Nissan’s flagship SUV is the X-Trail and it’s been recently upgraded with more style and lots of safety features. Michael Moroney trialled the higher spec 4×4 version and was impressed with all it offers – apart from the priceWhile Nissan’s X-Trail claims to be the world’s best-selling SUV, on the Irish market the Qashqai is the model that shines brightest.

I’ve had the new Nissan X-Trail on the road with a combination of its powerful 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine and automatic gearbox.

It provides a noticeably different driving experience to the Qashqai. The X-Trail is a marginally bigger car than before and also has the benefit of giving a seven-seat option.
This new generation X-Trail was significantly improved towards the end of 2017.
The engine power from the 2.0-litre unit is impressive at 177bhp, and its high torque rating at 380Nm means that it accelerates with ease.

Engine power is stronger than that of many other seven-seat competitors and the car has a stronger feel to it.
The Xtronic automatic gearbox uses a continuously variable transmission system that differs from conventional automatic gearbox systems.

The larger power engine means that this X-Trail automatic accelerates with ease.
The official economy rating for the new top-end X-Trail is 17km/litre (6.0/100km or 47mpg) and that should deliver a range of almost 1,000km from a full tank.

In reality, to get 70% of that economy performance is a good result, even with the X-Trail’s economy drive option mostly in use over my 1,000km test run.
This new X-Trail has significant style changes to the inside with new automatic control systems included to give it a more upmarket appeal.

There is a new D-shaped steering wheel for easier entry and exit for the driver. The steering wheel’s central hub is smaller than before and the three spokes are slimmer to give improved instrument visibility.

The seven-seat version that I drove has a good storage area and includes sliding second row seats.

The third seat row is easy to bring into use and gives an impressive large boot area when folded flat.

Nissan’s ProPILOT system is an option on the new X-Trail, which is claimed to be a first stage towards autonomous driving.
ProPILOT will control the steering, acceleration and braking in a single lane during heavy traffic congestion and during higher-speed cruising.

The system uses three technologies: Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Traffic Jam Pilot. The ProPILOT system is activated via a button on the X-Trail’s steering wheel.

Other X-Trail safety features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert, to prevent low-speed impacts when reversing out of a parking space. The Intelligent Emergency Braking has been upgraded with pedestrian recognition.

The X-Trail safety deal includes numerous other safety technologies including Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Intelligent Park Assist, Intelligent Around View Monitor and Lane Departure Warning. Nissan claims that the new X-Trail maintains its 2014 five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

The Xtronic automatic version that I drove is an impressive car to drive, but the price jump from manual to automatic versions is very prohibitive, at more than €4,000.
The price jump from five-seat to seven-seat versions is also high at a similar amount, not making it easy for larger families.

The entry price for the seven seat 2.0-litre diesel versions with full 4×4 capability, start at €43,450; there are more modest entry level X-Trails with smaller engines and less off-road pretentions, and the same seven-seat capacity, with more value, for about €10,000 less.