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X-Trail's epic fuel economy run

2012-08-21 10:37

NEGOTIATIONG TOUGH ROADS: Two teams embarked on an epic journey around the Lesotho border, their mission was to prove the fuel efficiency of the vehicles when used in different conditions.

The Nissan’s X-Trail SUV has proved its mettle once again as it embarked on an epic driving adventure in August along the Lesotho border.

Two teams, one novive and the other comprised of economy run veterans, drover 2.0 dCi XE 4x2 manual models.

The compact SUV’s fuel efficiency was put to the ultimate test under real world conditions – ranging from smooth sailing on national roads to muddy mountain passes.


The “novice” team, represented by Xtreme Car & Leisure and DieselDrive Magazines, posted great results, achieving 7.06-litres/100 km overall and under “everyday” driving conditions.

The experts, lead by local economy run veteran Willie Nel (who has completed 36 events) and joined by Jacaranda FM’s Ashley Hayden, posted figures of 6.41-litres/100 km overall.

Nel said: “While frugal at cruising speeds on the open road, the impact of using lower gears on the Lundean’s Nek and Naude’s Nek passes was amazing to see, where low speeds and higher revs created a negative effect.”

Both vehicles achieved their inspiring figures with a full complement of luggage and passengers on board, at high altitude and on at least 50% gravel roads.


The Epic Adventure’s route, began and ended in Harrismith in the Free State – saw unconventional roads selected in order for the vehicles to stay as close to the Lesotho border as possible. Heading down from Harrismith to boutique town Clarens, the teams then set out for Ficksburg and Ladybrand, before passing Clocolan and on to Zastron.

Having enjoyed tarred roads until this point, dirt roads formed the remainder of day one, the teams heading South towards Rhodes in the Eastern Cape right along the Lesotho border – the Telle River being but a stone’s throw away at certain points, with breath-taking views in every direction.

Day two included traversing Lundean’s Nek through to snowy Naude’s Nek towards Matatiele, before heading Northwards up to Swartberg in Kwa-Zulu Natal, through Underberg and eventually landing back in Harrismith. With mostly dirt roads the order of the day, the X-Trail’s build quality was put to the ultimate test, as well as its ability to handle rough roads at speed.


With 203 mm ground clearance and high-profile tyres, neither X-Trail showed any signs of strain or nervousness on various different road surfaces,

“The 4x2 X-Trail’s ground clearance was remarkable, and the suspension was firm but not harsh, making tough terrain easy to negotiate. The torquey 2.0-litre diesel engine mated to well-spaced gear ratios was excellent in undulating terrain, with brisk acceleration met by exceptional economy,” Nel said.

Terry Mashoko, product manager: SUV at Nissan South Africa, said: “We are very pleased with the phenomenal fuel consumption that the X-Trails achieved. The X-Trail continues to be a lifestyle enabler for the adventurous at heart, whilst maintaining fuel efficiency and environmental consciousness. The figures achieved on the Epic go to show that even in comfort and at leisure, great fuel economy can be achieved.”

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