Safety, Value and Features
NNissan’s X-Trail is an indelible part of Australia’s mainstream mid-size SUV fleet. Not only does it offer an affordable option from a trusted Japanese brand, but the wide variety always means there’s something for everyone.
So it’s no surprise that the X-Trail is Nissan’s most popular model after the Navara ute.
But the 2023 X-Trail has just arrived and, for now, it offers only one drivetrain, no hybrid options and an increased price across a four-grade lineup.
In a fiercely competitive market, can Nissan’s favorite SUV make a splash with a comprehensively revised offering and a significant injection of standard kit and technology?
How much is it and what do you get?
The 2023 X-Trail range consists of four variants with a choice of front or all-wheel drive depending on the version. The more affordable end of the range starts with the $36,750 ST 2WD or about $3000 more for the AWD version, which seats seven. Representing the middle of the lineup is the $43,190 ST-L 2WD, which is also offered with all-wheel drive and seven seats. Both prices are before on-road costs.
However, for our first encounter with the new model, we only got a chance to get behind the wheel of the new range-topping Ti and Ti-L which are exclusive all-wheel drive five-seaters and priced at $49,990 and $52,990 respectively ( first on-road costs).
All versions get a revised version of the previous 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder which has been tuned to produce 135kW and 244Nm – an increase of 9kW and 18Nm – and again bolted to an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Is.
LED headlights, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 7.0-inch driver information display and an 8.0-inch central touchscreen, reversing camera and parking sensors, keyless start and a choice of six paint colors are included as standard on all variants. .
An extensive suite of standard safety features includes Auto Emergency Braking (AEB), cruise control, lane departure warning and prevention, rear cross traffic alert and reverse AEB.
Go for any X-Trail above the ST entry point and Nissan’s ProPilot system is included, which includes adaptive cruise control that works down to stop traffic. In practice, the system is smooth in operation and more efficient at moving cars forward and off than some brands’ systems.
Step up to the Ti again, however, and Nissan upgrades the central screen to a wider 12.3-inch version, the instrument cluster becomes all-digital and also measures 12.3 inches, while the 10.8-inch head-up display Included as standard.
Android Auto remains wired but Apple CarPlay is wireless, with wireless device charging.
All lighting on the Ti is LED, including indicators and matrix adaptive headlights, while 10-way electrically adjustable seats are provided for the front passengers, with part leather upholstery and tri-zone air conditioning, a panoramic glass. A roof and 19-inch alloy wheels complete the upgrade.
The mini-no-object Ti-L comes with a 10-speaker Bose sound system, Nappa leather seats with memory for the front two, heated rear seats and sunshades for their occupants, hands-free electric tailgate, heated steering. Wheel and remote. start the engine.
How do competitors compare on value?
In such a popular segment, the X-Trail has plenty of competition. That’s up against the Toyota RAV4, which offers hybrid drivetrains and tops out at $55,150 before on-road costs for the flagship Edge AWD Hybrid.
Mazda’s CX-5 is also available with a choice of three drivetrains, including a diesel, and is priced at the relatively pointier end, while the Kia Sportage also matches the X-Trail’s range, performance and pricing, although it I also have more engine choices. .
Interior comfort and space
For the fourth-generation model, the X-Trail’s prices have risen across the board – including the high-spec Ti which now costs $3875 more than the previous version – but the cabin is where the bulk of that extra cost is evident. Is.
A wall of high-resolution digital displays meets anyone riding in the Ti in the front row, providing an immediate sense of quality and technological superiority not yet seen from the Nissan brand.
Both in the digital instrument cluster and the central touchscreen, the graphics are crisp and attractive, while navigating the various systems and applications is simple and quick.
The screens are complemented by a 10.8-inch head-up display for the driver, rounding off a very impressive technological show by the X-Trail.
Leather makes up the majority of the seat upholstery and the leather steering wheel is of a particularly high quality, matching well with the upholstered dash and its French stitching, as well as pleasant quality materials.
Slim A-pillars improve the view of the road ahead as well as let in more light – as well as a large panoramic glass roof – for a cabin that feels just as big.
A seven-seat option isn’t available for either the top Ti or Ti-L, but the X-Trail’s third row is definitely not roomy for adults and the five-seat version’s larger boot might be a more useful attribute for them. can majority of owners. The seven-seater gets a 465-litre boot while the five-seater’s 585L capacity is one of the best in the segment.
Further enhancing the X-Trail’s practicality is a very comfortable second row of seats with 40:60:40 split-folding, tilting backrest and sliding bench, while the 82-degree rear doors open in and out. There is a breeze. For example loading things.
Speaking of which, the presence of ISOFIX child seat attachments and the required top tether anchorages for all three rear seats is another deal-sweetener that families will love.
How is it to drive?
Nissan has labeled the fourth-generation X-Trail as ‘all-new’, including the platform it shares with the Mitsubishi Outlander. In fact, the CMF-C architecture is a heavily revised version of the previous X-Trail’s underpinnings and the same goes for its 2.5-litre non-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine.
Despite the carryover hardware bits, however, the X-Trail feels very different on the road.
Little has changed in performance, just a hint more power and torque and the carryover CVT has the same droning nature that you’ll either dislike or not notice at all. The engine, however, is a free-revving unit that is more refined and less thrashy than the previous version with reduced noise, vibration and harshness levels entering the cabin.
Without a turbo (and there’s no diesel option either), there’s a slight lack of low-down torque and while initial acceleration is stronger than the mark, performance drops off quickly unless the engine is revved hard. This will certainly have a negative impact on the claimed average fuel economy of 7.8 liters per 100 km.
For most daily duties, the combination of the revised petrol engine and CVT auto will be more than enough for most owners.
What really stands out, though, is the significantly improved ride. With a complete overhaul of the chassis and suspension tuning, the new X-Trail is confident and comfortable on its feet, while significantly reducing road noise.
There’s a bit of roll in the payoff corners and the steering is a little lacking in feel, though quick and precise. But for an SUV that’ll do more for hauling people and things than cutting laps on frequently driven roads, Nissan has struck a beautiful balance of ride, handling and comfort.
Due to some recent sharp road damage in Victoria, the 19-inch wheels fitted to the Ti and Ti-L X-Trails we drove at launch were hostile to the entry ST’s mannerisms, which rotate on a 17-in. alloy. , will be even better. We’ll see if our guesses are correct when we get our hands on the mid- or entry-grade X-Trail.
A brief spin in the Ti-L allowed us to enjoy its full Nappa leather upholstery, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, ambient lighting and Bose stereo. Spending an extra $3000 on the Ti also adds front seat position memory, hands-free tailgate opening and rear sunshades that further enhance the X-Trail’s luxury credentials, but when the Ti is so well appointed, we don’t think it’s worth the price. It will be difficult to justify. .
Warranty and running costs
Like all new Nissans, the 2023 X-Trail is offered with a five-year, unlimited kilometer warranty with roadside assistance for the same period.
All Nissans registered from 1 January 2018 are eligible for capped price servicing, which caps the maximum price paid for routine servicing and maintenance for the first six planned visits.
Customers can also purchase a prepaid maintenance plan that covers the first three, four or five scheduled services with a single payment.
The fourth-generation X-Trail may not be as ‘new’ as Nissan suggests, but it certainly feels like it shares little with the previous-generation model. Its exterior styling has taken the model from timid wallflower to confident contender, while a big spend on the interior and tech keeps the top-of-the-line variant firmly in premium territory.
It’s a shame that the conventional engine instead couldn’t have been improved to compete with more powerful mid-size SUVs and complete the transition, and the lack of diesel or turbo-petrol means that customers can’t afford the e- A power hybrid will have to wait. A version of something with a bit more grunt and fuel economy. But of course, that would have pushed the top-end version into even more expensive territory.
Those willing to write a check for the $50K X-Trail will be getting a version that’s unrecognizable from its predecessor, and one that breaks new ground for the nameplate and Nissan as a brand. breaks
As for the more substantial and affordable ST and ST-L volume players, that verdict will have to wait.
2023 Nissan X-Trail T Specifications
|engine||2488cc4cyl, dohc, 16v, petrol|
|power||135kW @ 6000rpm|
|Torque||244Nm @ 3600rpm|
|Transfer||Continuous Variable Automatic|
|The weight||1668 kg|
Safety, Value and Features
Things we like.
- Standard safety features
- Excellent ride and comfort
- Substantially better cabin
- Lots of space
Not so much
- No diesel or hybrid champions – yet
- Quality and technology come at a price.