Nissan finally gave its mid-sized crossover SUV offering a mid-life refresh, and featured here is the brand new hybrid petrol-electric flagship in the range. Having sampled it on an overnight road trip to the Belum Rainforest in Perak recently, things aren’t looking too bad with this re-charged re-fresh of sorts.
Typically, a mild nip-tuck comes as part of any mid-cycle update. Key amongst which in this new flagship Hybrid is the redesigned grille up front, flanked by a set of new all-LED-powered headlights with a striking new LED DRL design. At the back, little has changed apart from the redesigned taillights.
Climb into the cabin and things haven’t strayed far from before here too, apart from the new gloss-finished carbon effect door trims and the updated infotainment touchscreen. In the case of this new Hybrid variant though, the key difference lie in its strict five-seat layout instead of the usual 5+2 setup seen in its non-hybrid siblings.
Naturally, this variant’s integration of an electric motor and a 0.9kWh lithium ion battery pack does see it lose its third row seats. Fret not though as boot space hasn’t reduced much, so this crossover SUV remains as practical as ever. Of course, the electrification does see it drive a little differently, but in a good way somewhat.
The electric drive system is integrated with a new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol unit primed with direct injection, delivering a combined output of 179hp. For those curious, Nissan were coy about the combined torque figures, but just know that the electric system alone delivers nearly 40hp and 160Nm to assist the petrol mill.
Said outputs go on to power the fronts wheels exclusively through a 7-speed CVT automatic box that’s also brimmed with something Nissan calls an Intelligent Dual Clutch Control.
It’s a little tricky to explain how all this works, but we’ll get straight to the point and tell you it does, and it grants this hybrid an arguably smoother delivery too. For those still curious how Nissan crammed both a dual-clutch system and CVT together as one, perhaps this video will help.
The result of this electrification sees this flagship X-Trail able to perform limited full electric drives, especially during slow crawls up to about 40kph. It also provides additional torque boost for when you floor the pedal, but we know it’s the claimed 6.2 litres/100km fuel economy figure that will impress many prospects.
You’ll need to drive conservatively in Eco mode to meet those figures, but you’ll also get to bask in the cabin’s improved noise suppression whilst you’re at it. Adding to this is the retuned suspension and dampers, with this Hybrid variant riding noticeably softer and more comfortably than its petrol-powered siblings.
Are there any other neat party tricks? Definitely. This being the new flagship in its range, Nissan have endowed it with all the bell and whistles needed to keep it on par with its rivals. New here are things like adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and blind-spot warnings, as well as autonomous emergency braking amongst many.
On top of that comes the revised infotainment unit that now boasts both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as a nifty 360-degree parking camera view with rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA). By the way, Nissan have added a powered tailgate feature too, thus boosting this crossover’s convenience further.
Overall, this new and electrified X-Trail’s package is far from dismal to say the least. It’s still off the mark from rivals like the CR-V or even the CX-5 in terms of space utilisation and driving dynamics respectively, but we reckon there’s enough on board to make this a rather sane and very comfortable family mover.
Being the sole hybrid offering in this segment does have its perks too, with this flagship benefitting with a slightly more affordable price tag than the rivaling Honda and Mazda flagships thanks to the government’s incentives for locally built energy efficient vehicles – or EEVs.
There’s even a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty included for added peace of mind as well.
Prefer Petrol Instead?
For those not keen on the hybrid, fret not as Nissan have also revamped the petrol-powered X-Trail variants with much of same magic seen in the electrified flagship.
Much of what’s new in the Hybrid can be found in the X-Trail 2.5 AWD variant too, which we got to sample side-by-side with the hybrid. Mechanically, this offering remains unchanged from before, so you still get the same peppy 2.5-litre 4-cylinder heart paired with a 7-speed CVT automatic and all-wheel-drive (AWD).
Crucially, Nissan have endowed the highest-spec petrol-powered offering with the same refinements, namely in the areas of noise suppression, convenience, as well as safety. On top of that, all the petrol-powered options also retain the same three-row, 5+2 seat layout as before too – something we know many of you still prefer.
In the top-spec 2.5 AWD is a little too rich for you at RM153,888, then fret not as there are two 2.0-litre 2WD variants slotted below it to consider too, but you’ll have to live with less on board features as a trade off of course.
X-Trail 2.5 AWD
Added refinement and efficiency through its newfound electrification.
Still feels dated compared to its key rivals.
|Engine||2.0 4-cyl hybrid|
|Price||RM159,888 (2.0 Hybrid)|