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Driving report Nissan X-Trail: Electric SUV, somehow

Refreshed in design and chassis, of course also in terms of assistance and connectivity, the fourth generation of the Nissan X-Trail is ready to serve customers. Like the Qashqai, it relies on e-power, a drive technology somewhere between an electric car and a hybrid.

With the third model generation introduced in 2014, the X-Trail has drifted a little in the crossover direction after having started in 2001 as an angular SUV. Curved, rather soft lines took away the straight-edgedness of the first two generations, from which it had not strayed that far in terms of driving comfort and agility.,

Now Generation IV bends with a softened, through a horizontal instead of in a wave shape The crease running almost over the entire side of the vehicle again slightly in the direction of the original model. With its lockable differential, the all-wheel drive vehicle was not untalented off-road, and the new top model with the tongue twister name 1.5 e-Power e-4ORCE should also build on this quality: A second electric motor is located on the rear axle and performs the art of torque vectoring Braking interventions in fractions of a second and with an output of 100 kW (136 hp) increases the overall performance to 214 hp and 525 Newton meters. The front-wheel drive 1.5 e-Power costs 3,500 euros less in the identical equipment line and has to make do with 204 hp and 330 Newton meters.

E-power for the second

Both work in the Nissan-exclusive e-power drive layout, which is already available in the Qashqai and enables polished electric driving without fear of range. Summary: The 1.5-liter four-cylinder, which drives the front wheels in the mildly hybridized entry-level model with 163 hp, is only used to generate electrical energy, which it intelligently and efficiently delivers either directly to the electric motors or to the 2.1 only kWh large backup battery.,

If the filling level is getting low or the electric motors have to run, the high-tech combustion engine with variable compression starts up and works at a more or less high speed to counteract the ebb in the battery. Sounds complex and a little thinking around the corner, but drives quite convincingly: Most of the time, the combustion engine mumbles almost inaudibly to itself or takes a break. When things go uphill, when there is strong acceleration or a generally dynamic driving style, the electronics gradually increase the speed level. This leads to the kind of listening experience that is familiar from continuously variable transmissions and sounds annoying to most ears.

Softly sprung seven seats

Compared to its predecessor, the chassis has won in every respect. It not only pleases with a pleasingly balanced suspension, but also with greater openness to curves, but without reaching the speed of a Skoda Enyaq.The new X-Trail experience can be experienced in the driven top model Tekna+ in comfortable sports seats covered with quilted leather.

In the second row, between the doors that open almost at right angles, life is much worse on a short, rather hard upholstered bench. But it can always be worse: for the basic engine and the all-wheel drive vehicle, a third row of seats with two jump seats is available for an additional charge of 800 euros. It is difficult to get to that, although row two can be moved by 22 centimeters - and then you realize that Nissan is not exaggerating with the statement that a height of 1.60 meters is the end here.

When it comes to assistance and connectivity (now also with Google Alexa), everything that Nissan has to offer is on board, so a lot. The impression of quality has also won. Some might shy away from the prices: the basic model is around 6,000 euros higher than its predecessor, the top model costs 55,730 euros.,

Conclusion

The X-Trail has taken a big step forward in terms of comfort and handling. It has retained well-known virtues such as everyday use and versatility. When comparing the price of the e-power models with competitors, it is important to remember: plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are subsidized, but the X-Trail is not.

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