2021 Nissan X-Trail officially unveiled

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Nissan has unveiled the first all-new X-Trail midsize SUV in seven years, ahead of the model’s expected Australian showroom arrival in the next 12 to 18 months.

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Significant changes have taken place on the styling front, where the fourth-generation crossover – unveiled in the US, where it’s known as the Rogue – adopts a look that is far boxier and chunkier than the model it replaces. Up front split LED headlights flank a tall interpretation of Nissan’s V-Motion corporate grille, while toward the rear highlights include a ‘floating’ contrast roof, pronounced rear haunches and high-set rear tail-lights.

Under the skin, the 2021 X-Trail rides on a heavily-revised version of the 2020 car’s CMF-C/D modular architecture. Its footprint is more compact than that of its predecessor, measuring in at 38mm shorter in overall length, 53mm lower and 2.5mm shorter in wheelbase.

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The outgoing model’s trailing arm rear suspension has been replaced by a sportier multi-link setup, while weight is said to be down by around 45kg.

Despite its smaller exterior dimensions, there’s more room for passengers inside. Rear legroom and headroom are up by 15mm and 18mm respectively, while boot space with the second row folded flat (measured to the ceiling, not the parcel shelf) increases from 1982 litres to 2098L.

However, with all seats in place, cargo capacity has fallen from 1112 litres to 1034L.

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Nissan has subjected its best-seller to a major technology upgrade up front, with top-spec cars featuring a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.8-inch head-up display.

 

Other available interior features include wireless phone charging, semi-aniline quilted leather trim, 10-speaker Bose premium sound system, ambient LED lighting, tri-zone climate control, multi-way power seat adjustment and new rear doors than open up to 85 degrees for easier ingress/egress.

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Just one engine will be offered at launch: an overhauled version of the existing 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol, sending 135kW of power and 245Nm of torque to the front or all wheels through a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT).

The all-wheel-drive system features an electro-hydraulic clutch for quicker and more accurate torque distribution, while an electric power steering system also debuts. Drive modes on offer for front-drive variants consist of Eco, Standard and Sport settings, while all-paw models add Off-Road and Snow to that list.

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While not officially confirmed, an ‘e-Power’ hybrid model is expected to join the range in the coming months to rival the hot-selling Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, using a conventional petrol engine to drive a front-mounted electric motor.

The related Infiniti QX50’s 200kW/380Nm variable-compression turbocharged four-cylinder could also make its way to the X-Trail.

Nissan’s full suite of ProPilot driver-assistance technologies is on offer, including forward/reverse autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, map-guided adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, lane centering assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and high-beam assist.

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10 airbags are fitted as standard on US models, including rear side (in addition to curtain) and front knee bags.

 

The 2021 Nissan X-Trail goes on sale in the US in September/October. Australian timing has yet to be confirmed, though a local debut in the next 12-18 months is expected.

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