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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Nissan X-trail 2.5 CVTC.

FULL REVIEW: Nissan X-trail 2.5 CVTC.

In this blog entry, I’m covering Nissan X-trail, especially the 2.5CVTC model.
In Malaysia, the X-trail costs RM133,000 for 2.0i and RM145,000 for the 2.5 model. If you find a good salesman, you’ll get few kays discount or freebies such as Bodykit, tinting.

If you are buying new, AVOID this salesman (from Tan Chong, Petaling Jaya), his name’s “CALVEN CHIN”. Have bad experience with him early this year. False promise, of delivery of Grand Livina. We booked the Grand Livina back in 30 December, as he promised Chinese new year can get the car, but it delayed till End February => Beginning March => End March => Beginning April and finally 3rd week of April (Based on the factory delivery chart). We cancelled our booking on 2nd week of March and got our RM3000 deposit back.

On top of that, his social skill’s bad. He blamed my dad for going back to hometown 1 day late and also can’t take the pressure from my dad (on delivery status).

Instead, look for “ROYCE ANG” from the same showroom (Tan Chong, Petaling Jaya). A very good salesman from Penang. Friendly too… He tried to transfer the Grand Livina RM3000 booking fee to Nissan Sylphy but my dad turned down. If my dad allowed, we would have been ONE OF THE FIRST to own the Nissan Sylphy.

The outcome?
We bought a New Honda Civic 2.0IVTEC in June (as featured in this blog under “Longtermer”) for RM126,000 (after FULL NCB deductions) at interest rate of 2.35%. 4 days later, the interest late jumped to 3.5%. How lucky.

Anyway, back to topic:

The used car prices of Nissan X-trail in Malaysia are as follows.

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Rm70K m77K rm84K Rm92K 105K

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
RM74K RM82K RM90K RM97k RM113k

I NEED at least TWO Nissan X-trail owners to write a review on their car. I will append it here and give credit to you. Please include AT LEAST 2 photos of your car. Writing style => Up to you.

At the moment, I don’t have a X-trail to write and/or brag about. All is not lost, I came out with a “Super test” from GOAUTO Australia (AGAIN). Enjoy!

Start of GOAUTO review.

Model release dates: October 2001 - October 2007

IT WOULD not have come as a surprise if Nissan's product developers had insisted on turning the X-Trail into the best performing bush-basher in its class. After all, there is reputation at stake here. But to its credit, the Japanese off-road expert has thumbed its nose to tradition and built a vehicle that impresses with its emphasis on around-town economy, ease of use and safety. There are some glaring omissions hindering its cause - yet there is cleverness, too, not to mention generous interior space and a solid equipment base. This is one to take a long, hard look at.

The Car

X-TRAIL has nowhere near the same level of off-road ability as others in the Nissan stable, however, the Japanese company has ensured its recreational four-wheel drive looks every bit as tough and rugged as Patrol et al, with its large front bumper with (plastic) bashplate, flared wheel arches and big headlamps flanking the familiar V-shaped grille. Nissan, in the tradition of all other SUV manufacturers, describes it as "muscular yet refined and dynamic". Both front fenders are constructed from durable synthetic material designed to resume its original shape after minor impacts. These panels are also lighter than traditional pressed metal panels and reduce the vehicle's weight by about 5kg. The flagship Ti model tested here is differentiated from its entry level ST sibling by alloy wheels that are also larger, front fog lights, a rear roof spoiler, body colour (not black) side mouldings, a chrome (instead of body colour) grille, chrome/body colour (instead of chrome/black) door handles and chrome (not body colour) rear door finisher.

The Car - Seat Plan

X-TRAIL is fitted with dual front airbags. No other airbags are available. Four out of five occupants are provided with three-point seatbelts and a head restraint, the centre-rear passenger drawing the short straw in this regard. Storage solutions are plentiful, the most innovative of which are two lidded bins in the dash that are ducted to the vehicle's air-conditioner and capable of holding 500ml water bottles or soft-drink cans. Front door bins, lidded centre console box, a bin in front of the steering wheel and pull-out cupholders at each extremity of the dash do not go unnoticed either.

The Car - Seats

IN KEEPING with their off-road pretensions, both X-Trail models employ a seat trim that is both water-resistant and dirt-resistant. The large front seats are designed to reduce fatigue on long trips and help reduce vibrations, most notably when driving off the beaten track. There is no lumbar support for the front passengers and seat height adjustment is also absent - seat cushion angle adjustment is all that's there. Cloth trim is used on the centre console box lid, which also serves as an armrest, however the doors are an all-plastic affair.

The Car - Dash

THE expansive and quite unusual split-level X-Trail dash has the instrument panel mounted in its centre, allowing the driver to adjust the steering wheel height to a suitable position without fear of obscuring the important gauges. Rather than use digital readouts, Nissan has gone with conventional analogue gauges for the speedometer (to 230km/h), tachometer (redline 6500rpm) and fuel level and coolant temperature. Different materials are used across the dash, including cloth trim on the upper portion's outer extremities and strong metallic influences throughout. Lots of hard plastic is there, too, along with a number of useful storage compartments.

The Car - Controls

THE high-mounted, upright seating position means the driver is provided with quite a commanding view of the road and a good seating position is helped, to a degree, with seat cushion angle adjustment and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel. There is no steering reach adjustment or genuine seat height adjustment, plus no steering wheel controls. Unlike the X-Trail ST, Ti models get cruise control, variable intermittent wipers, an in-dash six-CD stacker and climate control air-conditioning. There is, however, good driver assistance with sensible placement of important switchgear such as electric windows (including driver's auto down), electric mirrors and the trio of dash-mounted 4WD-related buttons (2WD, auto and lock). Front map lights, passenger vanity mirror, remote fuel release and an instrument dimmer are also provided.

The Car - Wheels/tyres

X-TRAIL Ti is fitted with 6.5 x 16-inch alloys instead of the ST model's half-inch-narrower 6.0 x 15-inch steel wheels with alloy-look five-spoke plastic wheel covers. However, both models make do with 215-section tyres, with the ST's rubber being slightly higher profile at 215/70 R15 instead of the Ti's 215/65 R16 98H Toyo Tranpath A14 tyres. A full-size spare is provided underneath the cargo floor, with a separate compartment for jacking tools. The jack itself is underneath yet another lid on the opposite side.

The Car - Luggage

THE X-Trail luggage compartment is unique with its hard plastic surface, designed to be durable and resist water and dirt. Tie-down hooks, shopping bag hooks, 12-volt power socket, full-size spare with a deep bin inside the wheel well and a separate (small) underfloor storage box are all provided, though with no retractable blind to hide items from view. A high (720mm) loading height is provided and a flat floor available from the rear bumper right through to the front seatbacks when the 60/40 split-fold rear seatbacks are put into action. Doing this extends the floor length from 930mm to 1640mm.

The Car - Stand out features

IT MIGHT be late on the scene, but strong performance and the promise of moderate consumption from the 2.5-litre engine, attractive pricing, reasonable equipment levels and good manners on and off the beaten track all combine to make the X-Trail a strong contender in the recreational four-wheel drive segment. For the most part it mimics the popular CR-V in basic design and packaging, although it makes a notable departure with some unique features (the hardback luggage compartment and dash-mounted bottle chillers/warmers, to name two) as well as disappointing omissions such as a centre-rear lap-sash seatbelt.

The Car - Climate control

AIR-CONDITIONING is fitted standard to all X-Trail models, the ST using conventional manual controls and the top-spec Ti upping the ante with automatic climate control. The ST's trio of rotary dials are smaller than might be expected and mounted quite low on the dash fascia. The Ti employs a compact HVAC unit with LCD display panel, which includes an outside temperature gauge, plus a lower row of buttons for fan speed, auto function, direction control, windscreen demist, air-conditioning on/off and recirculation. Interior temperature is controlled by a large rotary knob placed ergonomically close to the driver on the right-hand side of the unit. A trio of vents - one more than usual - sitting on top of the centre stack aids ventilation to the rear.

The Car - Sound system

WHILE the entry level X-Trail ST has a four-speaker AM/FM radio with single in-dash CD player, with the Ti model going a step further with two more speakers and a six-disc in-dash CD. Both models have a centre roof-mounted antenna. There are no steering wheel controls on the X-Trail, though basic controls and a right-hand on/off and volume knob on the stereo head unit make sight-unseen operation a relatively simple task.

The Car - Security

SECURITY measures fitted to the X-Trail include an engine immobiliser, (one stage) keyless entry, automatic lighting of the interior dome lamp when the unlock button is pressed and a panic button on the keypad which activates the horn and hazard lights for 25 seconds. The automatic function on the driver's window applies only to opening, however, the cluster of controls on the driver's door includes a central door lock button. There is no retractable security blind over the luggage compartment.

We like (+ve) Engine performance, ride quality, equipment level
We don’t like (-ve) mediocre handling, uncarpeted cargo area, centre-rear lap belt

Our Opinion

By TERRY MARTIN 11/04/2002

NISSAN might be half a decade or so late in the ever-popular recreational four-wheel drive market, but the Japanese manufacturer - well regarded in Australia for its off-road expertise - has arrived with a formidable entrant.

Given its heritage with Patrol and others, we were not surprised to find that Nissan has ensured the X-Trail is a reasonable performer off the beaten path.

Indeed, we were expecting Nissan to be single-minded in this respect.

But go searching for low-range gearing, a live-axle rear suspension and a ladder-frame chassis - to name three "certainties" one might contemplate when it comes to Nissan off-road product development - and there will be nothing of the sort to be found.

Looks can be deceiving. Although its imposing stance, large front bumper with (plastic) bash plate and unmistakable V-shaped grille give the X-Trail the requisite rough-and-tumble look, it soon becomes evident this is a vehicle which thumbs its nose at tradition.

Following the likes of Honda and Subaru, Nissan has - with the help of its Renault bankrollers - built the X-Trail with a monocoque (car-like) chassis, suspension suited more to roadwork than rock hopping and an engine offering both sparing fuel consumption and strength.

Combine this with generous amounts of interior space, a host of clever details throughout the cabin and a solid standard specification list, and the X-Trail shoots right to the top end of its class.

Four adults fit with ease into this wagon, the rear bench seat in particular featuring generous room for the head, feet, shoulders and legs, plus large seatbacks and a recline function. Disappointing, though, is the inclusion of a centre-rear lap seatbelt - an inferior design to a lap-sash - and one-position rear head restraints.

Rear-seat storage facilities also take a back seat to some quite wonderful innovations to be found up front, which include big storage bins - the lidded hole in front of the driver has a power outlet for recharging a mobile phone - and a couple of chutes in the dash for cooling cans or stubbies.

In case you were wondering, these drink holders will also warm up a small tin of baked beans - in the true spirit of the suburban adventurer!

The driver sits up high in an armchair-like seat though support under the ribcage is lacking for when the road starts to snake and a perfect position for some people could be hindered with the lack of adjustment for full-seat height and steering wheel reach.

The instruments mounted in the centre of the dash are simple enough to view after a settling-in period - digital instruments would be better - and selection between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive presents no cerebral challenge.

Push the 2WD button and the vehicle is locked in as a front-driver to save a little bit of fuel during normal road conditions. Hit the "auto" 4WD button next to it when the surface becomes loose or wet and drive will be sent to the rear wheels via an electronically controlled coupling if the sensors detect a need for traction.

And push the "lock" button when crawling through the bush at speeds up to 30km/h and 4WD becomes permanent with a 57:43 front-rear split - above that speed, the system reverts to the auto mode.

The system is a variation of the serious four-wheel drive system underneath Pathfinder (but with a push-button not rotary dial), except that in two-drive the X-Trail drives its front wheels and there's no low range. Put another way, it's a part-time automatic four-wheel drive system like the popular Honda CR-V's, but with the ability to select two-wheel drive - saving fuel and component wear.

But not all aspects of the X-Trail are this effortless and well thought-out. The clock disappears when the trip meter is selected, the interior plastics are scratched with alarming ease and there is no luggage blind to hide items from view when the vehicle is left unattended.

What's more, the uncarpeted luggage floor - which can be removed and hosed down after a dirty weekend - tends to cause cargo to slide around, leaving scratches and raising a horrible din when in transit. Sunglasses are also recommended when unloading in direct sunlight.

In fairness, a both a cargo blind and rear protection carpet mat are listed on X-Trail's extensive genuine accessories menu, along with the likes of an alloy bar, bonnet protector, cargo net, carpet mats, sheepskin seat covers and towbar.

It would be remiss of us not to mention redeeming rear-end aspects such as shopping bag hooks, luggage tie-down hooks, another power socket and a flat cargo area created when the 60/40 split-fold is put into action.

There's the excellent dose of standard equipment to consider, too, which on the baseline ST runs to remote locking, air-conditioning, a four-speaker single-CD stereo, electric windows, twin airbags and a strong-performing quartet of disc brakes backed with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

The top-spec Ti model adds climate and cruise control, an in-dash six-CD stereo with six speakers, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, rear roof spoiler, different interior trims, different rub strips, doorhandles and grille, plus a smattering of leather on the steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake - most of which is available as an accessory on ST models.

Then there's engine performance to dwell upon, the X-Trail's 2.5-litre inline four producing 132kW at 6000rpm and a big 245Nm of torque at 4000rpm - exceptional figures in this class - and impressing with its verve and mid-range strength.

The engine gets loud and uncouth as revs rise, forcing the driver to work the light (if a little notchy) manual gearshift into a higher gear and return to a point where the torque can pull the 1440kg vehicle along with a minimum of fuss.

This is also the sort of driving where frugal fuel consumption of less than 10 litres per 100km can be realised.

Yet on the whole, the Nissan newcomer is a faithful servant around town, a capable open-road tourer and a confident traveller when the road turns from black to brown.

The all-strut suspension provides quite a well-controlled ride during directional changes and all manner of road ruts and bumps (except deep potholes) are ironed out - and associated noise suppressed - with aplomb.

But the vehicle does not handle well through switchbacks, the front wheels losing traction without much prompting and the nose pushing straight ahead rather than negotiating the bend.

And while there is more composure once the switch is made to "auto" mode, the dynamic limits still are not high.

Despite the lockable 4WD option, serious bush work is also better left to four-wheel drives with tough-terrain tyres, more ground clearance than 150mm, better protection of the vitals underneath and low-range gearing.

But Nissan has not missed the point here, and nor have we. Lightweight steering, an agreeable 10.6-metre turning circle, effortless and economical engine performance, a feeling of safety and comfort, a modicum of off-road ability and a big helping of butch looks - this is the stuff people want.

And this is what the X-Trail delivers.


LIKE many of its compact soft-roader rivals, X-Trail employs a transversely mounted inline four-cylinder engine up front, driving only the front wheels during normal conditions (or when 2WD is selected) and the rear wheels only when the front tyres lose traction (in Auto mode) or when Lock is selected (only below 30km/h).

Mechanical - Engine

POWERING the X-Trail is a 2.5-litre, DOHC 16-valve, inline four-cylinder engine that produces 132kW at 6000rpm and 245Nm at 4000rpm. Codenamed QR25, the engine is a lightweight, compact (and therefore fuel-saving) design and has strong torque characteristics with continuously variable valve timing control. No official acceleration figures are available. Claimed fuel consumption figures point to 9.5L/100km on the city cycle (with manual transmission) and 6.6L/100km on the highway. Normal unleaded petrol is used in the 60-litre fuel tank.

Mechanical - Suspension

THE X-Trail suspension comprises MacPherson struts with coil springs and stabiliser bar at the front, and multiple "parallel" links with coil springs and a stabiliser bar at the rear. Minimum ground clearance is 150mm.

Mechanical – Transmission

X-TRAIL is available with a five-speed manual transmission and an optional electronically controlled four-speed automatic. The automatic features Nissan's "E-flow" torque converter designed to increase the efficiency of the transmission and improve driving performance. X-Trail uses a version of Nissan's All Model 4WD system, which drives the front wheels in normal conditions and, when in auto mode, automatically sends torque to the rear wheels via an electronically controlled coupling when required. A "lock" model fixes front to rear torque distribution in a 57:43 ratio at speeds below 30km/h.

Mechanical - Brakes

X-TRAIL uses power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes - 280mm diameter x 28mm thickness up front and 292mm x 16mm at the rear. Providing further stopping assistance is the standard fitment of an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

Mechanical - Steering

X-TRAIL uses a power-assisted rack and pinion steering system. Three turns of the steering wheel are required from lock to lock. The turning circle is 10.6 metres.


DUAL front airbags are fitted standard across the X-Trail range, along with ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake-assist. The front seatbelts have pretensioners and force limiters and the sash portion adjusts for height, while all outboard occupants are provided with a three-point seatbelt and head restraint; the centre-rear passenger misses out on both important safety considerations. Luggage tie-down points are provided in the cargo area.

End of GOAUTO Review.


Model: QR25DE (QR20DE)
* 2.488-litre front-mounted transverse DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder
* Power: 132kW @ 6000rpm (110kw)
* Torque: 245Nm @ 4000rpm (200Nm@4000rpm)
* Compression ratio: 9.5:1 (9.9:1)
* Bore x stroke: 89mm x 100mm (89mm x 80.3mm)


• Four-speed automatic (Four-speed automatic)


* Front: independent by MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
* Rear: independent by multi-links, coil springs, anti-roll bar


* Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
* Turning circle: 10.6 metres
* Turns lock to lock: 3.0

Power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes - 280mm diameter x 28mm thickness up front and 292mm x 16mm at the rear. Providing further stopping assistance is the standard fitment of an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.


Top speed: 200km/h (185km/h)
0-100km/h: 9.8 seconds (11.5 secs)


* Length: 4510mm
* Width: 1765mm
* Height: 1675mm
* Wheelbase: 2625mm
* Front track: 1530mm
* Rear track: 1530mm
* Kerb weight: 1440kg

Fuel tank: 60L


White, Met. Orange (Limited NISMO Edition), Met. Grey, Silver, Met. Light Gold, Red, Metallic Black.


* Climate control air-conditioning
* Cruise control (?)
* Remote central locking
* Electric windows
* Electric mirrors
* Six-speaker in-dash six-CD audio (?)
* Drink cooler box
* Durable washout luggage area
* Driver's seat cushion angle adjustment
* Tilt-adjustable steering column
* 60/40 split-fold rear seat
* 16-inch alloy wheels
* Roof rails
* Dual front airbags
* Front seatbelt pretensioners
* ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution
* Variable intermittent wipers
* Fog lights
* Leather steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake

END OF REVIEW. Thanks for reading.

1) Goauto Australia. (for Main article by Terry Martin dated 11/4/2002).
2) (for X-trail 2.0 specifications)


  1. Hi, there. I remember that you promised to come up with CRV review. It will be nice to comment / compares CRV with X-trail. Guess what, I am having great dilemma many years ago when these two cars were selling hot in the market. I do not know which one to go for and at the end, I give up both and choose for a sedan car again.(all the while, I had been using sedan, so always itchy for 4WD/ SUV / MPV..... getting old, lol! Need stability!)

    Looking forward to your CRV review, cheers!

  2. Relax, it's just the beginning of the month. Will tell you my upcoming post of this month.

    (In addition to my X-trail and Suzuki Cappuccino)
    i) Honda CRV 2nd gen
    ii) Article extracted from NST
    iii) Longtermer 1) Ford Telstar
    iv) Longtermer 2) Honda Civic 2.0ivtec

    Total: 6 entry. Might consider adding one more.

  3. Wow! Are you sure you are going to review so many this month? If you are serious, I have to stay tune to your blog! Er..... "jaga" your blog 24 hours then.... lol!

  4. I had an issue... My DSL Modem got fried by lightning... Waiting for modem replacement by "Terrorkom". So delay few days...

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