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by Tim Beissmann

Nissan has unveiled a facelifted version of its 2011 Nissan X-Trail for the Japanese market with fresh exterior styling, an upgraded trip computer and a new hill control system among the highlights.

Nissan Australia spokesman Jeff Fisher said he expected the Australian-specification X-Trail update (based on the Japanese vehicle) to debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October.

Mr Fisher confirmed the X-Trail would be launched locally in the fourth quarter and said specifications and prices would be finalised closer to its on sale date.

The facelift revealed by Nissan Japan is significant enough for most to distinguish it from the outgoing model.

The styling of the front grille, bumper and headlights are an evolution of the current formula rather than a significant departure, while the LED combination taillights and alloy wheels are also new.

Inside, the Vehicle Information Display incorporates drive data on current fuel consumption and range, as well as upcoming maintenance schedules and warning information.

Other upgrades include larger size meters and changes to plastics and seat materials.

The new Advanced Hill Decent Control system for four-wheel drive models allows the driver to set and maintain a speed between 4km/h and 15km/h, depending on the surface and gradient of the hill.

A six-speed automatic transmission option has also been added to the Japanese range’s 20GT clean diesel model.

A heat-retaining/refrigerated glovebox and three-point seatbelt and headrest for the centre-rear passenger seat are also now standard for the Japanese vehicle.

A new “X-Treamer” variant emphasises the vehicle’s off-road capabilities, sporting a front overrider, undercover and larger front fog lamps, while the Navi HDD package adds a high-performance HDD navigation system.

The X-Trail range goes on sale in Japan at the end of this week, to be joined by the X-Treamer later next month, with prices ranging from 2,239,650 yen ($28,800) to 3,139,500 yen ($40,300).

Since its full model update in August 2007, the Nissan X-Trail has been the top selling SUV in Japan.

In the first six months of 2010, Nissan Australia sold 4548 X-Trails, an increase of more than 20 percent over the same period in 2009. Its 8.2 percent share of the Compact SUV market is down from 9.1 percent for the first half of last year, and trails segment leaders Subaru Forester (7399 sales, 13.4 percent share), Toyota RAV4 (6898, 12.5 percent), Mazda CX-7 (4831, 8.8 percent) and Mitsubishi Outlander (4626, 8.4 percent).




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