X-Trail (formerly Qashqai+2) has been promoted in the market for many years. The entry fee is more or less at the point where the Qashqai price list ends and is now roughly double what it was in the +2 days. But you’ll also get more drive in return. More space, more luxury, more power, more safety and more fuel-saving technology in the form of a unique non-rechargeable hybrid train, whose combustion engine works only as a generator. Even as an entry-level car, it is already fully equipped, including parking sensors and cameras and comprehensive safety systems (including cruise control and a well-functioning lane assistant). No navi, but Apple Carplay and Android Auto to fill the gap.
We have to think about a lot of upholstery and furniture for fully optioned test cars costing around 65,000 euros to get a glimpse of how an entry-level car drives. But even then there must be something left that can justify the asking price. Don’t expect the magic of German stitching or crack-free panels and button clusters. And you don’t have to look for cheap plastics for a long time. However, good ergonomics do a lot. From the comfortable and high driver’s seat, the all-round view is not bad for a modern car. You’re looking at a large instrument cluster that’s easy to read, possibly aided by a head-up display. The infotainment screen has been updated and is easy to operate due to its large size. Fortunately, Nissan has not yet tried to hide all the possible functions in it, so you can still control the climate control as usual with push and turn buttons.
Access to the second row of seats is very spacious, thanks to the doors that open close to the body, after which you can sit down without bending over on a large three-seater sofa that can be moved and folded in different positions. With a long seat and high space, it also offers enough sitting comfort for tall people. However, it requires compliance from the second row to accommodate the additional space in the optional third row. In fact, they are no more than emergency seats for people up to 1.60 meters tall. The third row of seats eats up 100 liters of luggage space when folded, leaving a respectable 485 litres. However, 1296 liters with all seats flat isn’t great inside the segment. For example, the Kia Sorento hybrid easily puts 2085 liters on the table. Nissan has dared not to allow the X-Trail to grow in length compared to the previous generation. With a length of 468 centimeters, it is 13 centimeters shorter than the Sorento. The bodywork is not only designed for high interior space, but it should also look a little smoother. With an angular nose, standing as a reference to the original X-Trail, which was one of the pioneers of the SUV segment at the time.
This new X-Trail has what Nissan calls e-4ORCE. Simply put: a four-wheel drive with an electric motor on each axle, which gets its power from a small 1.95 kWh battery pack. The package is in turn powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with variable compression. This way you can benefit from the benefits of driving an electric car. The entry-level model has a single 204 hp and 330 Nm electric motor on the front axle, we just drove the more expensive 4000 euro car, which has 136 hp and 195 Nm electric motor on the rear axle. The combined power remains at 213 hp because the battery cannot regenerate. The torque increases to almost 500 Nm, so that you can start well and complete normal speed in seven seconds. The towing capacity also increases from 670 kg to 1800. The top is limited to 180 km / h due to the speed of the engine rotation. Do not confuse the X-Trail with an EV in any way, it is a fuel car whose power travels to the wheels driven through an electric circuit.
Depending on the version and the size of the wheel, That is almost the factory specifications; not bad in hard terrain. More testing is needed, but it seems that the Nissan can be really economical, especially in city traffic and at low speeds, but it starts to drink a lot on the highway. Also know that we recently got 1 out of 20 without too much effort with a Suzuki Across (or Toyota RAV4) with a 306 hp plug-in hybrid drivetrain, with an extra 80 km of electric range. So the usage seems to be the same, but not more.
Furthermore, the benefits of e-4ORCE are evident in daily practice. Smooth and vibration-free development speaks for itself. As a bonus, thanks to the braking intervention on the inner wheels, you get a quick and controlled change of direction on any surface, which hides a lot of weight. Because despite the use of aluminum and plastic in the body work, the X-Trail weighs between 1725 and 1917 kg ready to drive. With plenty of drive and chassis control, the X-Trail will give you great confidence in the snow. There’s a little roll and dive and plenty of grip and tension to work with. However, the comfort of moving is not good with 20-inch wheels. The back is especially hard. But maybe a 150 kg light front wheel drive on 18 inches will do better. Direct driving takes time to get used to and works best in game mode, because the extra counter pressure makes you less likely to contribute too much. In Normal or Eco it is rather on the light and numb side. Anyone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t really want to drive a plug-in hybrid (or EV) in this class, should check out the X-Trail. But competition is fierce and due to the tax advantage that PHEVs enjoy due to their lower factory consumption, Nissan works out at roughly the same price point without the benefit of off-road chargeable electric kilometers. In our opinion, it is more attractive as an entry-level car because of its strong drive and complete equipment in relation to the price.
For someone who doesn’t want to drive a PHEV or EV, the X-Trail is an attractive option, especially thanks to its drivetrain. Not the most spacious or luxurious, but a nice overall package.
Specifications of the Nissan X-Trail e-4ORCE 4WD