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New Nissan X-Trail set to cause a stir in SUV market 

The all-new Nissan X-Trail looks set to take the mid-size SUV market by storm when it hits UK showrooms next month.

Completely redesigned from the floor up, the new X-Trail certainly looks the part with its fresh new style mirroring that of the new Qashqai.

But does the new X-Trail drive as well as it looks? I took the new Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dCi Tekna 4WD out for a spin to find out if it lives up to expectation…

Style & Design

Sporting a sleek, new look, there is no doubt that the new Nissan X-Trail is an improvement on its predecessor. Gone is the uptight, boxy style and in is a new, rugged 4x4 design which oozes style and sophistication.

On first glance, you’d be forgiven for confusing the X-Trail with the new Qashqai. Inspired by its baby brother, the X-Trail boasts similar styling cues such as the dipping roofline, ‘boomerang' shaped rear lights and striking front ‘face’.

But take a step back and you can start to appreciate the X-Trail’s distinctive new look with distinguishing features such as new LED signature headlights, crisps lines and bold wheelarches, all hinting to its 4x4 heritage

Comfort & Technology

Inside, the new Nissan X-Trail boasts a sophisticated interior with high-quality materials and plenty of new technology. The cabin boasts a premium feel in comparison to its predecessor with the new split-level dashboard designed to be as easy to navigate as possible, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road ahead.

Tekna models feature Nissan’s new ‘NissanConnect’ system – a clever navigation and entertainment system that not only provides mapping, but even lets you access your social media networks whilst on the move. How do you ‘like’ that?

Nissan’s innovative ‘Around View Monitor’ camera system is also available on Tekna models, making parking a doddle. Thanks to cameras in the nose, tailgate and door mirrors, this clever parking system offers drivers a birds-eye view of their surroundings, to make even the trickiest of manoeuvres seem easy.

Space & Practicality

Thanks to an all-new platform co-developed with Renault, the new Nissan X-Trail is one of the most spacious cars in its class with plenty of head and legroom for both driver and passengers.

Inside, seats are tiered (each row sits a little higher than the one in front) for better visibility. The rear doors also open outward by more than 80 degrees to make it even easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle.

All models come with five seats as standard but seven-seats are available as an optional extra, priced at £700. With a +2 version of the new Qashqai is not available, the new X-Trail is expected to be a popular choice with loyal Qashqai+2 drivers, even if they have to pay an extra £700 for the privilege.

Like the Qashqai+2, the two extra rear seats fold flat for extra space at the back when needed. The second row of seats also move forward to accommodate extra passengers in the back.

Power and Performance

Under the bonnet, the X-Trail is powered by a 1.6-litre turbodiesel delivering 128bhp with 320Nm of torque - the same as the old X-Trail’s 2.0-litre diesel. In 2WD manual guise, the new X-Trail offers CO2 emissions of 129g/km CO2 and impressive economy of up to 57.6 mpg (combined cycle).

Considering its size, the new X-Trail is surprisingly easy to drive with its light and punchy engine delivering a smooth and responsive drive. Thanks to stop-start technology and a 90kg weight saving, the new X-Trial is also 20% more efficient than its predecessor, making it cheaper to run and a little lighter on the wallet.

The version I took for a spin was the 4WD model but 2WD versions are expected to be a big seller for Nissan, particularly with former Qashqai+2 drivers. For those who want a four-wheel-drive, this can be specified on any of the four trim grades for an additional £1,700. A new 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine is also expected to follow in 2015.

Trim Levels

Four trim levels are available at launch: Visa, Acenta, n-tec and Tekna.
The entry-level Visia model boasts a generous specification as standard including Bluetooth, air conditioning, cruise control and 17’’ alloy wheels.

The mid-spec Acenta trim is expected to be a big seller, adding privacy glass, front fog lights, dual zone climate control and front & rear parking sensors to an already generous specification.

The real gems however are the high-spec n-tec and Tekna models which add NissanConnect, DAB digital radio, power tailgate, 19’’ alloy wheels, heated leather seats (Tekna) and auto parking (Tekna).

Whichever model you pick, the new Nissan X-Trail will certainly cause a stir amongst rivals such as the Ford Kuga, Honda CR-V and Hyundai iX35 when it is launched next month.

The new Nissan X-Trail is available to lease from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts with prices starting from just £229.95 + VAT a month.