Double You Gin

The new model is instantly recognizable as the X-Trail and has a similarly broad range of talents. But with a new chassis, new engines, a further increase in equipment, even greater comfort and a roomier interior, Nissan’s compact SUV can do everything just that little bit better than the original model. © Photo: Speed Heads “Never change a winning formula” is not only a saying in Formula 1, so for Nissan the guiding principle when drawing up the specifications was also: do not change anything fundamental about the recipe for success, but make the second generation of the successful model even more competitive in terms of performance, comfort and off-road capability. When it was launched in 2001, the company assumed that it would sell 23,000 vehicles a year throughout Europe. However, over the entire life cycle, the average annual figure was 54,000, 135 percent more than originally planned. In total, Nissan has sold 275,000 units in Europe since its launch. {The most important measures taken for the X-TRAIL were a new chassis with a new body, an expanded engine range, a significantly larger interior and trunk, and a further improvement in the quality of the interior. The off-road characteristics were improved even further; Nissan added an electronic hill-climbing and hill-descent assistant to the new intelligent “All Mode 4×4-i” system. While some of the X-Trail’s competitors are even only offered with front-wheel drive, Nissan no longer compromises on this point and generally offers the model with all-wheel drive in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Robust exterior design Despite a complete overhaul, the design of the X-Trail continues the themes introduced with the first generation. Design features such as the distinctive shoulder and straight-through window lines reappear, as do the angular headlights and taillights that extend vertically into the roof. The most striking change is the D-pillar, which is now significantly wider at the base and, together with the more voluminous wheel arches and the modified bumpers, gives the X-Trail an even more robust appearance. At the rear end, the one-piece tailgate extends far into the bumper, allowing for a low loading edge. Nissan now integrated the third brake light directly into the frame of the cargo door rather than behind the glass of the window. © Photo: Speed Heads The new X-Trail in detail In the summer 2007 the Nissan X-Trail goes Europe-wide to the sales start. Because the success of the predecessor was so overwhelming, especially in Europe, the new model rolls out to dealers here earlier than in Japan. This has never happened before in the history of Nissan for a car produced in the home country. The new X-Trail is based on the Qashqai platform. Both the front McPherson strut suspension and the rear multilink axle are mounted on subframes and suspended on elastic rubber mounts to acoustically isolate the interior from road noise and vibrations. The dimensions of the new X-Trail have increased only slightly. The wheelbase grew by five millimeters to 2.63 meters and the overall length increased by 175 millimeters to 4.63 meters. With 200 millimeters of ground clearance and slope angles of 28 and 23 degrees, the X-Trail masters difficult terrain. In off-road terrain, it is hardly inferior to off-road icons such as the Nissan Patrol or the Nissan Pathfinder. “All-Mode 4×4-i” system The heart of the 4×4 technology arsenal is the latest version of the electronically controlled “All-Mode 4×4-i” drive system, which, in conjunction with the high-torque gasoline and diesel engines, provides the driving stability required off-road, even at low speeds. A rotary switch located on the center console can be used to select between the “4×2” (front-wheel drive) and “Auto” drive programs. In the “Auto” position, the system constantly checks the throttle position, engine speed and engine torque to direct torque to the rear axle as required if there is a risk of slippage. In addition, for heavy off-road driving, a “lock” position can be selected up to a speed of 30 km/h, in which a fixed 50:50 power distribution is applied. © Photo: Speed Heads New features of the “All Mode 4×4-i” system include DDS (Downhill Drive Support) and USS (Uphill Start Support). USS represents a fully automatic “hill holder” that holds the X-Trail on inclines of ten degrees or more until the driver actually starts driving. This gives the driver enough time to switch from the brake pedal to the gas pedal without rushing, especially when driving on difficult terrain, and to tackle the climb with a well-dosed application of power. USS also works when the X-Trail approaches an incline in reverse gear. In return, DDS helps when mastering steep downhill sections. Here, after pressing the appropriate switch (“Lock”), the X-Trail crawls down even the steepest descents at a maximum of 7 km/h without the driver having to apply the brakes. Instead, he can concentrate fully on steering and maintaining a safe course. Like USS, hill descent assist also works when reverse gear is engaged. The engines: Two turbodiesels and optimized gasoline engines Nissan expanded the engine lineup for the new X-Trail from three to four engines. Only the 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine has been retained – albeit in a revised form. The other three engines, on the other hand, are completely new designs. For the first time, Nissan is offering a diesel in two power levels in the X-Trail. The two-liter unit, code-named “M1D”, was developed by Nissan’s alliance partner Renault. In the new X-Trail, the engine produces 150 hp or 173 hp with intercooling. Maximum torque is 320 and 360 Nm respectively, 90 percent of which is available at 1,750 rpm in both cases. Nissan equips both diesel engines ex works with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter. Power is transmitted in both dCi models via a six-speed manual transmission; for the first time in an X-Trail diesel (150 hp), a six-speed automatic transmission is also available as an option. © Photo: Speed Heads Nissan developed the new 2.0-liter gasoline engine itself. Made entirely of aluminum, the four-valve unit generates 140 hp and a maximum torque of 193 Nm. Unusual for a gasoline engine is the fact that 90 percent of the best pulling power is already available from 2,400 revolutions. Nissan optimized the proven 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 169 hp in terms of running culture and efficiency. With a maximum torque of 233 Nm and powerful pull in the lower and mid-range, this engine is predestined for trailer operation and is correspondingly popular among X-Trail customers. The gasoline versions of the X-Trail also use a six-speed manual transmission; a continuously variable CVT transmission is available as an alternative. High interior quality In the X-Trail’s interior, Nissan continues its strategy of offering a higher level of quality than customers expect. High-touch surfaces now generally have a soft-touch feel, while grained plastics in contrasting colors (black/gray or black/sand) are also used throughout the cockpit. The interior sides of the A-pillars have been covered with fabric, which enhances the cockpit’s homely feel. Depending on the equipment, the bezels of the circular instruments, the rotary knobs in the center console and the gearshift gate shine in a silver or titanium finish. Versatility and practicality were the watchwords for the interior architecture. By moving the instrument panel from its former central position to the left, into the driver’s direct field of vision, the designers gained more freedom for the design of the center console. There is now sufficient space for a large navigation display, an integrated six-CD changer and – at the top – a spacious storage compartment with room for ten CD cases. The 15.7-liter glove box has been given its own custom compartment for the X-Trail owner’s manual. © Photo: Speed Heads Trunk volume increased from 410 to 603 liters The volume of the trunk grew by 193 liters to now 603 liters. This was made possible primarily by the modified routing of the exhaust: Whereas the voluminous rear muffler used to be located transversely under the trunk floor, from now on the exhaust line, including the muffler, runs longitudinally and to the rear close to the left wheel well. This created space for a double-decked trunk, which has a special element in the form of a pull-out drawer in which valuables are protected from prying eyes from outside. The drawer also has sliding dividers that can be inserted at various points, making it easier to carry small items in particular. If you wish, you can remove both the drawer and the upper loading floor completely – in which case the usable loading height of the trunk is 127 millimeters higher than in the predecessor model. Nissan chose an easy-to-clean, non-slip plastic covering for the trunk floor. Raised ribs running at irregular intervals prevent objects from sliding around while driving. With this solution, Nissan accommodated many customer requests: Due to the frequent carrying of dogs or outdoor equipment, sensitive carpeting seemed less suitable to them. As in the first X-Trail, the rear seat backrests can be reclined. The rear seat folds down individually, but instead of the widely used 60:40 split, it folds in a particularly practical 40:20:40 ratio. © Photo: Speed Heads Air conditioning, power windows front and rear, and a Bluetooth interface for cell phones are standard features in all X-Trail models. Factory safety features include side and head airbags, ABS, ESP and EBD (electronic brake force distribution). The most important options are xenon main headlights, a roof rack system with fully integrated searchlights, and a DVD navigation system with color monitor that also transmits images from the rearview camera. Double You Gin.

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