Nissan X-TRAIL
Nissan X-TRAIL

Nissan have changed the new X-TRAIL but not a great deal. Before getting to work, the company asked its existing customers what they would change. Most of them came back with, ‘nothing at all’, but staying the same is not how models progress to take account of new trends, technologies and regulations.

So, it’s the same but different. Nissan tells us that this compact SUV is now built on the same platform as the QASHQAI and, although every panel has been changed, the robust, squared-off shape has been retained. So it is still easy for nervous parkers to see the corners.

As is usually the case, the new model is larger than its predecessor, but not by much. The wheelbase is only 5mm longer but the overall body length has increased by 175mm; it is wider by 20mm and 10mm taller. Although this makes the cabin more spacious, most of the extra body-length is taken up by the boot area, which is said to offer ‘best-in-class’ capacity.

The increased load-lugging has also been helped by moving the exhaust silencer to alongside the spare-wheel well, which is full size as a tyre-fix kit or space-saver spare are not considered suitable for an off-road vehicle. With the load floor now dropped lower, there are some 603-litres available with the seats in place, measured to the window line, and that’s an increase of 193-litres over the old model.

The TREK version still retains the 60:40 split to the rear seats while the others now have 40:20:40 split and fold function, increasing the possible capacity to a maximum of 1,773-litres. But that is not all, Nissan have come up with a clever storage solution to make the best use of space. It comes in the form of a double floor with a sliding drawer unit underneath so you can hide cameras and laptops out of sight. The drawer takes up half the width of the boot and has moveable partitions to keep things in place. On the other side of the luggage area, the hidden compartment is large enough to take two briefcases.

The floor above is hinged midway for easy access to the lower portion but can tend to rattle a little. Made from tough plastic, the false floor is light enough to be easily removed when not required. Customers said that they preferred an easy-clean surface to carpet so that they could carry pets or sports equipment with worrying about the mess. Even better, is that the floor system is a standard feature and not an optional extra.

Published : 12/05/08 Author : Melanie Carter

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