Piers Ward10 September 2013

The Nissan X-Trail is back

Nissan unveils all-new crossover, more at home on the road...

The Japanese company was one of the first to nail the crossover sector when it first launched the X-Trail back in 2000, and it used to emphasise how good the car was off-road. But the sector has since changed, buyers no longer need a car with the potential to head up the Himalayas, so now Nissan is concentrating on offering better on-road performance and improved economy.

Exactly how much better the latter will be is not being disclosed at the moment. No specific technical details are available because the car is a long way off being finalised (it won't land in the UK until summer 2014). But expect about a 20 per cent improvement from the current X-Trail's best of 44.1mpg and 168g/km. Both these figures will also be helped by the option of a two-wheel drive model, and an efficient new CVT gearbox.

A seven-seat version is also coming, which we've been to have a look at. The rearmost seats are for toddlers only, but unlike other crossovers the boot is still a decent size with all seven seats raised. This extra family-focus will have a knock-on effect for the new Qashqai, due in early 2014, because it means that car will no longer be offered with a third row of seats. The X-Trail will be the crossover for bigger broods.

But there's more to the story here. The X-Trail is on Renault-Nissan's newest platform, so this X-Trail will be a one-size fits-all for a global market. If you're reading this in the US, that means you should pay attention - the Rogue is about to change significantly. No more Qashqai-based car for you guys, now it'll be a Rogue-badged X-Trail, admittedly with US-focused trim levels.

We're way too early to talk specific prices, but a rough guess would put it starting at about £27,000, a small premium over the current car.

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