Nissan X-Trail e-Power gets seven seat option

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Fourth-generation Nissan X-Trail with e-Power hybrid has been confirmed to offer seven-seats and all-wheel drive for some right-hand drive markets.

Nissan has unveiled the new X-Trail for the Japanese market, giving us our best look yet at the firm’s latest SUV set for launch in Australia later this year. The X-Trail will move onto the same CMF-C underpinnings as the latest Qashqai, meaning it’ll be available with hybrid power for the first time, confirmed to also launch in Australia.

When it comes to Australia, the new X-Trail will renew its rivalry with the likes of the Kia Sportage, Toyota Rav4 and Mazda CX-5. Revealed for Japan, some models also come with three-row seating, which could come to Australia and help distinguish it from the five-seat-only Qashqai.

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Like the brand’s popular Qashqai SUV, Australian X-Trail buyers will be offered the new hybrid technology sometime in 2023 after the regular petrol engine model launch. Nissan’s e-Power hybrid system blends a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a compact battery pack and an electric motor to deliver 140kW and 330Nm of torque.

It’s a bit more complicated than the systems found in hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, because the petrol engine never drives the wheels directly. Instead, it motivates  a generator that is constantly topping up the battery pack, and which then sends power to the electric motor(s).

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Nissan says the set-up ensures the petrol engine is always running at its optimal efficiency, which helps lower emissions and fuel consumption. Nissan also says the system provides a driving experience similar to that of an electric car, with instant torque from the electric motor.

There won’t be a pure-electric version of the X-Trail but Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer, did comment on the car’s importance within Nissan’s electrification strategy. “With this in mind, we are electrifying major models, with the X-Trail for the Japan market becoming a dedicated e-Power [hybrid] model with e-4ORCE an option. The new X-Trail will play an important role in leading our electrification.”

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Along with a two-wheel drive variant, there’ll also be a version of the X-Trail with selectable four-wheel drive. Called ‘e-4ORCE’, it offers specific drivetrain settings for snow, gravel and mud. Nissan believes it will give even more off-road capability combined with e-Power – thanks to plenty of torque from the electric motor and finer control over this component’s output compared with a combustion engine.

For the new X-Trail, Nissan took a leaf from the latest Qashqai’s styling book, with the SUV receiving the same V-Motion grille and slim headlamps as its smaller sibling, coupled with  large lower headlight units. The new X-Trail will also feature angular body lines to give it a chunkier look than its softer-surfaced predecessor. Silver trim inserts and a contrasting roof complete the look.

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Inside, the X-Trail will receive plenty of advanced technology, which includes a host of driver assistance kit, a ‘Virtual Personal Assistant’ and a brand-new infotainment set-up, which will more than likely be lifted from the latest Qashqai. Nissan also says the new CMF-C platform will help improve the SUV’s refinement and dynamic performance.

According to the Japanese brand, the latest version of its ProPilot driver assistance software will be used in the X-Trail, although it’ll not be quite as extreme as Nissan’s fully-autonomous tech that was showcased recently. The software will feature on a 12.3-inch driver’s display, a 12.3-inch central display and a 10.8-inch head-up display.

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Another benefit of the new underpinnings is that the X-Trail will also be available with a third seating row, offering seven-seat capability for larger families. Up front we see Nissan’s ‘Zero Gravity’ seats, which have been optimised to provide extra comfort on long drives.

Nissan has confirmed the X-Trail’s starting price in Australia will be $36,750 befor eon-road costs for ST specification, going up to $52,990 for the top-spec Ti-L with AWD. Pricing for the e-Power hybrid has not yet been given.

Alastair Crooks

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