Bowen's Report Card
2021 Nissan X-Trail Ti Review
- AWD system
- Well sorted drive
- It's old, despite improvements
- CVT Transmission
- Small infotainment screen
THE BOWEN SCORE
Jumping into the Ti variant is an instantly pleasant experience
Nissan pull off more facelifts than the Kardashians. Repeatedly its SUV and Navara range have been prodded, plumped up, de-wrinkled, rejuvenated and tummy-tucked. If someone told me that Nissan hold the secret to the fountain of youth, frankly I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. So, here we go again. The 2021 Nissan X-Trail is back in business, even though the 2013 creation will be superseded by a fourth-generation model next year.
The Ti model is the chart-topping X-Trail, and it shows. My car was equipped with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. It allows for 125kW at 6000rpm and 226Nm at 4400rpm. Drive is sent via a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and in this instance to all four wheels if required. There’s also a diesel and smaller petrol models in the range.
I really dislike CVT’s, I don’t know why. Probably because they just make any engine sound like its being slowly tortured, producing one long painful groan when pushed.
Having said that, the X-Trail is in general a well-sorted SUV these days. It would want to be, given its almost eight-year long evolution. In any grade it corners flat, has trustworthy brake pedal feel, and a decent steering tune that is neither sharp nor dull. It’s like that breakfast cereal, it’s “Just Right”.
To be fair, because I drive so many new cars, I do often come preloaded with an opinion. I try and keep that in check because I know you don’t and that’s why I exist. However, jumping in the Ti model is an instantly pleasant experience.
The seats are covered with “leather accented’’ material; to this day I don’t really know what that means. To me it implies the use of some cow skin, but in general it’s a fake. That’s fine with me at this level, plus whatever the case, it looks and feels like the good stuff anyway.
The front-seats can be heated, as can the leathery steering wheel. The driver benefits from a six-way power-adjustable seat with lumbar support. The front passenger scores a four-way power-adjustable seat. The number of times my wife has complained about a manual front seat, while I enjoy the riches of power adjustments would number in the hundreds. She considers that to be an atrocity.
Dual-aircon is also handy along with:
• Heated door mirrors
• Auto dimming rear-view mirror
• LED Head Lamps
• Adaptive Front Lighting System
• Auto Levelling Headlights
• Rain Sensing Wipers
• Heated Steering Wheel
• Motion activated Power Tail Gate
• Heated Rear Seats
• BoseAudio with 8 Speakers
• Power Tilt and Slide Sunroof
In the back the 2nd row scores the Nissan “EZ Flex” seating system. The 60:40 split seat configuration can fold, slide, or recline. Plus, there’s also a pass-through section, for your pool cue, or something longish.
Technology and Safety
You know when the local RSL gets renovated? Well, that’s kind of how the X-Trail feels on the technology front. All X-Trails now score a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Nissan system also scores some graphic updates, and the screen has improved clarity.
The problem is that’s a very small piece of real estate in 2021. The Kia Stonic S manual has an 8.0-inch screen and isn’t even in the same category. The baby Kia SUV costs $22,990, that’s around $22,975 cheaper for perspective.
Digital radio is now standard but who the heck is uses that?
The X-Trail does score some important safety upgrades. It knows if you’re fatigued via data from various driving inputs. The AWD system is also handy in wet or icy conditions. This is no off-roader, but it is a significant enhancement to the standard traction control programs.
Other must haves include:
• Intelligent Emergency Braking (IEB) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
• Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
• Hill Start Assist (HSA)
• Limited-Slip Differential (LSD)
• HDC – (AWD Only)
• Intelligent Trace Control, Intelligent Engine Brake & Intelligent Ride Control
• 5-seat or 7-seat configuration (diesel is only offered in 5-seat)
The reversing camera is one of those bird’s eye or “Around View Monitor.” That’s great, but the resolution is awful. In addition, sensors will spot a thing like people or as Nissan call it “Moving Object Detection”. Finally, there is a Blind Spot Warning system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert that prevents you ploughing into unsighted traffic, Lane Departure Warning with Prevention is exclusive to the Ti as is Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Value For Money
$45,695 before on-roads will get you into the Ti model. The range starts at $30,665 for the 4×2 Manual ST.
Fuel economy is rated at 8.3L/100km.
What I Love
The eight-speaker Bose sound system is tops!
Bowen’s Report Card
The Nissan X-Trail has had a very long reign, after it dropped its former robust ladder frame chassis years ago. It’s an attractive, competent, and comfortable performer. The sole issue it has is the opposition, all of whom relegate it the X-Trail well down the SUV ladder. It’s a 79 out of 100 from me!