Nissan X-TRAIL


Blazing the Trail with Nissan’s X

The Nissan X-TRAIL sports utility vehicle (SUV) débuts exciting new technologies and engines in a compact 4x4 that is a fitting celebration of 50 years of Nissan 4x4 production.  It has been designed to appeal to customers who are young or young at heart and who lead an active, outdoor lifestyle.


The X-TRAIL combines the practicality and ease of use of an everyday runabout with abundant all-terrain capability. "There are emotional as well as practical rewards in owning an X-TRAIL", says Nissan – young drivers will appreciate the ‘crossover’ between top-class on-road ride and authentic off-road appeal, both for urban weeklong use and for weekend and holiday trips to the mountains or the beach.


According to Nissan, the “X” in X-TRAIL symbolizes an active, challenging image.  It signifies X-treme sports such as windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and other competitive sports popular among young people.  It also denotes the challenge of undertaking something unknown, as well as the “X” in 4x4. On the other hand, the word “TRAIL” represents a track, a rough road and off road terrain.  The model name was coined by combining these elements to project a 4x4 image.  It also contains the idea of a new four-wheel drive system for reaching a wider variety of favourite outdoor locations.


Among the many new technologies introduced in the X-TRAIL is a sophisticated new  “All Mode” 4x4 system, developed by Nissan to provide secure and relaxed driving under virtually all conditions, with electronics ensuring that optimum drive is instantaneously delivered to each wheel as required.  This is the first electronic four-wheel drive system to be seen in a compact 4x4 and is based on the same system as employed in the legendary Skyline GT-R. Where some lifestyle 4x4s offer automatic four-wheel drive, this is often via a dual pumped system, whereby the slipping of one pair of wheels pumps up the system to bring in the other pair. Naturally, there is a delay of several wheel rotations until this occurs, but Nissan’s All Mode system anticipates loss of traction and the time delay is just a few degrees of a single wheel rotation at most.


Under normal road conditions the system is front-wheel drive, saving on both energy losses and fuel. But as soon as the electronics detect any slippage, drive is apportioned to both axles.


Either 2WD, Lock or Auto 4x4 can be engaged via facia mounted selector buttons. In Auto mode the system will automatically apportion torque to each axle as surface conditions demand. A centre clutch is electronically activated and controlled to ensure the correct percentage of drive is delivered to each axle. If the Lock button is pressed then drive is delivered to both axles via the locked centre clutch in the ratio of 57:43 (front to rear). This is for serious off-road work or for extreme conditions – such as when starting off on a slippery incline or driving through deep mud. The system brings peace of mind under difficult conditions, and will automatically default to Auto once speeds build and the problem recedes.


On the safety front, Nissan claims that  the X-TRAIL has the shortest braking distances in its class due to it's light weight, suspension integrity, and disc brakes on all four wheels. Braking is aided by a four-channel, five-sensor ABS system with Nissan’s version of Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution.  

Extensive computer analysis was utilized in the development of the X-Trails re-enforced monocoque structure resulting in a particularly rigid chassis and passenger cell, carefully engineered to optimize impact safety. Energy absorbing Crush zones work in concert in an impact for the benefit of passenger safety while SRS airbags provide added protection for both front occupants.  Driver and front passenger seatbelts are equipped with pretensioners and load limiters. 


SA buyers have a choice of three engines – theYD22 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, and QR20 2.0-litre petrol and QR25 2.5-litre petrol engines. The torquey diesel is Nissans first to employ Nissan’s common rail technology and achieves its peak output of 84 kW and 270 NM of torque at a mere 2000 rpm. Nissan have opted to mate this motor to a six-speed manual gearbox offering a uniquely broad spread of ratios to meet all conditions within the diesel models relatively narrow power band. The petrol engined derivatives utilize a five-speed gearbox.


The two petrol engines offer passenger car levels of refinement and good levels of both power and torque, both with twin camshafts and 16 valves run via a silent chain and controlled by continuously variable valve timing control (CVTC). The 2-litre (103 kW/192 Nm) comes with a five speed manual only, but the 2,5 (132 kW/245 NM) has the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission. Extensive sound-dampening measures have been employed to keep engine noise where it belongs, reduce road noise and greatly enhance the vehicles on-road comfort levels. 


The youthful and modern interior is spacious and flexible, offering numerous configurations to cater for varying occupant needs and lifestyles. While a ‘skyroof’, the largest sunroof in its class, contributes to a light and fresh interior, heat and ultra-violet reducing glass will keep it cool in our blazing South African summers. 


A novel, centrally mounted  dial arrangement dominates the front fascia. The dials are easy to read and Nissan claims that they require less re-focusing from road to dials than the usual dashboard design. In the front fascia there is also a pair of cup holders which will keep drink cans either warm or cold through the air-conditioning, and there is a large removable centre console between the front seats, all part of the innovative and clever storage solutions.


A choice of two trim levels is available depending upon model. The high-quality interior also features some original materials, with a new type of textured synthetic used for door tops and control panel with brushed aluminium.  In the rear, the complete cargo area – floor, backs of the seats and the sides – is covered in a new dimpled plastic resin material which helps hold luggage and which can be washed out if necessary.  With the reclining rear seats able to fold flat, and the rear seat cushion removable,  the entire rear area is capable of being totally cleared – giving total flexibility for many different load and passenger configurations. Even items like mountain bikes can comfortably be accommodated.


The vehicle is covered by the standard Nissan 3 year/100 000 km general warranty.




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Last changed: September 06, 2007