2022 Nissan X-Trail debuts in Japan

Fourth-generation Nissan X-Trail gets the e-Power hybrid powertrain from the Qashqai

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 Europe 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.

When it comes to the UK, the X-Trail will renew its rivalry with the likes of the Kia Sorento, Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq. Top-spec models will also come with three-row seating, which should help distinguish it from the five-seat-only Qashqai. 

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Unlike the brand’s popular Qashqai SUV, however, UK X-Trail buyers will be offered the new hybrid technology from launch and it’ll be the only powertrain option. 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 184bhp 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 acts as a generator, constantly topping up the battery pack, which then sends power to the electric motor.

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.”

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.

New 2022 Nissan X-Trail: design and interior

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.

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. 

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.

New 2022 Nissan X-Trail: price and positioning

It’ll be a while before the next-generation X-Trail goes on sale in the UK, so Nissan hasn’t yet confirmed the car’s starting price. However, given the new platform and the increased level of technology on offer, we expect the new SUV will be considerably more expensive than the outgoing model. For comparison, prices for the old car started from £26,835.

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Also, the X-Trail’s market has changed since the Mk3 model was launched back in 2013. Prices for the Skoda Kodiaq (which is a key competitor for the X-Trail) start from £33,100, while the cheapest Kia Sorento costs £49,495. So, we expect that Nissan will target a starting price of around £35,000, to keep pace with the competition.

Nissan will complete the overhaul of its SUV line-up with the Mk4 X-Trail. The process started in late 2019 with the second-generation Juke. It was followed by the launch of the pure-electric Ariya and the exclusively hybrid replacement for the Qashqai, both of which were revealed early last year.

Click here for our in-depth review of the latest Nissan Qashqai SUV

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