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New Nissan X-Trail For 2008



12th March, 2007

2008 Nissan X-Trail

The new Nissan X-Trail was unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show last week. It goes on sale across Europe in a few months, whilst the Australian debut is planned for the 2007 Sydney Motor Show. Australian release is scheduled for late 2007. Australian pricing and specifications will be announced later in the year. Australian versions will be available with an updated version of the existing 2.5-litre petrol engine.

The new model offers more interior space, greater comfort and refinement, more equipment and, thanks to three new engine options, better performance, economy and reduced emissions. Passenger and pedestrian safety has been enhanced while the new X-Trail has more practical and user-friendly features.

New from the ground up, the X-Trail now shares the same platform as the recently launched Nissan Dualis (Qashqai in Europe). The platform features strut-type suspension at the front with a multi-link system at the rear, both ends being mounted on separate rubber insulated sub-frames providing enhanced refinement and isolation from vibrations.

As a result, new X-Trail is slightly larger than before: its wheelbase has increased by 5mm to 2,630,mm, while overall length has risen by 175 mm to 4,630 mm. Much of this extra length can be found in the luggage area, which has increased dramatically in size – up almost 50 per cent on the exisiting model.

The approach and departure angles of 28 and 23 degrees respectively and a generous 200 mm ground clearance enable the X-Trail to traverse difficult terrain with comparative ease. It can safely stake its place in Nissan’s 4x4 range alongside such iconic vehicles as Patrol and Pathfinder.

Next generation ALL MODE
Centre of X-Trail’s 4x4 armoury is the latest ‘intelligent’ version of Nissan’s highly regarded ALL MODE electronic all-wheel drive system. In addition, X-Trail boasts a range of petrol and diesel engines all developing strong levels of torque making them perfectly suited to the low speed controllability needed off-road.

A simple to operate system, ALL MODE 4x4-i has a rotary knob on the centre console offering a choice between two-wheel drive or Auto mode. Auto is regarded as the ‘default’ mode: when driving at speeds of up to 80 km/h, 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. Above that speed, the system reacts to wheelspin, again shifting drive rearwards to restore traction as required.

Lock operates at speeds of up to 40 km/h and is automatically over-ridden each time the engine is re-started.

Among the other highlights of ALL MODE 4x4-i are DDS and USS, standing for Downhill Drive Support and Uphill Start Support. USS is a fully automatic system that activates on any slope that exceeds a 10 per cent incline, holding the vehicle on the brakes until the driver starts to move away. The system also works if the vehicle is reversing up an incline.

DDS – operated via a switch on the centre console – operates when ALL MODE is in lock mode. DDS uses the anti-lock brakes to maintain a descent speed of 7 km/h, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering. Like USS, DDS also works when the vehicle is in reverse.

Three new engines
New X-Trail has a wider range of engines than its predecessor, with two petrol and two diesel options being offered: only one engine – a 2.5-litre 16 valve four-cylinder petrol unit – has been carried over.

Although carried over from the original, the 2.5-litre petrol engine has been further improved for greater refinement and better efficiency. Providing best-in-class low- to mid-range torque figures the engine has proven extremely popular for towing.

2008 Nissan X-Trail

All new evolutionary design
Although X-Trail has been completely restyled, customer research clearly showed that the robust, strong shape was popular and well appreciated. Indeed, it was a key factor in the decision making process for many buyers. It was clear that the “X-Trailness” had to be retained, which is why there is a clear family resemblance between the original and the new version. Key design cues, such as the solid shoulder line, deep glasshouse and static window line, have been transferred to the newcomer. The squared off appearance gives practical benefits too – with maximised interior space and the feeling of reassurance which is important to many buyers.

Strength is conveyed by the deep D-pillar behind the revised profile of the rearmost side window, by the extended wheelarches and by the tough grille, which echoes the style found across Nissan’s 4x4 range.

At the back, the one-piece top-hinged tailgate extends deep into the bumper to provide a low loading sill, while the high mounted stop lamp has been integrated into the top of the frame itself, rather than being mounted behind the tailgate glass as before.

Premium interior
The interior continues Nissan’s practice of providing much higher levels of quality and premiumness than expected for the class of car. Soft feel materials feature on all touch points, while grained plastics and flocked surfaces in contrasting shades – black and grey or black and sand – are used throughout the cockpit. Depending on the trim level, instrument surrounds and other features are finished in silver or titanium colours to give a technical feel.

And as with other recent Nissan models, X-Trail has been designed with versatility and practicality uppermost. Positioning the instrument cluster behind the multi-function steering wheel has allowed greater versatility in the centre console, which can now house a larger navigation screen closer to eye level as well as providing space for an in-dash multi disc CD changer.

A large centrally-mounted dash-top storage box is now deep enough to house a full size tissue box or no fewer than 10 CD jewel cases while a vast 15.7-litre glove box has a dedicated section for the owner’s manual.

Larger, more flexible 'boot'
Perhaps the most versatile aspect of the new X-Trail is the luggage area. With the rear seat in place, the original vehicle had a VDA measurement of 410-litres up to the lower edge of the rear window: in the new X-Trail the equivalent figure is 603 litres, an increase of 193 litres.

This has been achieved by rerouting the exhaust silencer from its original transverse position under the rear floor to a north/south location alongside the rear wheel well. This has allowed the provision of an innovative double deck boot, with space for a sliding drawer under the floor where valuable items can be stored away from prying eyes.

The drawer has partition walls that can be placed in a number of different positions or removed altogether as required. The floor and the drawer can both be removed to increase load space even further: as a result the luggage area of the new X-Trail is deeper and wider than the original and, even with the false floor in place, virtually as tall. With it removed, the height is increased by 127 mm over the original X-Trail.

But that’s not all. To ensure maximum practicality, the floor has been finished in a tough and easy-to-clean but non-slip plastic surface. Raised ribs have been placed at unequal distances apart to help prevent loads shifting when the vehicle is on the move. Full carpeting was rejected for the luggage area as customer research showed that many owners either carried dogs or outdoor sports equipment in the rear of their X-Trail and preferred a wipe clean surface.

As before, the rear seat backrests recline through 7 degrees for maximum passenger comfort, and also fold flat to increase load space. But rather than a conventional 60/40 split fold, the new X-Trail has 40/20/40 folding system, again to increase flexibility.

Nissan¹s current model X-Trail has been a great success in Australia and as recently as February 2007, was the market leader in its segment. In the 2005 and 2006, Nissan Australia sold 12,702 and 11,331 X-Trails respectively.

Australian specifications and pricing will be announced, later in the year, at the 2007 Sydney Motor Show, ahead of the new Nissan X-Trail's late 2007 Australian release.

Other Nissan content: here.

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