The Nissan X-Trail is already a stand out in the midsize mass market SUV segment thanks to its extra two seats. The third row may be tight, but kids can be squeezed in at a pinch, avoiding certain “I think we’ll need two cars” situations. Three generations in three rows, a good family car.
Also helping the third-gen X-Trail’s cause is its new styling direction that moves away from the trademark boxy shape of the first two generations. Today’s T32 is handsome and has substantial size and presence to match. It’s a smooth and relaxing car to drive as well, typical of CVT-equipped Nissans. A likeable family SUV, as noted in our review of the Malaysian-spec 2.0 2WD and 2.5 4WD from earlier this year.
There’s a new X-Trail Hybrid variant that’s already on sale in Japan and Thailand, promising superior economy and more grunt. Should it come to Malaysia – which has incentives for locally assembled hybrids – the petrol-hybrid T32 could add superb value to its arsenal as well, making a good product even more convincing. We briefly sample it in Japan.
The X-Trail Hybrid’s internal combustion engine is the same 2.0 litre unit found in our 2.0 2WD variant, but the MR20DD has been optimised for the hybrid system – changes include a low-friction oil seal and the deletion of the auxiliary belt. Output is slightly higher compared to our 144 PS/200 Nm MR20DD, at 147 PS at 6,000 rpm and 207 Nm at 4,400 rpm.