THE POWER TO PLEASE AT A GLANCE
- Wider engine choice with two petrol and two diesel offerings
- New 150PS and 173 PS 2.0-litre dCi turbo diesel engines – both offer improved economy and lower emissions than previous diesel
- New 141 PS 2.0-litre and extensively revised 169 PS 2.5-litre petrol engines
- Both diesels with DPF as standard
- Six-speed manual transmissions standard
- Automatic diesel option for the first time
- CVT on 2.5-litre petrol engine
Engine choice is a key feature of the new X-TRAIL with four power units – two diesel and two petrol – available. All are state of the art units offering the ideal blend of performance and efficiency. Three of the engines are new, while the fourth has been revised and improved.
The original X-TRAIL only offered one diesel engine, but with the majority share of sales in the sector now diesel-powered (over 60 per cent across Europe, and 84 per cent of UK X-TRAIL sales), customers now have a choice of two engines, one of which can be matched to an automatic transmission for the first time to give Nissan a further edge in a highly competitive market.
Known internally as M1D, the basis for both diesel X-TRAIL models is a common rail direct injection turbocharged 2.0-litre, 16-valve four-cylinder unit. The engine, which displaces 1995cc, has been jointly developed with Alliance partner Renault. For X-TRAIL it is available in two levels of tune, the entry-level version developing 150PS at 4000rpm, which increases to 173PS at 3750rpm in high-output form.
PRODIGIOUS LEVELS OF TORQUE
The engine also develops prodigious levels of engine torque – 320Nm and 360Nm respectively. These peak outputs are produced at a low 2000rpm with 90 per cent available from as little as 1750rpm.
This brand new engine is fitted with a Bosch piezoelectric-controlled injection system, technology which gives fast and very precise fuel flow control allowing a ‘five squirt’ injection cycle with two pre-squirts, one main squirt and two post-squirts.
The pre-squirts improve engine acoustics by minimising the characteristic diesel clatter. The post-squirts sustain the main injection combustion, to burn off soot and reduce pollutant emissions before the exhaust gases have even left the combustion chamber.
Intake and exhaust ducts sit face-to-face across the cylinder head, with each camshaft operating intake and exhaust valves. This configuration improves cylinder filling and exhaust gas evacuation. The difference in angle between intake and exhaust ducts produces a dual swirl effect, for improved air-fuel mixing.
EURO 4 COMPLIANT
Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) produces a controlled temperature rise in the combustion chamber to reduce pollutant emission levels (NOx) and thus enhance the engine’s overall environmental performance, ensuring it complies with Euro 4 legislation. The 150 PS version produces just 190g/km of CO2 (automatic 216 g/km) while, despite the extra power, the intercooled version is only slightly higher at 198 g/km.
Both versions of the 2.0 dCi engine come as standard with a self-regenerating diesel particulate filter. When the filter becomes full, the engine runs a regeneration cycle, performing a second post-injection phase to deliberately overheat the exhaust gas, oxidising the soot in the filter and thus freeing up the device’s capacity.
Acoustics and general refinement were two priorities when engineering the new engine. The bottom end has an aluminium bedplate and is designed for higher efficiency and improved absorption of vibrations. Twin counter-rotating balancer shafts cancel crankshaft vibration, making a major contribution to refinement.
Top speeds are 117 mph and 124 mph, with 0-62 mph acceleration taking 11.2 secs and 10 secs respectively. Combined fuel consumption for the 150 PS engine is 39.8mpg, for the 173 PS version 38.2 mpg. (Equivalent figures for the lower powered diesel with automatic transmission are 112 mph, 12.5 secs and 34.9 mpg.) Maintenance requirements for this engine are low, with service intervals of 12,500 miles.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard on both versions, though the 150 PS model is optionally available with a new six-speed automatic. It’s the first time a diesel X-TRAIL has been available in automatic form and gives the model a further edge over rivals.
The demand for compact SUVs equipped with an automatic gearbox is growing, a consequence of the move by customers from the D-segment where automatics are more commonly found.
The entry-level 2.0-litre petrol unit is a new compact and lightweight engine developed by Nissan. Originally seen in the Japanese market Lafesta model, it made its recent European debut in QASHQAI. An all-aluminium 16 valve twin cam design, it displaces 1997cc and develops 141PS at 6000rpm and 196Nm of torque at 4800rpm. Some 90 per cent of that torque is available from 2000rpm providing the accelerative ‘punch’ more usually expected in larger engines.
Among its key design features is a reduction in internal friction. Mirror-like finishing is applied to the surfaces of both the crankshaft pin and cam lobe journals while a new machining method is used to ensure truly circular bores. This procedure is common practice in the machining of racing engines but is seldom used in volume production engines.
Top speed is 114 mph with 0-62 mph taking 11.1 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is 32.5mpg.
The final engine is a familiar Nissan power plant that also served in the original X-TRAIL, but which has been further improved for its new application. A member of Nissan’s QR range of engines, the four-cylinder unit displaces 2488cc and now develops 169PS at 6000 rpm and 233Nm of torque at 4400rpm, increases of 4PS and 3Nm respectively.
With twin overhead camshafts, 16 valves and CVTC (Continuous Valve Timing Control) its best-in-class low- to mid-range torque figures mean the engine has proven extremely popular for towing.
The engine has been designed not just for strong performance but also for excellent refinement with potential vibrations minimised by the adoption of twin chain-driven counter-rotating balancer shafts.
Low friction materials are used wherever possible. The aluminium block has a ladder-frame construction, which improves strength while also reducing weight and resonance. Further weight reduction is achieved by the adoption of a resin intake manifold.
The improvements in power and torque have raised top speed to 120mph while 0-62 mph has been reduced to 9.8secs. Its combined fuel consumption figure is 29.4mpg.
Both petrol-engined versions of X-TRAIL come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but the 2.5 litre unit is also available with a refined continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with manual over-ride.
Both petrol and diesel engines share the same six-speed manual gearbox, a change from the previous X-TRAIL where the 2.0-litre petrol was only available with a 5-speed gearbox.
The wider range of ratios and reduced friction boost fuel efficiency. Improvements have also been made for diagonal shifts, from 2nd to 3rd gear for example, and from 4th to 5th, thanks to the adoption of a shift guiding plate. The gearbox is 30% quieter than its application on the previous X-TRAIL thanks to a new design of gear shape and improved surface finishing.
AUTOMATIC GEARBOX ON 150 PS DIESEL ENGINE
A six-speed automatic gearbox can be paired for the first time with a diesel engine on X-TRAIL. Acceleration is responsive thanks to a short first gear, but not at the expense of fuel efficiency which is maintained by a long sixth gear. Gear changes are smooth thanks to the adaptive characteristics of the gearbox which are based on driving style, road-type and the driver’s inputs. Refinement is maximised thanks to a damper on the hydraulic converter.
CVT ADVANTAGES ON 2.5 LITRE PETROL ENGINE
CVT is a computer-controlled ‘stepless’ transmission providing a virtually limitless number of ratios, ensuring the engine is always working as efficiently as possible. The result is smoother acceleration, better fuel economy and lower emissions. Indeed, the combined fuel consumption figure for the CVT-equipped 2.5-litre petrol is 30.4 mpg compared with the 29.4 mpg of the manual version.
For a more sporty drive, there is a manual override. Operated via the central gear stick, six set ratios can be accessed manually by nudging the lever forward or back.