The New Nissan X-Trail 2017 face lift has arrived

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The Nissan X-Trail SUV benefits from trim and tech updates, now we drive the face lifted model in Cape town, SA for the first time

The Qashqai has been Nissan’s bread-winner in the SUV sector since it launched in 2009, but the X-Trail has also proven an undisputed success for the brand. Last year, more than 19,000 units were sold in SA, with an astounding 766,000 models finding homes globally.

The current third-generation car has been around since 2013. Four years later, Nissan has freshened it up with a facelift. We’ve already put it through its paces on Cape town roads.

Nissan reckons buyers will continue to shun lower-spec models in favour of plusher versions. Cars like ours in flagship Tekna trim are expected to account for 51 per cent of SA sales, with mid-grade N-Connecta cars claiming another 39 per cent.

The 1.6-litre dCi is the cheaper of the two diesel options available in the international market, with a 2.5-litre petrol also available. New engines aren’t part of the updated package, so power, fuel economy and refinement remain as they were before.

There is a sizeable chasm in terms of grunt between the 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel unit, though. The faster 131KW engine also features in the Renault Koleos, and when linked to the optional CVT transmission it’s far smoother and much punchier than the 1.6 dCi thats only currently available in SA, we’re keeping fingers crossed Nissan SA brings in the 2.0-litre diesel unit, but with its diesel requirements of 10 PPM it doesn’t look possible.

 From behind the wheel there are no surprises. The X-Trail has plenty of body roll, while the steering is soft rather than sharp. On the move it’s a comfortable cruiser with a well judged ride, even at low speeds it feels solid and smooth– effortless over bumps and lumps in the road around town. All-wheel-drive cars are capable when confronted with a bit of soft-roading, too, and new features such as an updated hill-start assist system are tailored with muddy stuff in mind.

Nissan has eked out an additional 15 litres of boot space in five-seat models, taking capacity with all the seats in place up to 565 litres.

Inside, the infotainment screen is small with outdated graphics, but it’s slick and responsive. New materials and an updated Sporty steering wheel lift the X-Trail’s interior and give it a sporty hot hatch feel when you get behind it.

Key specs

  • Model: Nissan X-Trail Tekna 1.6 dCi 130 4WD
  • Price: R457 900 @ William Simpson Newlands
  • Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl diesel
  • Power/torque: 96Kws/320Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 11.0 seconds
  • Top speed: 186Km/h
  • Economy/CO2: 52.3mpg/143g/km
  • On sale: Now


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