Nissan X-Trail (2013) at Frankfurt motor show | CAR Magazine

Nissan X-Trail (2013) at Frankfurt motor show

Published: 10 September 2013 Updated: 26 January 2015

This is the new Nissan X-Trail, which goes on UK sale in 2014. By offering a seven-seater option and an adaptive four-wheel-drive powertrain, Nissan is sounding the death-knell for its Qashqai+2 model: there’s to be a new, five-seater Qashqai next year. So, it better be good, the new X-Trail.

Is the new Nissan X-Trail more family crossover than SUV?

Yes, mostly. New features such as rear doors that open outwards by 80 degrees for easier rear seat access, and a split cargo area with an extendable shelf, are designed to make life easier for families drawn to the new X-Trail by its seven-seater capacity. There’s a remotely operated auto-open tailgate as well.

There’s a bigger focus on connectivity tech inside the new X-Trail too. The X-Trail is the first Nissan to enjoy the brand’s new ‘NissanConnected’ infotainment, which incorporates navigation, vehicle information and entertainment controls. Smartphone app integration is also included, all accessed via a 7in touchscreen surrounded by VW Group-style shortcut buttons.

The speedometer and rev-counter dials are bisected by a 5in screen, which shows the driver information about the car’s speed, navigation directions, audio settings and a torque graphic showing the status of the all-wheel-drive system. In total, the instrument binnacle screen can display 12 different handy functions.

Tell me more about the all-wheel-drive X-Trail

The 4×4 X-Trail uses an electronic AWD set-up, allowing a choice between two- and four-wheel drive via a rotary switch on the car’s centre console. In auto mode, the car senses slip itself, and directs torque to the rear wheels as necessary, at speeds of up to 49.7mph. In ‘Lock’ mode, the X-Trail remains in permanent all-wheel-drive mode.

Any other drivetrain highlights?

Nissan’s making a big noise about the suite of adaptive systems integrated into the new X-Trail. First off, there’s Active Ride Control, which monitors the road surface and adjusts damping depending on the surface. Active Engine Brake enhances engine braking via the ‘Xtronic’ automatic transmission when braking, so the car requires less pedal effort to bring it to a halt.

Active Trace Control is another new innovation for Nissan: it monitors the X-Trail’s speed, steering angle, throttle position or braking effort at any given moment, and brakes individual wheels to trim understeer on slippery roads. Hill-descent and hill-start gadgets are also fitted.

More details about the new X-Trail, including the engine line-up and prices will be released closer to the car’s European launch in early 2014. Bodes well for the UK-favorite Qashqai, we reckon…

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish