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It might closely resemble the Qashqai, but here is Nissan’s larger SUV, the X-Trail. Now boasting sleeker, less clunky looks, the X-Trail also gets the latest safety tech and low emissions.

The X-Trail’s elegant yet sporty profile integrates a host of new design features and details, including bold new headlamps - available with LED as standard on high-grade models - and a distinctive LED signature strip that makes the car instantly recognisable at night. At the rear the X-Trail blends bold new styling cues with existing Nissan touches. The rear light clusters, for example, display the familiar ‘boomerang' shape, while the characteristic D-pillar provides a strong visual link to both the Juke and Qashqai.

It’s pretty easy to summarise the engine line-up, as there’s just one available: a 130 PS 1.6-litre diesel, which is offered in two-wheel drive with manual or automatic gearboxes and a four-wheel drive manual only. Performance wise this oil-burner lacks sparkle lower down the rev range, but once the turbo is spinning there’s enough shove to keep the X-Trail hustling along at a decent pace.

As far as handling goes, the X-Trail has lots of traction and grip – especially in four-wheel-drive guise, and the light steering makes low-speed city work a doddle. The soft suspension does a good job of absorbing lumps and bumps too, the only downside being a fair amount of body lean through twisty corners.

Refinement levels are perfectly acceptable for this sort of vehicle, with wind and road noise only intruding at higher motorway speeds.

In terms of size, the X-Trail is 17mm longer (4,643mm) than the previous generation model, and has a 76mm longer wheelbase that helps deliver more space inside. The new model is also 30mm wider and 5mm lower than the previous car and the ground clearance is maintained at 210mm.

Climb aboard and you’ll find generous amounts of cabin space. Versatility is further aided by the sliding and reclining middle row seats, which also split-fold 60/40 to reveal a large 1982 litre load bay (550 litres with seats up). Opting for the additional 7 seat configuration reduces the boot space down to 445 litres, but it’s still a good useable size.

The split-level dashboard is clear and intuitive to operate, with the raised centre console housing both the infotainment system and the ventilation controls. A high-resolution touchscreen displays information from, among other sources, the X-Trail's safety systems, and has been designed in such a way that drivers can receive warnings without having to take their attention away from the road.

Even equipment levels on base spec Visia models are generous, with alloy wheels, six airbags, LED daytime running lights, five-inch colour combimeter display, air-conditioning, Hill start, Bluetooth and cruise control. Acenta trim adds luxuries including dual-zone climate control, rear privacy glass, panoramic glass roof and automatic wipers and lights. Moving up to Acenta+ spec brings Nissan Connect seven-inch touch screen, incorporating a reversing camera and DAB radio, along with auto-dipping headlights and Lane Departure Warning driver aid. On top of this, N-tec cars get larger 19 inch alloys, around View Monitor 360o cameras and electrically operated tailgate. Top-of-the-range N-tec spec also adds Bi-LED headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, Park Assist and electrically adjustable leather seats. In addition, Tekna models also feature Intelligent key with engine start button, Forward Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Verdict:

The new sleek looking Nissan X-Trail Crossover has completely changed from its rather boxy 4x4 predecessor. Overall it’s a much more desirable machine, boasting better comfort, driving dynamics and equipment levels.

Tech spec:

Nissan X-Trail Acenta dCi 130 2WD manual
OTR Price: £26,805
Max power: 130 PS @ 4,000rpm
Max torque: 320 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Gearbox: 6-speed manual
Max speed: 117 mph
0-62 mph in 10.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 57.6 (combined)
CO2 emissions: (g/km) 129