New Nissan X-Trail: the lowdown
Nissan is readying an all-new X-Trail for launch in Europe later this summer - and CAR Online's spies were on hand to catch this prototype pounding the roads around Nissan's Cranfield engineering base in Bedfordshire, England. The new model won't be seen until its show debut this spring - likely to be the Geneva exhibition in March - but this engineering mule gives some important clues to changes underfoot.
So what's new on the X-Trail then?
Expect the familiar, rugged X-Trail look to gently evolve - but it will retain an upright, boxy stance, as befits one of Nissan's family-focused 4x4s. Underneath the same-again exterior lies a new platform. Renault-Nissan's C-segment mechanicals from the new the Nissan Qashqai and Sentra will be used on the new X-Trail; the same package is destined for Renault's replacement Megane, too. The majority of X-Trails will have four-wheel drive for light work on muddy lanes and towing duties, but only the front wheels are driven until sensors detect slip. This is no faux-by-four, unlike its sister car the Qashqai (95% of Qashqais will be sold in front-wheel drive format).
What else is changing on the X-Trail?
Nissan's following the blueprint of today's X-Trail, which has proved a slow-burning hit for Nissan in Britain. So expect to see a family-friendly interior with seating for five and a flurry of handy touches to accommodate bodies and baggage. Engines and equipment available will be shared with the Qashqai, including new 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. Sales start in Europe this summer, with UK prices expected to start at around £17,000.