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Previewed back in December, the new Nissan X-Trail has officially gone on sale – the third-gen iteration of the mid-size SUV was launched a while ago at Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s (ETCM) new Nissan 3S centre in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

The X-Trail – which premiered in Frankfurt in 2013 – makes its local debut in 2.0 litre and 2.5 litre forms, both CKD locally-assembled. The vehicle sits on Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Module Family (CMF) platform, and from a design perspective, is a marked step away from its predecessors’ boxy and conservative shapes.

The base X-Trail is powered by a 2.0 litre mill, and the new Twin CVTC MR20DD direct injection unit is good for 144 PS at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. As for the 2.5 litre, the QR25DE-k2 lump has 171 PS at 6,000 rpm and 233 Nm at 4,000 rpm for output numbers.

The engines are paired with the automaker’s latest Xtronic CVT gearbox with ECO mode and a seven-speed manual mode, a feature absent in both B17 Sylphy and L33 Teana CVT sedans. As for drive configurations, the 2.0 is 2WD or front-wheel drive, while the 2.5 litre model is shod with Nissan’s All Mode Intelligent 4X4-i system.

The latter offers three drive modes – two-wheel drive, Auto Mode (which automatically changes torque distribution between front and rear wheels when driving on paved or slippery roads) and 4WD Lock Mode (50:50) for permanent four-wheel drive. Operation is selectable via a knob on the centre console.

The SUV features an Active Chassis Control package that includes Active Ride Control, Active Engine Brake and Active Trace Control functions. Active Ride Control controls engine torque as well as braking to moderate pitching motion on bumpy roads, while Active Engine Brake tells the Xtronic CVT to add a degree of engine braking when cornering or coming to a stop.

As for Active Trace Control, that automatically applies small amounts of braking to the individual wheels during cornering to reduce understeer – the system engages at any point in the corner, whether at entry, mid-corner or exit. Both variants feature Hill Start Assist (for slopes above 5%), and the 2.5 litre 4WD variant gets Hill Descent Control (only in 4WD Lock mode, speed locked between 4-15 km/h).

The new X-Trail features a 5+2 seating configuration, and the small, contingency third-row seats – which come with three-point seat belts – can of course be flat folded 50:50 into the floor. Folded as such, boot space is 550 litres, and with both third and second-row 60:40 split seats folded flat, cargo carrying space increases to 1,520 litres. A compartment under the boot floor keeps the tonneau cover in place when needed.

In terms of equipment, the 2.0 2WD gets daytime running lights, automatic (halogen) headlamps, keyless entry with push start ignition and dual-zone climate control (with rear vents). There’s also an Advance Drive Assist Display (five-inch colour display, between the dials), steering buttons, leather steering/shift knob, cruise control as well as Nissan’s Around View Monitor and a reverse camera.

The 2.5 4WD has all the above, and adds on LED headlamps, leather seats, a 10-way powered driver’s seat and four-way powered passenger seat as well as auto wipers. The variant also features a different panel finishing (in fake carbon fibre, while the 2.0 2WD has silver/grey trim).

As for safety kit, both variants are equipped with dual-airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Hill Start Assist and Isofix on top of the Active Chassis Control components mentioned above. Both X-Trail versions get identical 17-inch wheels and 225/65 rubber, meaning that the only way to differentiate them externally is via the headlamps (halogen vs LED).

Five colours are available, these being Tungsten Silver, Titanium Olive, Graphite Blue, Brilliant White and Diamond Black. Finally, pricing – the new Nissan X-Trail is priced at RM142,800 for the 2.0L 2WD and RM165,800 for the 2.5L 4WD (on-the-road, with insurance). An optional TCAT Multimedia Navigation unit can be had for RM3,800. The X-Trail comes with a three-year or 100,000 km warranty (whichever comes first) as well as free three-year maintenance service.