Nissan has shown off its new X-Trail SUV in Japan, and the chunky SUV will be coming to Ireland early in 2023 (delays and chip crisis allowing, of course).
As before, the new X-Trail is mechanically a bigger and heftier Qashqai, and it shares much of its design and engineering with the US-market Nissan Rogue. It's also the only seven-seater in Nissan's lineup, with an optional third row of fold-away seats in the boot.
Similarity with the Qashqai
Once again, there's a clear visual similarity to the Qashqai, with V-shaped headlights and a deep grille. The X-Trail's front end is subtly different. Unlike the Qashqai, its lights are bisected entirely by a body-colour panel, while at the back, the X-Trail is more obviously taller and bulkier than its big-selling cousin.
Inside, the Qashqai similarity continues. You'll find the same 12.3-inch digital instruments, the same central 12.3-inch touchscreen, the same (impressive) heads-up display and - thankfully - the same physical controls for the heating and air conditioning. There's even the same flat-bottom steering wheel. The X-Trail gets a unique centre console, which Nissan says has a 'bridge-type' structure and lots of storage space. Although it's a tall car, this X-Trail is a little shorter overall than the previous model, so it remains to be seen how roomy it is in the back. Rear seat space is a strong suit for the current Qashqai, so the X-Trail will need some clever packaging to retain its relevance. Nissan does claim that the X-Trail has 'best-in-class' luggage room.
The X-Trail should get the same engine lineup as the Qashqai, which includes a mild-hybrid 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine as a base model. However, for the moment, Nissan is only talking about the e-Power engine for the X-Trail, which is the company's new take on hybrid power. In an e-Power X-Trail, the car is only ever driven by a 190hp electric motor. That motor takes power from a relatively compact battery which isn't charged from the mains but by a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which is there solely to act as a generator.
Nissan claims that the e-Power setup offers the smooth acceleration of an EV, the efficiency of a hybrid, and none of the charging issues or weight of a plug-in hybrid. Unlike the Qashqai, the X-Trail will be available with an e-4orce four-wheel drive option. That setup sends electric power to all four wheels, which Nissan claims offers "a huge leap in acceleration, cornering and braking performance." The system uses twin electric motors, and the regenerative braking system provides better stability and comfort when slowing down. There is also the option of using the X-Trail as a massive mobile generator, with a 100-volt AC connection that can provide external power.
The X-Trail will also come with Nissan's updated 'ProPilot' driver assistance system, which now includes automatic speed limit recognition, a fully automated parking aid and adaptive LED headlights.
We'll bring you Irish details and prices as soon as we have them.