 38 lakhs (est.)
The Nissan X-Trail Hybrid is an environment friendly SUV that looks modern and feels extremely comfortable to drive on our roads
Currently, the situation of big SUVs in India is quite grim, specially in the national capital region (Delhi NCR), where registration of cars having 2000cc+ diesel engine are banned. Some manufacturers are downsizing the engines while some are considering introducing petrol motors. Now Nissan is preparing to launch the new X-Trail in India but in a hybrid version only. This helps the Japanese carmaker offer a petrol SUV that returns fuel efficiency figures closer to a diesel engine so you have the best of both worlds. We take the third generation Nissan X-Trail for a quick spin.
Exteriors – Remember the old boxy and ‘not so SUVish’ X-Trail? One glimpse of the new gen X-Trail would make you forget about it. The new design language makes it look way better and modern. It now gets proper SUV proportions standing tall and wide. The waist line rises towards the rear and the body lines are subtle and smooth. The alloys look sharp and there are some chrome elements sprinkled across the car that adds to the premium touch of the SUV. The X-Trail somehow resembles the Mitsubishi Outlander from some angles. Overall, the design is a great leap forward compared to the previous generation and it has a commanding presence on the road with the new design direction of Nissan.
Interiors – Just like the exteriors, the interiors also come with a fresh design. The new X-Trail gets a layered and curvy dashboard with an uncluttered appearance thanks to the well stacked buttons and controls on the centre console. The newly designed 3-spoke steering feels great to hold and right behind it is a crystal clear instrument cluster with a huge MID display that offers good convenience to the driver. The infotainment system screen is a tad small but offers a plethora of features including CD, AUX, USB, Bluetooth connectivity and the likes. The X-Trail comes with dual-zone climate control system with individual settings.
The X-Trail is very comfortable and convenient on the inside offering great levels of quality and feel good factor
All the materials used inside the cabin feel top notch and long lasting. The quality of the controls and knobs along with the upholstery is excellent. There is ample amount of legroom at the rear and even tall passengers can stretch their legs easily. The shoulder room is great as well and along with very little transmission tunnel intrusion, three abreast can sit easily. The electrically operable tail gate is a one touch job or you can even wave your hand below the sensor for a hands-free operation. The boot space is very accommodating at 550-litres.
Performance – Powering the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid is a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 144 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. Mated to this engine is an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery that churns out an additional 40.8 PS of power and 160 Nm of torque. The combination of the two results in punchy acceleration right from the word go. The X-Trail picks up pace silently and if you keep the throttle mashed, it quickly converts from electric power to petrol power in a whisker. It switches between the two modes quite seamlessly. Lift off the throttle at high speeds and the engine shuts down for better efficiency. The brakes and the engine keep charging the lithium-ion battery and help in increasing mileage in stop-go traffic by using more of the electric power. The CVT is smooth and responsive but it feels like a typical CVT having the rubber band character that gets louder as you rev hard.
Driving Dynamics – First thing to notice is the pliant ride quality which is very well damped and the Nissan X-Trail offers flat ride be it low or high speeds. The suspension absorbs undulations quite well but sharp bumps and potholes might penetrate inside the cabin. The steering feels light and easy to use at slow speeds and weighs up enough to provide confidence when the speed increases. The handling is predictable but there is no feedback from the electric setup. There is some body roll because of the soft suspension setup but its very well controlled by SUV standards. The brakes are very strong to shed speeds quickly and the pedal bite is ideal.
Verdict – Nissan will be launching the X-Trail Hybrid by the end of this year. The pricing will be on the higher side, since it is a hybrid and on top of it a premium SUV coming via the CBU route. As a product, the new X-Trail looks very appealing inside out and offers the latest tech. The hybrid powertrain under the hood might not bother the environmentalists and the odd-even rule makers but the high pricing might bother your pocket. The 2016 Nissan X-Trail is expected to be priced between Rs. 35-40 lakhs which will make you think twice before signing that cheque. Only if Nissan could go the CKD route, the X-Trail being a good SUV would sell in numbers it deserves.
* All-new styling with mature design language making it look fresh and presentable
* Neatly laid out interiors with spacious seating and high quality materials
* Seamless mechanism of hybrid technology offering high fuel economy
* Long list of convenience and safety features to pamper passengers
What’s Not So Cool
* High price tag expected when launched in India
* CVT transmission makes noise at higher RPMs
* No diesel engine to be offered in diesel loving SUV country
Alternatives: Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe