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The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

New X-Trail breaks cover

2007-03-09 07:42
Rugged yet practical and comfortable, Nissan's next generation was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

The current Nissan X-Trail has consistently been a top seller on the local SUV scene, but will the September arrival of the Qashqai put a damper on this mainstay's spirits?

The second generation X-Trail is significantly larger than its predecessor though the vehicle's boxy shape and several design details indicate its heritage. According to Nissan, the newcomer offers improved performance, more convenience, better quality and comfort, and lower fuel consumption and emissions.

New X-Trail uses a revised version of Nissan?s All Mode four-wheel drive system that now features downhill drive support (DDS) and uphill start support (USS).

DDS is engaged via a switch on the centre console and uses the ABS to maintain a speed of 7 km/h while descending. USS is a fully automatic system that activates on a slope exceeding a 10 per cent incline, momentarily holding the brake pressure until the driver accelerates.

From the outside, the imposing grille common to all Nissan products dominates the front section. The interior is said to be more luxurious than before with soft-touch fabrics in contrasting colours used throughout the cabin. Instrument surrounds are finished in either silver or titanium colours, depending on the trim level.

A key interior change is the positioning of the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, freeing the centre console up for a larger LCD screen and an indash multi-disc CD changer.

Not that space is at a premium in the X-Trail. The luggage area now holds 555 litres with the rear seats up, while a "double-deck" system allows for a sliding drawer under the floor for the storing of valuable items.

New X-Trail shares the Renault/Nissan Alliance platform - with a strut and multi-link arrangement - with the fresh Qashqai. Nissan SA has confirmed the new softroader will be available here from September this year.

However, the manufacturer was unable to tell Wheels24.co.za when the next generation X-Trail will be launched locally.

"We don't know when the X-Trail will be coming to South Africa, but if definitely won't be in this year," a spokesperson for the company said. "We're (Nissan SA) are currently in discussion with our parent company to determine when we'll be able to bring it here."

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