By Gerry Murphy
This week’s test drive proved to be more straight-forward than most, simply because the Nissan X-Trail is such competent all-rounder. It does everything that it promises, and is surprisingly agile, yet it is a sophisticated 4×4 with all the attributes needed for the horrible weather we have been having over the last week or so.
This car has been upgraded in the last couple of months with new trim levels and a number of changes to the engine line-up and to the level of specification. Nissan say that this has all been done as a result of extensive consultation with their customers.
Nissan Ireland has added a new 2.0-litre 177PS diesel engine, broadening the range to meet the needs of consumers who require a higher-output powertrain. Also, for the first time in Ireland, the X-Trail is now available with a 1.6-litre 163PS petrol engine.
I have been testing the new diesel version with a CVT automatic gearbox and despite everything that the weather could throw at it, it just batted away the elements and never gave a moment’s concern over seven days and 1,200 kilometres.
In some ways, it is a car of contrasts. There is a wholesome honesty about how it goes about its work. For a car that is substantial in size and has the height that drivers now like, it is exceptionally stable while being quite agile at the same time. That agility makes it less cumbersome around town, while the stability comes to the fore on the open road and on the motorway. That’s a mix that is not always apparent in cars like the X-Trail.
Under the bonnet, the 2.0-litre 177ps engine offers all the power that the regular driver will need. There’s no point trying to throw this car around the place like a boy racer because it is not built for that, and shouldn’t worry the target audience. It is not the quietest diesel engine around when cold, but that rattle doesn’t linger once it is warmed up.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.