• Experience driving excitement with Nissan X-Trail

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    X-TRAIL

    X-TRAIL

    It took some time for Nissan to come up with a replacement for the X-Trail. If we remember correctly, it was way back in 2007 when the first X-Trail was introduced to the country which was then followed by a face-lifted version in 2010. Well, the wait is finally over and oh boy, the wait was all worth it.

    The all-new X-Trail was formally launched at the recent Philippine International Motor Show promising great new features that include a high-tech power train that provides excellent power and fuel efficiency, a new drivetrain that gives intuitive and smooth shifting, much improved suspension for better handling and ride quality, a much bigger cabin for comfort and convenience and extra features that provides utmost safety and convenience.

    To prove all these promises are for real, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) organized a big ride and drive event for Philippines scribes that included representatives from the motoring, lifestyle, and business beats as well as bloggers from the online community.

    Aptly dubbed as the Nissan X-Trail X-ODUS, 18 brand-spanking new X-Trails were prepared by NPI to bring the participants to the City of Pines and back, with no less than NPI president Tony Zara leading the pack.

    With three people onboard each of the 18 X-trails, the convoy flagged off from the Nissan North EDSA dealership and headed north via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). The drive was uneventful as the convoy had to stick to the posted 100kph speed limit.

    The vehicle I was in included the big guys, literally, of the motoring beat that included AutoCar’s Ira Panganiban, Manila Standard’s Dino Directo and TopGear’s Botchi Santos. With no one amongst us weighing less than 200 pounds, it was a big surprise that the X-Trail still provided us with such roominess, both in head and legroom. We were also pampered by the vehicle’s suspension system affording us a very smooth ride.

    The pampering did not stop there. After just an 80-kilometer drive from Manila, the group stopped at a well-known foodie place in Angeles, Pampanga for a sumptuous lunch. Stopping at the famous Chef Claude (pronounced as cloud) Tayag’s Bale Datung residence, the participants feasted on a nine-course meal–featuring chef Claude’s rendition of Kapampangan dishes– that lasted for almost two and a half hours.

    Everyone was bowled over, to say the least, with the fine cuisine that Chef Claude had prepared for the group. It was already 2:30pm when the convoy proceeded with the drive towards Baguio City. The sun was already at its peak but the Nissan’s A/C system did not disappoint. With the windows of the brand new cars still untreated by window film, the scorching hot sun was no match for the X-Trail’s AC system–keeping us all cool even while stuck in the clogged streets of McArthur highway in Angeles.

    Travel towards Tarlac and Pangasinan was a breeze, especially now that the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is partially open. The drive from the northern most portion on NLEX, then through SCTEX, until the recently opened portion of the TPLEX in Pangasinan took just over an hour to complete, with the drive towards Rosario, Pangasinan which is at the foot of Baguio, taking another 50 minutes.

    The bypass roads going to to Rosario were filled with newly harvested rice grains laid out by the farmers to dry. On several occasions, we were forced to drive over the drying grains because of oncoming traffic. Thanks to the X-Trail’s all-wheel-drive system, never did we lose control of the car as the 4×4 system intuitively provided more traction to the wheel that needed it most.

    The electric power steering system of the X-Trail was also put to the test as we entered the 35-Kilometer long zig-zagged roads of Kennon. It was very noticeable how the system adjusts to the driving style of the driver. Less steering input is required at faster speeds and vice-versa on lower speeds.

    The naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four cylinder produces 171 PS and 233 Nm of torque. The engine is fitted to a CVT transmission and was tested to only 7.5 liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers.

    Inside the X-Trail, the driving position is high and commanding, with a good view of what’s up front. It has a soft ride but with its Active Ride Control, the system keeps the body closer to the ground for a better feel during fast cornering.

    The engine is strong and is complemented by the CVT. On rapid up-hill acceleration, you can feel the bands tightening up enabling you to feel the torque.

    In the city, the X-Trail’s Around View Monitor comes in very handy as getting in and out of extremely tight parking spaces makes it a breeze.

    The third generation X-Trail is now available in Nissan showrooms with the suggested retail price of Php 1,375,000 for the 2.0-liter 4×2 variant and Php 1,580,000 for the 2.5-liter 4×4 variant.

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