The all-new 2014 Nissan X-Trail is a fresh approach to the popular X-Trail SUV that was first introduced in 2001. Adopting a design that bears resemblance to its bigger sibling, the Nissan Pathfinder, it looks modern and feels bigger than before.
Available in three models, the ST, ST-L, and Ti, there is a great deal of flexibility depending on your needs as an individual, couple or family. There are both 2WD and 4WD options, and you can opt for 7 seats in the 2WD models. This is a first for the X-Trail.
In the entry-level ST six-speed manual, there is a new 106kW/200Nm 2.0litre petrol engine that delivers smooth power through the front wheels. In all other models, Nissan have paired their latest CVT transmission to their proven 126kW/226Nm 2.5litre petrol engine.
Nissan have included a well thought out standard equipment list for the entry-level ST 2WD. 17inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and push button start, Bluetooth phone and audio playback, plus a rear view camera are standard.
Other safety features across the entire X-Trail range include stability control, Active Traction Control – which aids in cornering, Active Ride Control, hill start assist and six airbags.
Pricing for the entry-level ST 2WD X-Trail starts from the low $30,000 drive away mark and works its way to the top of the range Ti 4WD is just below $50,000 drive away.
It presents some great value for its size, but can it compose itself on the road? Let’s find out!
The new design from Nissan for the third generation X-Trail brings this SUV into the 21st Century. It looks like a modern car that also now shares the same design language as its siblings.
Immediately you notice the larger dimensions of the new model compared to the outgoing generation. The roofline is nice and high, however you won’t need a side step to get in and out of with the seat height matching most people’s hip levels.
On the inside, the high roofline is translated into a supreme amount of headroom making the cabin feel brilliantly airy and open. If you’re over 6feet tall you won’t have any problems with the roof ruining your hair.
The updated dash layout is simple to read both during the daylight and nighttime hours. Even with a smaller than usual infotainment screen, you have access to all the info you need within easy reach.
Embarking on a 500km trip in the X-Trail is quite simple. Jump in and get going.
Whilst there isn’t any degree of sporting prowess or super luxury comfort, the X-Trail is superbly good at being comfortable for a road trip consisting of highway driving, rural roads and a mountain pass during a heavy storm.
All passengers have a comfortable position and great visibility in the cabin with the second row of seats being slightly elevated above the driver and front passenger.
The driving assistance systems, even in our ST 2WD model made tight bends easily, and the Active Ride Control reduced the ‘head wobble’ effect. That feature should help those who get motion sickness, making everyone happier on a road trip.
As for fuel economy, Nissan state that the ST 2WD manual should achieve 8.2 litres per 100km and the other models should achieve 7.9litres per 100km. During our test, we managed to record a 7.4litre per 100km average for the entire trip in our ST 2WD CVT.
In parking situations, the electric power steering makes navigating tight spaces easy. The steering is light and comfortable in the hands.
For a lot of small families, the X-Trail has proven itself to be a very capable SUV as it is larger than most of its similarly priced competitors.
In this generation X-Trail, Nissan has incorporated a new storage system called Divide-N-Hide. This allows 18 different ways to organise the storage compartment. We found it to be handy when needing to store a multitude of different items at once, including wet clothes or towels from your visit to the beach in the afternoon, and the pram you just bought.
The optional 7 seats is a great way to add temporary capacity for younger family members or friends on a whim too. Unfortunately, the 3rd row won’t be quite suited for adults though.
Whilst plastic interiors are usually looked down upon, in the X-Trail they mean that they’ll handle quite the treatment from kids and their food, drinks, mud and everything else.
The all-new 2014 Nissan X-Trail positions itself quite competitively with its drive away pricing. Especially with the size and great looks, it will be hard not to like.
With a strong spread of models and variants within the X-Trail line-up, you will be able to find the right one for your budget. Even if it is the entry-level ST 2WD, you walk away with a reasonably well-optioned SUV.
Just like every other new Nissan vehicle, you have the inclusion of a 3 Year/100,00km warranty and capped price servicing right up to the 6th year or 120,000km of ownership.
If you want a good looking SUV with a strong history of reliability and all-round performance, the all-new 2014 Nissan X-Trail is a very good consideration.
It does what it sets out to do in a very composed and responsible fashion, and whether you are carrying cargo like kids or family members, this is exactly what you want.
Combine that with a modest asking price and a strong capped price servicing program, and you have a SUV that will keep rewarding you with years of happy motoring adventures.
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