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NISSAN X-TRAIL: BLAZE OF GLORY

NissanXtrailcoverNissan is the manufacturer of the Nissan Patrol, probably one of the manliest and most rugged vehicles that you will find on the roads of Nepal. It is a massive,no nonsense behemoth that has imposed its presence on our roads for decades. And it’s not all show either, it has the capability to scale hills and conquer terrains most of today’s vehicles would dread. The Nissan X-Trail comes from the same family and has proven in the past to be a very good vehicle. When it first made an appearance in our market, people responded well to it. It was a great car for a family which was as good to drive as it was good looking. However, it still wasn’t going to win any beauty pageants as it was a boxy design with bug eyes that required some getting used to.

However, the new X-Trail is a different story. It is a beautifully made design that turns heads, to say the least. We don’t get as many new Nissan offerings as we like, but the new X-Trail seemed to make up for the lack of offerings. It is set to strut into contention as Nepal’s compact SUV of the year, and we gave it a little go around to see if it was as good as it looked.

EXTERIORS

Despite being one of the smaller SUVs, it commands a road presence that few
other vehicles can imitate. Like we mentioned earlier, the new Nissan X-Trail has moved away from the conventional boxy SUV design and utilitarian feel. Instead, it continues Nissan’s strong run of recent form in building family-friendly crossovers. Hence, all the design elements of the car help disguise the size of the SUV giving it a more car like appearance. In fact the new X-Trail is a full 150mm longer than before, and it is wider and taller.

Nissanxtrailnepal5It no longer sports the bug like headlights of its predecessors and it has new LED ones that have been well integrated to the curves and dips of the new design which also feature daylight running lights. It flanks a relatively slim dark grille which integrates a V shaped chrome strip where the Nissan badge settles in the center. Slight curves span out from the chrome belt and into the bonnet providing a good transition into the rest of the body.

There is also a bumper grille which gets chrome accents. Projector lamps have been placed on either sides of the bottom bumper. It does not have prominent shoulder lines but that does not seem to hamper the design of the side profile in any way. The bottom cladding and roof rails don’t appear to be just aesthetics and look to provide some proper utility; the 18 inch alloys add to the effect. Indicators have been merged into the side mirrors.Nissanxtrailnepal9At the back, the simple designing has been very well executed. The body shape slopes well through the c pillar into a well curved rear which once again divulges from its previous boxy design. Indicators have been combined into the wraparound taillights. The rear mirror is large and has a spoiler that does not stick right up like in the previous versions.

Nissanxtrailnepal6

INTERIORS & FEATURES

The X-Trail is a seven seater with an option of two fold-out seats in the boot. Although you will have to clamber over the folded middle seats to access it and it is pretty cramped when you get seated, they are extra seats, and this is good news for large families who want a car that can accommodate them.nissanxtrail10With the X-Trail, you get big, soft seats that feel very welcoming to sit in, while offering plenty of support. There’s also lots of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel, which makes it easy to find a position you like. Like the exterior, the interior is also aesthetically appealing. The dashboard is very well designed with easy to understand dials.nissanxtrailnepalintThere is a premium appeal to the SUV and that is partly due to the chockfull of features it is equipped with. You get a panoramic sun roof, auto headlamps and wipers, auto-dipping lights and Nissan Connect seven-inch touchscreen system with DAB and a reversing camera. These are of course additional to the regulars like cruise control, aircon and Bluetooth connectivity. The touchscreen gets ‘Around View Monitor’ camera system which uses cameras in the nose, tailgate and both door mirrors to create a birds-eye view of the X-Trail.

The X-Trail ranks high on the safety front as well. This includes the liberal usage of high-strength steel in the bodyshell, plus the Nissan ‘Safety Shield’, which incorporates emergency city braking and lane- departure warning systems.

PERFORMANCE

The Nissan engines have a created a good name for themselves and it isn’t any different with the Nissan X-Trail. What you get here is a 2.0L diesel engine with a Next generation Xtronic continuously variable transmission with manual mode. This engine churns out a healthy max power of 142bhp. The drivability, hand to heart, is one of the best amongst its class. We’ll even go as far as to compare it to the GLA. It is probably one of the easiest cars in its class to control. The steering wheel twirls lightly in your hands and the pedals are all nicely weighted. It feels smaller and lighter than you might expect given its size. So, in the city it is a splendid experience when you drive the X-Trail.Nissanxtrailnepal3There are three new technologies that make it to the X-Trail. They are the active ride control (terrain adaptive suspension), active engine braking and active trace control. The active trace control individually applies variable braking pressure to the four wheels of the X-Trail based on a host of sensor inputs such as steering angle, speed, throttle opening and brake pressure. This system’s main purpose is to reduce under steer and make cornering on slippery roads safer.Nissanxtrailnepal2Now, because it looks so good you would be reluctant to take it through rugged trails and broken roads, in which case you would be missing out. Despite looking like an urban crossover, it has the SUV genes. Gunning a beautiful machine like the Nissan X-Trail over rocks and dirt might put you in a predicament, but keep faith in the Nissan and it will munch through that dirt like a mighty stallion. The suspension is supple and will take the bumps and jolt at stride. Engage 4×4 and you will be able to tackle the difficult terrain ahead of you.

VERDICT

Nissan is one of the best known automobile marquees in the business for a reason.Although we don’t get as many of the new cars from the roster as we’d like,
it is still a force to be reckoned with in the Nepali market. And with the likes of cars such as the new X-Trail, there is small wonder as to why it is so.Nissanxtrailnepal4The X-Trail is a beautiful mid size SUV which will demand attention on the roads. It is a spacious vehicle which is a desired trait in an SUV, but it is also a capable machine. Road handling is amazing which really ups the driving experience and the plethora of features and equipments add to the premium feel of the vehicle.Nissanxtrailnepal7Now all of this does come at a price, and it isn’t a small one. However, for what
 it does provide you’d be hard pressed to find another vehicle in the market that can do it for cheaper whilst brandishing a name plate as loved as the Nissan.

For specifications & pricing, click here

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