Same-again styling hides new platform, new engines
7 March 2007

Nissan revealed a longer and roomier X-Trail at Geneva, though if it hadn't been for the fanfare of the launch, we would never have guessed - it looks like a subtle facelift of the old X-Trail.

Refreshed from the ground up, the new X-Trail uses a variant of Nissan-Renault’s C-platform, also the basis for the Qashqai soft-roader. Nissan wants the X-Trail to take the fight to the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

The X-Trail was designed in Japan by the same team behind the Pathfinder, though with some of the squarer edges softened slightly.

“We have kept the family feel and modernised and updated the overall feeling of the styling,” said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s global design chief. It can't have taken them long.

Engines will be new, too, featuring 140bhp 2.0 and 160bhp 2.5-litre petrols and a choice of 2.0-litre Renault diesels, one with 150bhp and another with 173bhp.

Transmissions will be a choice between a six-speed manual and CVT automatic, or a six-speed auto for the 173bhp diesel.

Both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions will be offered, the latter using Nisssan’s new I-Mode system, allowing drivers to manually select front-drive only, infinitely variable and fixed 50:50 split.

Inside, the 180mm-longer 4.63m X-Trail features extra rear-seat legroom and a much-expanded boot with 600-litre capacity – about the same as a VW Passat estate.

Despite a higher-quality interior and more room, prices are tipped to rise just one to two per cent, meaning it should cost from just over £17,000 when it goes on sale in the UK this August.

Julian Rendell

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