For more than two decades, Aussies have enjoyed the X-Trail. You might even say it’s part of Gen-X and Gen-Y culture, with so many families choosing the Nissan SUV since its launch in 2001. Now, we get to drive the Ti-L 4×4 e-Power.
This writer first discovered the X-Trail as a full time junior journalist at Two Wheels many years ago, as we shared our office with Overlander 4×4. A few years later, close friends bought one as their first new family car, while we bought a Suzuki Vitara.
That X-Trail would go on to serve as an unbreakable family car, even when they went on to have four kids. Eventually replaced by a larger car, the X-Trail proved why it was and still is, so popular down under. It’s fun, affordable, reliable and very practical.
These days, the X-Trail comes in eight variants, including the hybrid offering we’re testing here. Our Ti-L is essentially the luxury version, packed with features that include a great Bose 10-speaker sound system, a powered tailgate, rear window shades and a sunroof.
It’s powered by Nissan’s e-POWER+ 1.5-litre 12-valve direct injection 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine, with e-4ORCE electric drive four-wheel control system, and dual electric motors (direct drive the wheels, no internal combustion connection).
The combination of the petrol engine and hybrid powertrain delivers 150kW (engine) and 100kW (electric motors) and 330Nm and 195Nm of torque, respectively.
The e-4ORCE setup is a smart system that delivers appropriate drive and power to each of the four corners of the X-Trail, allowing some soft roading fun and enhanced grip on slippery roads. We stayed on the tarmac, but found it made for a good driving experience.
It has a lovely weight to the steering, and a balanced chassis for an SUV. It turns in with precision and carries a line accurately, with the e-4ORCE providing drive to the inside wheels, for instance, when needed. The road hugging effect is noticeable.
Not only does the e-POWER and e-4ORCE combo have a positive impact on the handling, it also provides incredibly smooth power delivery and feel that rivals its hybrid and full EV competition. This is the smoothest drivetrain and go pedal this reviewer has experienced.
Running 6.2-litres/100km over our 400km/10-hour test on all types of sealed roads, the Tii-L e-Power provided high-end Euro luxury and ride for a fraction of the price. Yes, $60K is a big chunk, but the Nissan oozes class, quality and precision, particularly in ride quality.
Throttle response is instant, and there is brisk acceleration. A broad, linear spread of seamless torque is on hand, while pulling up is done with finesse, with soft initial brake bite, yet plenty of stopping power.
In e-Pedal (pure EV) mode, maximum regeneration allows brakeless traffic driving but no complete stop. On open highways, it will easily cruise on 110km/h effortlessly. Drive modes include Auto, Sport, Eco, Off-Road and Snow, and we stuck to the first two.
The driver aids include a full safety suite known as ProPilot, with intelligent cruise, forward collision, lane intervention, and front and rear emergency braking. The systems ran unnoticed in the background mostly, although we did switch off lane assist a few times.
The 360-degree camera is handy (and needed), but not the clearest resolution. That aside, the Ti-L comes with a 10.8-inch head-up display, 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless charging and electric heated front seats (with memory). There are buttons for climate, drive modes, audio and the camera, thankfully. The rest of the menus are accessed via the dash or touchscreen.
The software is glitch free and fast, but the hard buttons are difficult to see as they aren’t backlit. It does have a few flaws though, including narrow front seats, with the lumbar support very low down, causing back pain.
Aside from the small front seats, there’s a heated steering that’s very nice, and plenty of room in the front for passenger and driver, with lots of adjustment, ample storage, and charge points. There are two good centre cup holders as well.
The centre console opens with a split lid, which is easier to use than usual. Less impressive are the seatbelt mounting points in the second row, which are very high and not adjustable (that we could see). Our 12-year-old is tall, yet the belt was over his neck, for example.
As a result, to take the kids to school we have to dig out our dusty old booster seats for the youngest two (aged 7 and 9), while the 12-year-old had to sit on a cushion. This is something parents should consider when looking at the X-Trail.
Aside from that, the back area is a comfortable place to be, although it feels a little like it was designed for adults, given the reach for cup holders, vents and charge points. There is a luxurious centre armrest, and with it stowed there’s room for three, comfortably.
Sporting a braked towing capacity of 1,650kg, there is ample storage in the boot (575-litres with the 60/40/20 split seats in the upright position. These also slide and the two outer rear seats are heated.
With cool looking 20-inch alloys, an optional black painted roof, external rear vision mirror with tilt to reverse, and remote engine start, the 2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti-L e-Power is truly a luxury, capable and excellent family car.
Priced at $62,310 drive away, you can build your own on the Nissan Australia website. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and if you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.
Our test vehicle was provided by Nissan Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti-L 4×4 e-Power, contact your local Nissan dealer. Images: Heather Ware.