Nissan X-Trail 2018 ti (4wd)

2018 Nissan X-Trail Ti long-term review, report one: introduction

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In the second half of last year, we welcomed a facelifted Nissan X-Trail Ti to the CarAdvice Melbourne office's long-termer garage.

As with all of our long-term reviews, our time with the mid-sized X-Trail would be spent in assessing its suitability for the modern family, in a market segment packed to the rafters with options.

The X-Trail Ti is the top-shelf petrol model, available in all-wheel-drive form only, matched exclusively to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Priced from $44,790 before on-road costs, the Ti sits far above the entry-level, front-wheel-drive, manual-geared $27,990 ST model ($30,490 for the CVT auto, $32,490 for the all-wheel-drive CVT).

Above: Do X-Trail owners really stand as proudly by their family haulers as this stumpy bloke? Sales in 2017 suggest they might...

Although the X-Trail can be had in both five- and seven-seat forms, the latter is available only in the front-wheel-drive ST and ST-L models. Our Ti, therefore, is a five-seater.

As part of its styling and equipment upgrade, the X-Trail gained a new front-end look and a more subtly revised rear (mostly the darkened tail lamps with a new LED treatment), along with the hot-button safety technology of the moment: autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

Interior tweaks are likewise minor, limited to a new-look steering wheel and gear lever design, and a revised centre console and arm rest.

Although a new diesel engine has joined the range, our test car is equipped with the same naturally-aspirated ('non-turbo') 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that carried over from before the X-Trail's upgrades.

That engine offers 126kW of power and 226Nm of torque, with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km) on the combined cycle test, using standard 91RON petrol.

Standard kit from the base level includes LED daytime running lights up front, powered folding mirrors, a small tailgate-mounted spoiler, a rear-view camera, keyless entry and push-button start, 60/40 split-fold rear seats, and ISOFIX anchor points on the left and right rear seats.

Safety features in every model includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision warning, along with six airbags, a limited-slip differential, and hill-start assist.

Because our car is the top-shelf model, it also gets a number of features from the mid-spec ST-L model. Those include tinted rear windows, front fog-lights, leather-accented steering wheel and seats, six-way power-adjustable driver's seat and four-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat, driver lumbar support, roof rails, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control.

There's also a larger 7.0-inch infotainment display (up from five inches) with satellite navigation and traffic updates, DAB+ digital radio, 360-degree 'Around View' camera system with moving object detection, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Well-equipped by any measure, although Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink are all unavailable.

Features specific to the Ti (and TL in most cases) include 19-inch alloy wheels, heated door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, adaptive auto-levelling LED headlights, automatic wipers, motion-activated electric tailgate, a heated steering wheel, heated outer rear seats, a powered tilt and slide moonroof, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system. The option of tan leather-accented trim also exists.

Safety features for the Ti, beyond the standard, include lane departure warning, intelligent lane intervention, pedestrian protection for the AEB system, and intelligent adaptive cruise control.

With all five seats upright, the two-row X-Trail lists boot space at 565 litres, growing to 945 litres with the back seats folded. The floor is made up of two panels, which can be lifted to reveal a pair of handy compartments. Beneath those is a space-saver spare wheel.

Towing capacity is listed at 1500kg braked and 750kg unbraked. The tow-ball load rating is limited to 150kg.

In 2017, Nissan declared 18,955 sales for the X-Trail, making it the fourth best-selling medium SUV in Australia. Ahead of it was the Toyota RAv4 (21,077), Hyundai Tucson (23,828) and the Mazda CX-5 (25,831).

Fun fact: the Ti makes up just 10 per cent of X-Trail sales, with the most popular - owning 42 per cent of sales in the range - being the ST model we reviewed last year. As Mr Costello noted at the time, the ST's sub-$30k price point is neatly justified. Can the more expensive Ti make a case for its positioning?

Watch for the next update on our long-termer to come in the week ahead.

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