Nissan has been listening and delivers a wide choice in SUVs and 4x4s.
Nissan’s evergreen X-Trail SUV has added a diesel to its engine line-up, answering a need among buyers for extra pulling power and lower fuel consumption.
The diesel joins 2.0 litre and 2.5 litre petrol engines that accompanied the third-generation X-Trail’s introduction last year. Until the arrival of an all-new Navara ute in a few months’ time, it completes Nissan’s wide choices in SUVs and 4x4s from the Juke to the Patrol.
It is available in two-wheel drive — for the first time — and four-wheel drive variants; automatic transmission comes only with the 2WD and six-speed manual only with the 4WD.
The all-new engine has 1.6 litres’ capacity instead of 2.0 litres and is a substantial 30 kilograms lighter. It retains the same 320 Newtonmetres torque output. This plus the lower weight, idle-stop/start control and some small wind-cheating enhancements around the exterior mirrors and rear underbody, contribute to substantially better fuel economy — an average 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres, down from 7.41/100.
But power output is lower from the new 1.6 diesel, down to 96 kiloWatts from 110 kW. This may impact performance, but the torque (unchanged) is the main thing in a diesel SUV.
The diesel-manual X-Trail can tow two tonnes all-up with a braked trailer, half a tonne more than other versions.
The diesel is a five-seater; only the 2WD with 2.5 litre petrol engine offers a further two pews in the cargo compartment.
Re-introduced TS and TL specification grades are exclusive to the diesel X-Trails, but are similar to the ST and Ti grades already familiar to owners.
The TS is priced at $35,380 for the 2WD with standard automatic; the 4WD seems good value at just $300 more, but remember, it’s manual-only. It’s a big step up to the 2WD diesel TL at $46,280, but there is lots more fruit.