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The new Nissan X-Trail can drive itself

Autonomous tech among the changes for the Nissan's big-selling SUV

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This, ladies and gents, is the new Nissan X-Trail. Sure, it’s not a new GT-R variant. It’s a lot more sensible than that.

But Nissan’s stats say it was the world’s best selling SUV in 2016, with over 750,000 sold. Nearly four million have sold in its lifetime. So it’s rather popular, at least.

Popularity means its facelift has been kept fairly mild. There’s a new grille (called the ‘V-motion grille’), LED lights available on the front and back and some snazzy new 17in and 18in alloys. So far, so predictable.

Bigger news lies beneath the skin, for this is an X-Trail that will be able to drive itself. Optional from 2018 will be ‘ProPILOT’, Nissan’s first stage of autonomous driving tech.

“ProPILOT will control the steering, acceleration and braking in a single lane on highways during heavy traffic congestion and high-speed cruising,” we’re told. Handy for when the kids filling the five seats behind you are wreaking havoc and need a stern word, perhaps.

There are all sorts of other safety and parking helpers available, while the boot has been reshaped and now comes with nine different layouts and as much as 1,996 litres of luggage space. Buy 2,000 litres of orange squash and now you’ll only need to leave four litres behind…

Nissan is offering a big Bose stereo – the most serious system it’s ever offered in Europe, we’re told – while DAB radio is standard on all cars and you can now have heated seats front and rear. Yeah, we said the facelift was a bit mild.

For all its claims of being a best-seller, though, we reckon the X-Trail is a bit underrated. The original launched nearly 20 years ago, long before Seat, Skoda or Audi were offering SUVs, yet they’re all arguably a bit cooler nowadays.

The X-Trail, though, continues to offer a choice of front- or four-wheel drive, five or seven seats, manual or automatic gearboxes and three different engines. It’s a good ‘un, and now it can drive itself. Want one?

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