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New Nissan X-Trail offers the 4ORCE of Powerful Refinement.

New Nissan X-Trail offers the 4ORCE of Powerful Refinement.

Nissan’s all-new flagship X-Trail family SUV promises efficiency, practicality and an electric drive experience, with the option of five or seven seats to accommodate a growing family. Like its smaller sibling in Nissan’s European line-up, the all-new Qashqai, the new X-Trail is based on the Alliance CMF-C platform, which represents a state-of-the-art automotive structure and technology architecture. Thanks to the CMF-C platform, the new X-Trail has an updated Macpherson strut set-up at the front, while the rear suspension is an advanced multi-link unit. The power-steering set-up has been upgraded, offering improved response, better feeling around the central part of the steering range and reduced friction.

Trim & Seat Options.

In terms of construction, the body makes use of more lightweight material, as well as advanced stamping and welding techniques to increase strength, but to also reduce weight. For the first time, the rear hatchback door on the X-Trail is now made of a composite material, while the front and rear doors, front wings and bonnet are all now made of aluminium. This contributes to refinement, ride comfort and driving response typically found in the class above, plus exceptional security in the event of an accident – as well as adding benefits to the car’s overall efficiency. The new X-Trail e-POWER is available in three impressively-equipped trim levels – SV, SV Premium and SVE, with a choice of 5 or 7 seat configurations across all trims. Buyers who opt for the 7 seat version will also benefit from Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system as standard.

Exclusive e-POWER Tech.

Exclusive to Nissan, the e-POWER system is a unique approach to electrification, offering the EV-drive feeling without the need to recharge. The new X-Trail’s e-POWER system is comprised of a high-output battery and powertrain integrated with a variable compression-ratio petrol engine, power generator, inverter and 150kW front electric motor. This unique powertrain means that power to the wheels comes only from an electric motor, which results in instant, linear response to the accelerator. To meet the typical demands of European consumers and their daily drive, the e-POWER installation has been significantly upgraded for the new X-Trail. For Europe it has been upgraded to a 1.5-litre Variable Compression Ratio turbo petrol engine, with a final system power output of 150kW (204PS). The unique element of e-POWER is that the petrol engine is used solely to generate electricity, whilst the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor. This means the engine can always run within its optimal range, leading to superior fuel efficiency in urban settings. Thanks to the pure electric motor drive, there’s no delay as with an internal combustion engine or traditional hybrid. The instant response delivers exhilarating high torque feel and agile acceleration to make overtaking or merging onto a motorway easier and more confidence-inspiring. Integral to the design of the e-POWER installation is the “linear tune”, which governs the operation of the petrol engine, ensuring that it’s spinning at an appropriate speed relative to road speed, avoiding the “rev-up” effect of traditional hybrids under hard acceleration. A secondary benefit is the refinement it brings, ensuring the engine is running only at the speed it needs to, which is typically low in urban and suburban conditions. In addition to these benefits, the e-POWER drive system guarantees a quiet drive, for example at 40 km/h the sound in the car reduces by 8db compared with competitors.

One-Pedal Drive.

Given that up to 70% of drive time is likely to be spent in suburban areas, Nissan developed an entirely new ‘one pedal’ driving experience called e-Pedal Step. Designed to take the repetitive strain out of stop-start urban driving, where the driver is frequently moving their foot between the accelerator and brake, e-Pedal Step allows drivers to accelerate and brake using only the accelerator. The system must first be activated by the switch on the centre console and once engaged, the accelerator will deliver acceleration as usual. Upon release of the accelerator, e-Pedal Step will brake the X-Trail at 0.2g, enough to illuminate the brake lights, and reduce the speed down to a “creeping” speed, not a complete stop. This ensures low-speed parking manoeuvres are as smooth as possible. Drivers will quickly adapt their accelerator pedal inputs to maintain smooth progress, ensuring urban driving is more intuitive and less demanding.

e-4ORCE All-Wheel Drive.

A new all-wheel drive system designed to work with Nissan’s electrified powertrains is introduced on the all-new X-Trail in Europe. Called ‘e-4ORCE’, the system delivers reassuring traction and confident acceleration in all conditions thanks to Nissan’s most advanced all-wheel control technology. The “e” in e-4ORCE stands for Nissan’s 100% electric motor drive system. “4ORCE” refers to the vehicle’s physical power and energy, with “4” representing all-wheel control. The powerful dual e-motor system has a total output of 157kW (213PS) thanks to the rear 94kW motor which allows for keen acceleration, with 0-100km/h in 7 seconds. It has a 10,000-times faster rear torque response than a mechanical 4WD system. In addition, the constant torque redistribution and near perfect weight balance contribute to reassuring handling and ride comfort, enabling a powerful yet smooth, driving experience. By specifically managing power output and braking performance for each wheel, thereby delivering smoothness and stability, e-4ORCE enhances driver confidence by tracing the intended driving line over almost any road surface, while never needing to change driving style or input. When cornering on snow-covered roads, for example, the vehicle can faithfully trace the driver’s intended line thanks to the ultra-high-precision motor, torque distribution and brake control. With the confidence to handle such a variety of road surfaces, driving becomes more enjoyable and the driver feels more confident in several driving scenarios. Engineers fine-tuned the precision control technology and twin electric motors of e-4ORCE to provide unparalleled ride comfort. Vehicle pitch and dive are minimised by adding regenerative rear-motor braking to the usual front-motor regenerative braking employed by typical EV and hybrid systems today.

Premium interior ambience

The cabin of the all-new Nissan X-Trail sets a new segment standard for elevated ambience, distinctive design and enhanced usability. Advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies are at the driver’s fingertips, with comfort and quality in every touch. New premium materials, smart features and considered detailing enhance a cabin that delivers cutting-edge design and practicality in every dimension. Extensive attention has been paid to the ergonomic and tactile quality of the switch gear and buttons to give them a high quality feel. Thankfully, X-Trail has simple, intuitive heating/air-conditioning controls, as well as buttons that govern the central screen functions, such as audio and navigation. The top level of the floating centre console layout features the e-shifter, the drive mode selector and twin cup holders, as well as the 15w wireless charge pad for smartphones. The charge pad actively charges your phone, whereas similar features just ensure the battery of your phone does not die.  There is a combined elbow rest for front-seat occupants, which has a “butterfly” opening, to reveal a cavernous storage space for valuables. The side opening elements allow easy access to the storage area for rear-seat passengers, unlike a rear-hinged lid.

Underneath, the upper tier of the floating console is storage for items such as a handbag or tablet. Making it easier to store smaller items and creating optimal space usage because in a family car you can never have enough storage. Creating a reassuring and calming environment, new white ambient lighting is used throughout the cabin, with its uniformity giving a premium and harmonious impression.

Test Car Details.

My X-Trail e-POWER e-4ORCE 7-seat test car came in range-topping SVE specification, and it looked particularly elegant in its Tinted Red metallic paintwork and 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels. Key standard SVE equipment includes a power tailgate with hands-free function, Adaptive Driving Beam, front LED sequential turning signals, side parking sensors, front LED foglamps, chrome door finishers, chrome front & rear bumpers finishers, power memory & heated front seats, head-up display, 3-zone air-conditioning, PVC seat upholstery, wireless charger, rear door sunshades, multi-adjustable rear seats with a 40/20/40 folding function, and black wood decoration on the centre console. On the road, the X-Trail performs like a refined petrol car with the punchy acceleration and smoothness of an EV. With the full 525Nm of torque (330Nm from the front motor, plus 195Nm at the rear) available from a standing start, the car always feels ready to respond to driver commands. Drive modes on offer include Sport, Eco and EV, with the latter mode tasked with suppressing engine start up, so that in the right conditions you can reach 100km/h without the engine cutting in. A single-ratio reduction gear transmission sits on both axles, with the all-wheel drive system capable of transferring drive from front to rear and side to side in an unbelievable 1/10,000th of a second. Regenerative braking on both axles enables the car to remain composed as it slows down, and engaging the ‘e-Pedal’ button appreciably enhances the level of retardation. The car feels balanced and stable through twisty back roads, and this is helped greatly by a well-judged steering weight and feel. Nissan’s quoted WLTP fuel efficiency figure of 6.4l/100km (5.8l/100km in 2WD format) is very close to the efficiency I achieved during my time with the test car.

Verdict & Pricing.

With its combination of effortless performance, refinement, excellent ride quality, practicality, spaciousness and fuel efficiency, the all-new Nissan X-Trail e-POWER offers a genuinely rewarding hybrid driving experience – without the need to plug in. Genuinely impressive driver assistance and safety technology provides terrific peace of mind for all occupants too. The new Nissan X-Trail e-POWER is priced from €49,495 (SV 5-Seat 2WD) with the X-Trail e-POWER e-4ORCE (SV 7-Seat 4WD) priced from €59,245.

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