Nissan X-Trail Malaysia 7

The new Nissan X-Trail will be open for booking in Malaysia tomorrow. The mid-size SUV, which will take on class favourites Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, will be available with two engines – 2.0 and 2.5 – and with estimated prices starting from below RM150k for the 2.0 and below RM170k for the bigger engine.

Readers of this website should be fairly familiar with the third-gen X-Trail – we covered the SUV live from motor shows in Tokyo, Jakarta and most recently Bangkok. Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) revealed back in August that the X-Trail will be unveiled at the end of the year in CKD locally assembled form, and that has now come true.

Underpinned by the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Module Family (CMF) platform, the new X-Trail ditches the previous two generations’ boxy shape and tough image for a curvy crossover form that’s more in line with the mainstream. First shown to the world at Frankfurt 2013, the production design doesn’t stray far from 2012’s Hi-Cross Concept.

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This time, the X-Trail is a 5+2 seater, and those two emergency seats could prove valuable in its fight against the Honda and Mazda here. The small seats, which come with three-point seat belts, can be flat folded 50:50 into the floor. When they’re needed, there’s a compartment under the boot floor to keep the tonneau cover in place. With the third row folded, boot space is 550 litres. Fold the (60:40) second row and you get 1,520 L.

The 2.0 litre engine is a new direct injection unit with 144 PS and 200 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. The Twin CVTC MR20DD unit is paired to the latest Xtronic CVT gearbox with ECO mode and a seven-speed manual mode, a feature that’s absent in both Sylphy and Teana CVT sedans. The QR25DE-k2 2.5 litre engine puts out 171 PS and 233 Nm at 4,000 rpm, and uses the same gearbox.

The 2.0 is 2WD (FWD) while the 2.5 comes with Nissan’s All Mode 4X4-i system. In the latter, a knob on the centre console allows the driver to select between 2WD, Auto (on demand) and 4WD Lock (50:50) for off-roading. The 2.0 gets an extra cubby in that place. In Auto mode, Yaw Moment Feedback Control improves handling by distributing torque to the rear wheels according to steering and accelerator positions.

Nissan X-Trail Malaysia 40

The SUV also gets an Active Chassis Control package that includes Active Ride Control, Active Engine Brake and Active Trace Control functions, on top of more common Hill Start Assist (for slopes above 5%) and Hill Descent Control (only in 4WD Lock mode, speed locked between 4-15 km/h). No new components needed – all the above are manipulated by the engine, CVT and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) modules.

In Active Ride Control, engine torque is varied slightly according to the bumps on the road surface (plus small amounts of braking) to reduce pitching movement. Active Engine Brake tells the Xtronic CVT to add a degree of engine braking when cornering or coming to a stop. Active Trace Control brakes individual wheels during cornering to cut understeer. It will engage at any point in the corner, whether at entry, mid-corner or exit.

We finally come to equipment. The 2.0 2WD is pretty well kitted, with DRLs, automatic (halogen) headlamps, keyless entry with push start button, Advance Drive Assist Display (five-inch colour display between the dials), cruise control, steering buttons, leather steering/shift knob, and Nissan’s Around View Monitor + reverse camera to greatly assist parking.

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The 2.5 4WD gets all of that plus LED headlamps, auto wipers, leather seats, a 10-way powered driver’s seat (including lumbar), four-way powered passenger seat and different trim.

Safety wise, both models get dual-airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Hill Start Assist, Isofix and the Active Chassis Control suite detailed above. Hill Descent Control is only for the 2.5 4WD. Both roll on identical 17-inch wheels and 225/65 rubber so the only external way to tell them apart is from the headlamps – halogen vs LED.

Five colours are available – Brilliant White, Tungsten Silver, Diamond Black, Graphite Blue and Titanium Olive. To recap, the 2.0 will start from below RM150k and the 2.5, below RM170k.