Tue | May 23, 2017

X Trail - an undeniable hit

Published:Sunday | March 12, 2017 | 3:27 AM
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I always liked the concept of the X trail, however the original version was designed like a box on wheels. The quadrilateral-inspired frame was an aesthetic turn off for some especially with the gauge cluster placed in the centre of the dashboard.

Fast forward to 2017 and it seems as though Nissan has been listening to its customers. The current third generation X-Trail has muscular features to enhance it’s attractive curves. If you were to put the Pathfinder on a diet, it would look like the X Trail.

This was my longest test drive, which was a round trip from kingston to Ocho Rios. I took the traditional route to my destination and the high way back to Kingston, to get the best feel of the vehicle.

My Impression from driving the X Trail

Seating

This might be a placebo effect, however after sitting in the zero-gravity inspired seats for two hours i did not feel fatigued nor was i yearning to do any stretches. This is something Nissan boast in its pamphlets, as the seats took design cues from NASA. The same can be said for the rear passenger seats, which also have the option to adjust the backrest. The seats are complemented by doors that can open close to 90 degrees, which provides more than sufficient space for anyone to access.

The transmission tunnel is also extremely low, which makes it possible for someone to sit on the middle seat and be comfortable.

Engine

I was very skeptical driving a 2L SUV, i was expecting it to feel underpowered. Surprisingly it didn’t, the power felt sufficient. However due to the CVT transmission, you are not going to get a burst of power when accelerating. It is going to come along in a smooth gradual manual and Nissan has managed to do this without the ‘rubbery’ feeling.


Interior

Having test driven the 2016 Pathfinder, it's evident it took most of its design cues from its older sibling. While there are hints of sophistication, it does have an overall mature feeling. The carbon fibre trims cascade over a dark themed interior sprinkled with brush metal accents.

The majority of the dials has an “orange” backlight and the steering wheel is equipped with the customary layout of controls. This is becoming very dated, in addition i feel that layout of some of the buttons can be configured to function more effectively. For example the ‘answer call’ button could be more obvious putting it closer to the line of sight or changing the position to compliment the natural motion of the thumb.

With all that said, this vehicle is the total package, it does everything at a highly acceptable level.

What I like
- Extremely roomy for second row passengers
- Thick armrest padding on the doors
- Around view camera
- Refrigerating cup holders that keep your drinks cool

Gripes
- Infotainment system is becoming dated in both looks and function
- When paired, the bluetooth functionality between the car and phone is very limited 

Who usually buys a vehicle like this: Someone who has recently been promoted to a manager or civil servant with access to concession ,” David Crawford, Marketing, Fidelity Motors

- cost of test model – 6.1 mil
- engine size 2.0L
- hp -157
- type of suspension - independent
- 4WD
- Panoramic roof, powered tailgate with proximity sensors, dual climate zone control, 6 airbags,


What it competes with:
Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CRV

Vehicle provided courtesy of Fidelity Motors LTd, 948-5459.