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