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2018 Nissan X-Trail – Boldly and articulately revised

The X-Trail is a highly capable five or seven-seat crossover aimed at adventure-loving families. The X-Train is the Nissan’s best-selling vehicle worldwide. It is also a record-breaker. In 2016, the crossover was the world’s most popular SUV, with 766,000 vehicles sold – more than any other rival model. Time has come for Nissan to give the X-Trail some retouches for 2018. As with all Nissan vehicles, every upgrade, no matter how large or small, has been undertaken with the customer in mind. The result is the 2018 X-Trail, featuring a distinctive and robust exterior design, higher-quality interior refinement, extra practicality for owners and innovative new technologies.

Exterior

The X-Trail has always been known for its sculpted and muscular styling, with chiselled lines, high wheel arches and elegant curves on the bonnet. All of those characteristics remain, and are now enhanced through a distinctive and robust redesign of the front end. At its heart is Nissan’s latest ‘V-motion’ grille, wider than before for a more impactful appearance on the road and echoed in the design of the bumper beneath. The redesign makes much greater use of the X-Trail’s body colour, with the visible black plastic benefiting from a smart new gloss black finish. On either side of the grille are new headlamp clusters, with much clearer design differentiation between the halogen units and full LEDs). Both feature a contemporary new version of the X-Trail’s ‘boomerang’ Daytime Running Light signature.

For models with full LED lamps, dipped beam now features Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS). This means dynamic cornering lamps operating in conjunction with the vehicle’s speed and steering inputs. On high beam, the beam pattern is now wider than before, also improving visibility. The front fog lamps have evolved. Cleverly integrated into the new front bumper, they have changed from a round shape to a rectangular one. At the rear of the new Nissan X-Trail, the bumper has been redesigned to give it a more robust look with new chrome detailing. The rear lamp signature has been upgraded to become full LED.

The biggest change to the profile of the 2018 X-Trail is the addition of a chrome side moulding across the base of the two doors. A new range of 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels are now fitted as standard, with the existing 19-inch wheels carried over from the previous model. The upgrades have resulted in a very slight change to the overall length of the car – an increase of 50mm means it is now 4,690mm from bumper to bumper. There is no change to the new X-Trail’s width (1,830mm), height (1,710mm) or wheelbase (2,705mm). The exterior changes have not affected the new X-Trail’s aerodynamic performance.

Performance

The 2018 X-Trail retails the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder unit. Power output remains at 106 kW (142 hp) and 200 Nm of torque. The crossover adopts Nissan’s advanced electronic four-wheel drive system, ALL MODE 4x4i. Controlled via a rotary switch on the centre console, it offers a choice between two-wheel drive, Auto mode or Lock offering permanent four-wheel drive. In the ‘default’ Auto mode, the system constantly monitors throttle opening, engine speed and torque to anticipate wheel spin and to distribute torque between front and rear axles as needed, at speeds of up to 80 km/h. Above that speed, the system reacts to wheel spin, again shifting drive rearwards to restore traction as required. For tricky conditions and at low speeds, Lock gives new X-Trail permanent four-wheel drive, while drivers also have the option of a two-wheel drive only version.

Interior

The interior of the 2018 X-Trail boasts a raft of upgrades to enhance the existing high-quality feel. Entering the car, the striking new steering wheel is the first thing drivers will notice. It echoes the design of Nissan’s newest models globally and is standard across the X-Trail range. Now D-shaped, the horizontal base means easier entry and exit for the driver, as well as providing a sportier look and feel.

The steering wheel’s compact central hub is smaller than before and the three spokes are slimmer, creating an upper space that is larger to improve instrument visibility. Whether customers select the five or seven-seat version of the 2018 X-Trail, the leather upholstery features enhanced quilting to create more defined seat contours. Heated seats for both front and rear occupants (not third row) are new.

A new leather kneepad on both sides of the centre console has been added, while the area above the glovebox has been given a more contemporary finish. The air vents now feature a new gloss black surface. The new Nissan X-Trail has a wider range of interior door trims to distinguish the different grades, while the central armrest storage area has been redesigned. On models with the CVT XTronic automatic transmission, the gear selector has been restyled and features a new leather-style gaiter.

The interior practicality of the new X-Trail makes it perfect for adventurous families. It continues to offers exceptional space and comfort, including best-in-class knee room in the second row of seats. It has clever storage solutions and practical features, such as the sliding / reclining functionality of the second row seats. On seven-seat versions, access to the roomy third row is simple and convenient

Storage

The boot on the new Nissan X-Trail is larger than before. Thanks to improved packaging, VDA capacity is up from 550 litres to 565 litres on the five-seat version with all seats in place. Capacity on seven-seat interiors (445 litres) remains unchanged. Total space with all seats folded flat increases to 1,996 litres. Every X-Trail boot comes with Nissan’s innovative Flexible Luggage Board System, which allows for shelves and dividers to be adjusted in any one of nine configurations. These include a hidden compartment to keep valuables out of sight, making it the ideal base for family days out.

Verdict

Like many of the compact crossovers on the market today, the 2018 X-Trail seeks to provide the all-weather capability and commanding driving position of an SUV, along with the manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency of a typical car. It does this quite well, and it also adds bold styling to make it desirable for its form as well as its function. Nissan Kenya is the custodian for the Japanese brand in Kenya. The firm’s showroom is located along Uhuru Highway near Nakumatt Mega. The firm also has other showrooms located all across Kenya.

Ratings

Value: 4

Presence: 4

Interior: 4

Styling: 4

Equipment: 4

Overall: 4

Quote: The X-Trail has always been known for its sculpted and muscular styling, with chiselled lines, high wheel arches and elegant curves on the bonnet

What we like    

  • Comfortable ride
  • Versatile boot space
  • Great interior

What we dislike

  • Slow acceleration
  • Slow responding transmission
  • Expensive optional extras