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Turbo petrol Nissan X-Trail – that’ll do pricely!

09:05 30 January 2016

Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T uses a smooth, hushed 161bhp turbo petol engine which is perky and fuel-efficient.

Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T uses a smooth, hushed 161bhp turbo petol engine which is perky and fuel-efficient.

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Nissan has added a refined turbo petrol engine to the X-Trail which also create a new entry-price model. Matt Kimberley drives it.

What’s new?

You probably already know the X-Trail. It’s the seven-seat big brother to the five-seat Qashqai. It’s been around a while but Nissan has added a new engine to the line-up to drop the entry price.

The engine is a 1.6-litre turbo petrol, more or less straight from the Qashqai. With 161bhp and a reputation for smooth manners it should offer a dignified new option for sport utility vehicle devotees.

Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T

Price: Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T 2WD Visia, £21,995 (five seat only). Seven-seat models from £24,695

Engine: 1.6-litre, 161bhp, four-cylinder turbo petrol

Transmission: Six-speed manual driving front wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 10.5 seconds; top speed 117mph

MPG 55.4

CO2 emissions: 145g/km

Looks and Image

From the front it’s barely any different to the Qashqai. The smaller car sells like hot cakes, though, so making the X-Trail so recognisable makes it easy for conservative buyers to upgrade their smaller Nissan. The name X-Trail even sounds pretty cool.

Space and practicality

You can do a lot with the big boot, but on the seven-seat test car (the extra two seats are optional) the panels didn’t sit properly flush with the flat-folding row of two individual seats. The rearmost panel can easily be slotted in vertically to shorten the load area and help stop things rolling around as much as they would otherwise.

Despite Nissan’s insistence, the X-Trail doesn’t quite feel like a premium product. The black switchgear looks bulky and a bit utilitarian in the beige interior. Choose black instead and you’ll never notice. There’s a huge amount of space for five thanks to a sliding middle row of seats that can open up limousine-style legroom behind a short-legged driver.

Behind the wheel

The new engine is impressively silky and hushed, tuned to deliver its not inconsiderable torque gradually, which makes for a forgiving drive. You don’t get a little wallop of acceleration until you get past 3,000rpm, which is a double-edged sword. It means the car is super-smooth going up and down the gears in traffic, but on motorways and inclines you need to drop gears and put your foot down.

I’d like it to ride a little more softly than it does. Manhole covers are more jarring than they should be in a car of this height and suspension travel. The silver lining is that it can be hustled up a twisty road with much more abandon than you’d expect.

Value for money

This model is a healthy four-figure sum cheaper than the entry-level diesel. The diesel will be cheaper to tax but whether the extra fuel economy and reduced vehicle excise duty bill will make it the more sensible choice is down to each buyer. If you cover fewer than 12,000 miles a year or will only keep the car for a couple of years, this new petrol might make more sense.

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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