Since its arrival on the scene as part of the SUV scramble at the turn of the century, more than 3.7 million people around the world have sat behind the wheel of a showroom-fresh Nissan X-Trail. Such pluralistic popularity has conspired to make the Japanese off-roader a world-wide best seller. Badged as the Nissan Rogue stateside, Nissan ushered in the considerably larger, third-generation X-Trail back in 2014. It proved to be a seminal moment in the lifecycle of the ubiquitous family favourite, that saw the X-Trail transformed from crossover to bona fide mid-size SUV.
Comprehensively refreshed inside and out, the 2017 Nissan X-Trail update sees the five or seven-seater lengthened still further, bestowing the already ample cabin space with best-in-class leg room as well as even more handy storage cubby holes. Design-wise, X-Trail fans will find a new D-shaped steering wheel to get to grips with along with heated seats both front and rear on the higher-spec Tekna variant. The more premium end of the trim scale also brings with it a sharp new eight-speaker BOSE sound system as standard. What’s more, if the two-tone leather interior option floats your boat, the sliding and reclining rear bench seats are now available in either tan or black upholstery.
Stepping out of the saddle, those well-acquainted with the X-Trail will quickly remark on its upgraded front-end. Nissan’s current family face, the ‘V-motion’ grille, is markedly wider here compared to the class of 2014 and substitutes black trim for a facia that largely adopts the car’s body colour. Also deployed on the marque’s latest Qashqai crossover, the newest X-Trail’s reimagined headlamp clusters and ‘boomerang’ DRLs feature Adaptive Front Lighting. A first for Nissan in Europe, the headlamps now pour more light onto the apex of corners when negotiating poorly lit roads at night for considerably improved visibility.
The rear end too gains a few styling tweaks, from the updated bumper with chrome detailing to the now full-LED rear lamp signature. In terms of colour, six of the eight existing shades have been carried over, with four new options joining the X-Trail palette. Completing the exterior refresh is a pair of new chrome strips at the base of the doors and a choice of 17, 18 or 19-inch wheels.
Deliberation over which SUV stand to hang your hat on often comes down to one question; space. Sizing up competition in the form of the Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4, Nissan reckon the upgraded X-Trail is more than a match for its fellow Far Eastern nemeses. With the seats up, the five-seat version gains an extra degree of storage space, with luggage capacity up to 565 litres. Getting into the boot with a full pair of hands has just got easier too, thanks to the 2017 X-Trail’s standard hands-free electric tailgate.
Nissan have already revamped the X-Trail powertrain line-up this year by launching the car with its latest generation 2.0-litre 175bhp diesel engine. This, along with the existing 1.6-litre diesel and a similarly sized petrol unit with 161bhp, completes the list of power options.
The upgraded and restyled Nissan X-Trail SUV hits showrooms later this summer, with pricing yet to be revealed. However, it may well be worth holding fire on the chequebook until the new year when the refreshed SUV gets kitted out with Nissan’s state-of-the-art ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving system.