2015 Nissan X-Trail | First Drive
* Priced well, the 2015 X-Trail is likely to give Koreans a run for their money
* Adequately equipped even in standard guise
* Comfortable and well appointed passenger cabin with lots of space, as long as you don't go in the third row of seats
* Pricey on the top end, but then it comes loaded with all possible gadgets - still, would you pay AED 120,000 for it?
* CVT drone seeps through the cabin under heavy acceleration.
* Felt out of breath when pushed on uphill roads of Oman
* Designed for comfort, expect no sportiness in terms of drive and handling
* 7 seat option is a joke. Nissan should keep it simple - 5 seats.
First sighted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 2015 Nissan X-Trail gets a bit of everything from Nissan’s crossover stable, namely – the Qashqai, Juke and Murano. The concoction materializes in an all-new X-Trail that is longer, taller and wider than its predecessors.
Thankfully, the 2015 Nissan X-Trail is not as boxy as the car it replaces and neither does it feature an instrument cluster in the center of the dashboard. Modern but conservative in its appearance, the new X Trail wears sharp LED lights with DRLs, boomerang style rear lamps as seen on the Nissan 370Z, 18 inch alloys, adequate chrome and what we saw as an ugly nose, stylistically at least.
Inside, it is evident that the Japanese crossover has upped its game drastically. While the previous generation X-Trail was a plastic haven, the 2015 X-Trail comes with duel tone interior adorning a cabin that feels fresh and vibrant.
Comfort in the first and second rows of seats is unquestionable. Nissan has setup this crossover in what it likes to call ‘theater-style’ seating arrangement. Basically, each row of seats is placed slightly higher than the row in front. Thereby allowing for better visibility for the occupants.
The disappointment lays in the third row however. We fail to understand Nissan’s obsession for having three rows in a crossover primarily designed for two rows. The third row is at best useful for small pets. When used, it eats into the cargo space and renders the boot somewhat useless. Cargo space is a pitiful 266 liters with third row in use. Stow them away and you can comfortably carry five individuals and 1,112 liters of cargo; now that’s more like it!
The X-Trail is exceptionally well equipped and is packed with features that can be divided into two broad categories; driver aid and convenience features. While the former brings a Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning and a Moving Object Detection system, the latter is more concerned with delivering comfort to all occupants of the 2015 Nissan X-Trail.
Hear this out – ventilated seats, ventilated cup holders, power lift gate, panoramic roof, six different types of parking assist indicators, tire pressure monitoring system and the list goes one. Still wondering justification for AED 120,000 price tag for the top line X-Trail?
What’s more impressive is the fact that the most basic of variants is bestowed with Daytime Running Lights, Bluetooth connectivity, USB / AUX ports, Push button start and a Cruise Control system.
Under the skin sits a 2.5 litre inline 4-cylinder petrol engine that puts out 170 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 233 Nm of torque at 4,000 RPM. Nissan’s much dreaded continuously variable transmission (CVT) is given the responsibility to transfer the power to the wheels. Though the engine is a tried and tested unit from Nissan Altima, the CVT does not do justice with its power delivery abilities.
Multiple drive options, controlled via a rotary knob on the center console, are offered. The 2015 Nissan X-Trail features a 2WD mode for urban cruising, a 4WD mode for when a little more grip is required and a 4WD lock mode for when faced with slightly trickier terrain. The CVT performed adequately on city roads but failed to delivery anything close to impressive on mountainous roads surrounding Salalah in Oman, where team AutoMiddleEast tested the new X-Trail.
Active Ride Control and Active Engine Braking are two world first technologies on the 2015 X-Trail. Active Trace Control is the final component in its trilogy of chassis control technologies. What are they supposed to do and how does that benefit you? Well, a set of sensors constantly monitor the road surface and your driving style. The aim is to enhance driving experience by improve braking and cornering abilities. Do they do their job? Yes, not in any Earth shattering way, but the X-Trail does feel smoother, sure footed and goes around the corners more predictably.
The 2015 Nissan X-Trail offers more room inside than any of its competitors. However, Nissan should have stayed true to its core, that of a 5 seat crossover. The 7 seat claim is a tall one, one that does not deliver to its promise.
A big step away from its boxy past, the 2015 X-Trail is in all regards an all new vehicle. At the price point, this is a compelling car to look at. If you are in the market for a city runner with a bit of style, lot of comfort and friendly gadgets; look at this one.That said, the set off is lack of sportiness.