Test Driving the 2015 Nissan X-Trail

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Tall, dark and handsome – the classical ideal women look for in a dream man. If you think about it, many SUVs in the market fit that description. These vehicles are tall, embodying strength and ability to ford even the deepest of floods. They look good in black, and you see a lot of them in that paint scheme. Handsome? They are are styled with so much ruddy masculinity that you’d think car designer’s pencils were leaded with adulterated male hormones. Is it not a surprise that you see a lot of women driving SUVs nowadays?

We’re sure the Nissan X-Trail will attract many of the fair gender. Recently launched in front of local bankers and important customers of the Nissan Southwoods dealership last week, we were witness to women fawning over the car as the sheets were pulled off the car.

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The headlights imbibe a feeling of a mechatronic feline staring right back at you. Integrated daytime running lights accentuate the chiseled lines of the front fascia. The bodywork becomes more curvaceous as you gaze towards the side and rear, harking the more expensive Infiniti design language.

Speaking of bodywork, previous generations were renowned for their plastic front fenders. As part of sales pitches, associates regularly depress the fenders for them to spring back, highlighting the ruggedness of the soft-roader. We do not know if this feature carries over to the third-gen X-Trail, but it does come with more features for those who wish to potentially off-road the vehicle at some point of its life.

Spring for the 4×4 model and you get a knob on the central transmission tunnel where you can select whether the car will be on 2WD mode, 4WD, or an intelligent real-time setting where the powertrain automatically activates 4WD when inclement road conditions warrant. Hill Descent Control is also included. This mode, which can be normally found on more expensive off-roaders,  automatically slows you down as you creep down an incline. Hill Start Assist is also available in all X-Trail variants.

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Veer your gaze to the rest of the dash and be impressed with easy to use controls lining the steering wheel and center console.  Test-driving the unit at night highlighted the fluorescent through-the-dial lighting with an LCD information screen which alerts the driver on ajar doors, or even cajoles him to take a break during long driving stints. The climate-controlled air-conditioning is traditional Nissan-freaking-frigid.

The X-Trail unit we drove was the top-spec 4×4, which was fitted with the QR25DE engine. The all-aluminum motor packs 171 horsepower and 233Nm of torque, which we were unable to feel when we gave the car a bootful at one short stretch of road. To the powertrain’s credit, we were unable to notice the detested rubber-band effect with the CVT transmission. The engine seemed to have enough torque to pull the car at low RPMs and with small amounts of throttle.

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We were perturbed with the car’s very light steering effort on the slow speeds we drove it. But it made driving the car ridiculously easy. The typical tall seating position, the attractive dash, and the serene hushness of the interior feels classy and not at all rough and brash. Despite Nissan’s positioning that this car has testosterone, the thought “made for women” always registered in our minds.

This is a car that we know our mothers would like. We would have liked to try out the 4×2 model, which is fitted with the 2.0L direct injection MR20DD engine. With a minor power deficit, sans the 4WD system, and lacking some extra doodads, but still seeming to be just as much “car” as the top-spec version, based on cursory brochure reading, we think it the better deal.

For more information about the Nissan X-Trail, check out nissan.ph. To schedule a test-drive and inquire about the latest offers on Nissan vehicles, contact Nissan Southwoods at (0915) 721-0720 or (0919) 874-0398.

Check out more pictures of the X-Trail below:

 

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