Nissan GB will launch an updated X-Trail crossover in August with most changes similar to those just made to its hot selling Qashqai.
So there’s that new ‘V-Motion’ grille, new headlights, new fog lamps, new full LED rear lamps, new bumper with chrome insert, shark fin antenna, new 17″ and 18″ wheels (19″ carry over), a new bright sill trim for higher spec models, four new paint colours, hands-free operation for the electric tailgate (kick under the rear bumper), a 15-litres larger boot thanks to some repackaging of items like side trim panels and Qashqai-style new steering wheel with flat bottom, new redundant switchgear, a better view of the dials and heating for the enlarged rim.
Heated rear seats are now available, and there is a new tan and black interior trim combination, Bose eight speaker sound, more app-like operation for the infotainment, range wide digital radio, intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, rear cross traffic alert, stand still assist on manual versions (holds the car on a hill for three minutes after the driver releases the brake pedal, then applies the park brake if the car does not move off) and, coming later, Pro Pilot which combines lane keep assist, intelligent cruise control and traffic jam pilot into a first degree of automated driving in the likes of motorway traffic jams.
All that is combined with better materials and finish in the cabin for a mid life update very similar to that applied to the Qashqai.
Nissan launched a new two-litre, 177PS diesel for X-Trail earlier this year and the other trim-related engine choices remain 130PS 1.6 diesel and a 163PS petrol which is available only with 2WD and manual transmission. You can have either diesel as manual with 2WD or 4WD but CVT automatic is 2WD only for the 1.6 and either for the two litre.
You might dismiss the X-Trail as a slightly larger Qashqai available with seven seats but Nissan GB likes to position the Japanese built car quite differently from its UK made sibling. Qashqai, they say, is the “ultimate urban crossover” while the X-Trail is the “family adventure explorer”.
It’s also the globe’s best selling SUV with 766,000 copies retailed last year of which 322,000, badged Rogue, were sold in the US and another 181,000 in China. Our product life database, PLDB, shows the model made or assembled in no fewer than nine factories worldwide and that includes St Petersburg, source of the 20,000 sold in Russia in 2016. The highest volume plant is Smyrna, Tennessee, which supplies the US, supplemented by Kyushu, Japan and a Samsung plant in Korea.
More than 3.7m have been sold since the first X-Trail was launched in 2000. That includes almost half a million cars in Europe. Approximately 115,000 units have been sold on the continent since the third-generation model was launched in 2014 and demand has grown significantly year on year; sales doubled from 2014 to 2015, and the total rose again by another 40% the following year.
Nissan GB asserts over 55% of its buyers are “active families” and says the higher specifications are preferred – entry level Visia accounts for just 1%, Acenta 13%, N-Connecta 39% and Tekna 47%.
According to PLDB, the next generation of the Rogue/X-Trail, from quarter four in 2019, should use an update of the CMF C/D architecture upon which the current models are based. These SUVs will again be manufactured in multiple plants, with Sunderland in England – home of the European Qashqai since 2007 – being confirmed as one of them in October 2016. This will be the first time that any generation of X-Trail has been manufactured there.