The new Nissan X-Trail will be coming to Malaysia by the end of the year, Malaysian Nissan distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor revealed to the media at its Raya open house today. The SUV will be locally-assembled by ETCM.

The 2014 Nissan X-Trail made its global debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show with a more sophisticated design compared to its boxy predecessors. It is built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s new Common Module Family (CMF) platform, with a 2,705 mm wheelbase.

Aesthetic details include Nissan’s new V-Motion face, C-shaped tail lamps, LED daytime running lights, rear doors that open to almost 90 degrees to ease entry, and a stylish D-pillar kink. Nissan will also offer LED headlamps on higher trim levels.

Top: X-Trail 5-seater, bottom: X-Trail 7-seater

Unlike the previous generations that were strictly five seaters, the new X-Trail is available in both five-seater and seven-seater variants, with no increase in wheelbase for the three-row version. We don’t know for now which variant will be available in Malaysia, but in markets like Australia, both seating configurations are available.

Since the X-Trail isn’t available in ASEAN yet, we can only look Down Under for reference. Two engine options are on offer in Australia – a 2.0 litre MR20DD and a 2.5 litre QR25DE, both four-cylinder units. The latter is also found in our Nissan Teana 2.5 but with slightly different output numbers – 169 hp at 6,000 rpm and 226 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm.

The 2.0 litre is not the same engine as the one in the Teana 2.0. It has direct-injection, so it has more in common to the unit found in the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid. Output is 142 hp at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,400 rpm. A six-speed manual is available for the 2.0 2WD, but every other Aussie variant uses an Xtronic CVT gearbox with a six-speed manual mode.

Other features include a five-inch colour TFT MID positioned in the middle of the instrument cluster, a NissanConnect seven-inch colour touchscreen navigation and infotainment system, a powered tailgate, and a two-tier cargo area that can hold up to 10 kg top and 75 kg bottom.

Tech features include Active Ride Control, Active Engine Brake and Active Trace Control. Active Ride Control detects extreme road surface undulations and alters the damping to compensate. Active Engine Brake tells the Xtronic CVT to add a degree of engine braking when cornering or coming to a stop. Active Trace Control (also found on the new Teana) brakes individual wheels during hard cornering to minimise understeer.

On 4WD variants, the electronic four-wheel drive system offers 2WD, Auto or Lock modes, selectable through a dial on the centre console. Uphill Start Support and Advance Hill Descent Control are also on the menu.

We’ll be back with more info on the Malaysian spec X-Trail as soon as we have it. See the videos and pics below and tell us what you think. Good alternative to the popular Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 duo?