This is the new Nissan X-Trail. What? No, I did not exactly upload a photo of the old X-Trail in error. This is really the new Nissan X-Trail, which pretty much looks like the old one from the exterior. However, it’s actually different on the outside and the inside, so let’s have a look at the changes.

Look after the jump for the full article.

The old X-Trail and this new Nissan X-Trail’s aesthetic differences from the outside is pretty much about the same as the first MINI Cooper and the new 2nd generation R56 MINI Cooper. Looks about the same, yet different. This one’s built on the same chassis as the recent Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Rogue, and comes with four engine choices including two new turbodiesels with Diesel Particulate Filter. Of course, proper off-roading capabilities are there, with a new Intelligent ALL MODE 4×4-i four-wheel drive system, as well as hill start and hill descent control.

Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Product Planning, Nissan Motor Limited says customers asked for the X-Trail replacement to be more of an evolution than a revolution. To just leave things are they are. If Nissan wanted to, it would probably get away with a facelifted exterior or something, but then again that’s pushing it. When the first X-Trail was launched, Nissan expected to sell about 23,000 units a year, but ended up pushing out an average of more than 54,000 a year and now more than 600,000 Nissan X-Trails are on the roads (and off the roads, pun intended) globally. The X-Trail was such a favourite that Nissan is calling the re-used DNA as “X-Trail-ness”.

The new Qashqai platform that this new Nissan X-Trail is based on is supported by a strut-tyep suspension at the front, with a multi-link system at the rear. These suspension points are mounted onto insulated subframes to ensure vibration does not travel to the rest of the car. The new Nissan X-Trail is longer by 175mm, now at 4630mm. Wheelbase has increased by 5mm to 2630mm.

Offroading capabilities include the Intelligent ALL MODE 4×4-i system, a ground clearance of 200mm, as well as a body designed to take approach and departure angles of 28 and 23 degrees respectively. The Intelligent ALL MODE 4×4-i system features a rotary knob on the center console which allows a choice between a 2WD-only mode and an auto mode. In auto mode, at speeds below 80km/h, the system minitors throttle position, engine speed and generation torque to anticipate wheelspin, distributing torque between the front and rear wheels as needed. Above the 80km/h speed, the system shifts to a reactive instead of preemptive sensor system, running mainly in front wheel mode and shifting power to the rear whenever needed. The 4WD system is also in Lock mode below 40km/h.

Two more features allow easier driving over not-so-flat ground – DDS and USS. DDS, or Downhill Drive Support, operates when the 4WD system is in lock mode. DDS is basically a hill descent control system activated from a switch which keeps the Nissan X-Trail at a constant 7km/h when going downhill. Any increase is speed is stopped via the brakes. It works in reverse too. USS is Uphill Start Support, which basically helps you hold the brakes on uphill slopes so the Nissan X-Trail will not roll rearwards. USS activates automatically.

X-Trail 2.0 Engine

The new Nissan X-Trail comes with 4 engine options – two petrol and two turbodiesel. The 2.5 litre from the current X-Trail is carried over, but is slightly improved. The 2.0 litre model has an all-new engine, making 140hp and 193Nm of torque. 90% of that 193Nm is available from 2,400rpm, giving the new Nissan X-Trail 2.0 litre petrol model more low end grunt, and resulting in a less exhausting drive. The two turbodiesel options are both Renault’s M1D unit with two different levels of tuning. The lower end version is without an intercooler, making 150hp and 320Nm of torque, while the intercooled version makes 173hp and 360Nm of torque. Both the turbodiesel variants make 90% of it’s torque from 1,750rpm. These 4 engine options are mated to a 6-speed transmission by default, however the turbodiesels can be mated to a 6-speed automatic, while the petrol engines get a CVT transmission option.

On the interior, the meter panel has been shifted back to it’s conventional position right in front of the driver, instead of the previous Nissan X-Trail’s centrally-mounted position. The new Nissan X-Trail still carries that serious utilitarian off-roading look to it’s interior – if you want to know what I mean, the best example is the old Pajero’s interior, however in this new generation it is so much more modernized. The center console now hosts a larger navigation screen positioned higher up to be closer to the driver’s eye level, as well as an in-dash CD changer. There’s also a dash-top storage deep enough for a full size tissue box, and a 15.7 litre glovebox.

Now we move on to the storage space. The trunk is now a 603 litre trunk, up from the previous X-Trail’s 410 litres, thanks to the relocation of the rear exhaust muffler position to allow for better interior space. The trunk is of a double deck design, with a sliding drawer under the floor. This can be removed to increase trunk height by 127mm. This large trunk design has allowed X-Trail to add reclining ability to the rear seats, though by not much, only 7 degrees. This enhances rear passenger comfort. The rear seats fold down with a 40:20:40 configuration which has started to be adopted by a few manufacturers lately, and not the conventional old school 60:40 split.

The Nissan X-Trail has been doing really well here in Malaysia, so will Edaran Tan Chong Motor milk it further or bring in this new Nissan X-Trail within reasonable schedule? It’s competitor has already refreshed it’s SUV model – the 3rd generation Honda CR-V.