Nissan X-Trail Hybrid

Nissan X-Trail Hybrid Review: “The hybrid is more advantageous in terms of its smooth maneuverability rather than fuel consumption” by Takahito Nakamura

I previously test drove the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid at the test course in Oppama. At that time, I was really impressed when I used the Xtronic CVT’s step control. It automatically shifted the gears to step AT at high speeds.

I drove at a maximum speed of 140kph in the Oppama test course though I was able to do an automatic step with that speed. However, it was unfortunate that I was not able to completely utilize that function on the public highway because even if I could fully depart from the traffic lights, the step control did not work. Therefore, the engine speed did not drop when the rotation has increased, which is common in CVT. This is one part I did not like about the X-Trail Hybrid; I was not able to feel this at the test driving course.

The 2L MR20DD unit is very smooth and powerful as it did not have supplementary equipment and drive belt, and the engine substance charge has decreased. Despite that fact, because it was not equipped with turbo engine and the engine torque was only 207Nm, I was not satisfied with its acceleration, along with the 1,630kg vehicle weight. Moreover, I test drove it with two passengers this time; thus the weight of the car with two people in it increased, because of another passenger.

The regional project leader Makoto Fujii said that they originally marketed the X-Trail with a tough image, when they aimed for a classic style 4WD model. However, since they adopted the 4WD that uses a propeller shaft, its weight has increased and this brings about bad effects to the fuel consumption.

Furthermore, the benefit I could get from a heavy-duty 4WD (compared to the E-4WD) is that it has a limited area. I was not able to feel its full potential when I test drove on a tarmac road on a sunny day. It achieves fuel economy of 20km/l in JC08 mode, enough to be tax-exempt. When driving on urban roads with two passengers, it can go as much as 13km/l. It was on a certain level in which it wasn’t bad yet it wasn’t that special either. By the way, since the JC08 mode fuel consumption of a 2L gasoline powered car is 16.4km/L, I honestly felt that its real fuel consumption did not change that much.

Therefore, its advantage is more on the smooth maneuverability than the fuel consumption. The interruptions in the engine are perfectly controlled to a point that I don’t even notice when the motor starts and bridges to the engine. My impression about its “toughness” is quite the opposite. It was difficult to disregard this observation. Nevertheless, I was able to feel its fine riding feel, which I was not able to recognize at the test course. However, it did not feel as smooth as when I was at the test course.

Even so, with this affordable model worth 2.8 million yen, its price setting is very interesting. I thought its body size and functions did surpass the vehicles of rival companies.

â–  5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★★
Interior / Comfort: ★★★★
Power Source: ★★★★
Footwork: ★★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★

Takahito Nakamura | AJAJ Member

Born in 1952. He loves cars that adorned the pages of car magazines even at the young age of four. He started working part time at a Super Car shop. He also has an experience being an apprentice mechanic for Nova Engineering. After that, he went to Germany to study about cars. He entered the journalism industry in 1977 and has been a fixture in it for the last 36 years. He continues to be active as a freelance journalist.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)