2003-2011 Nissan X-Trail
The compact SUV market had been booming in the early 2000s. While compact SUV stalwarts Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 had released their redesigned and "improved" versions in 2002 and 2000 respectively, Nissan launched the X-Trail in 2001 and has shown success despite being "young" against the competition. From that period, competitors had been busy developing their own compact SUVs during that time.
Nissan Motor Philippines made the X-Trail available to the Filipino motorist in 2003, and it gained a time advantage of preparing its contender, market-wise and feature-wise. It may not have third row seats (CR-V) or a manual transmission (RAV4, Ford Escape) but made up with unique features such as a heavy-duty plastic layer in the rear cargo area, a beverage cooler, and even a centrally mounted instrument reader; which is a novelty during that time. Minor changes were done in 2005 and mid-2007 (coincidentally enough, Nissan launched the second generation X-Trail at that year), but with the new model being on sale in mid-2010, the first gen X-Trail (dubbed as the 200) is made as an affordable option for those wanting a functionality of an SUV with the comfort of a sedan.
An advantage brought by the X-Trail is its wide range of variants. A base front wheel drive version with a 2.0 liter engine, a four wheel drive variant still with the base model's 2.0 liter engine, and the top of the line variant which possess a 2.5 liter engine with four wheel drive capability. However, only one transmission choice is available, a four-speed automatic transmission.
Value and Costs
Price ranges of a first generation X-Trail varies depending on the year model to the condition of the vehicle. 2003-2005 units can be purchased for as low as P450,000 and recent examples are priced within P700,000-P730,000. With these prices, the X-Trail is a friendly option to someone looking for a daily vehicle that has decent cargo and passenger space.
With maintenance costs being on the affordable side, be prepared if you drive like a maniac. The climate-control system won't give up unless you manage to push the front end and damage the condenser. Debunking the notion that Nissan parts are mahirap hanapin, this is not technically true.
Exterior and Interior
Boxy is the word that comes out of someone's mouth whenever he or she sees a Nissan X-Trail. It looks like a box but executed in a fashionably manner. It looks sexy and at the same time macho, with its design being a classic in a few years. One novelty of the vehicle is its plastic fenders that give a reasonable amount of ding and rust protection.
Inside, tons of space awaits the driver, its passengers, and even their cargo. With the cargo area being sufficient enough to fit anything and thanks to its plastic layer, dings won't appear in the interior's sides. Headroom and legroom are decent enough while they can enjoy their cooled drinks courtesy of the beverage cooler. The famed centered based instrument gauges can be a boon or a bane to drivers but it is wider and legibly written than the one found in the first generation Toyota Vios.
For the Filipino buyer, two engines are made available. The QR20DE 1,998cc engine which pumps out 150hp at 6,000rpm and 200Nm at 4,000rpm and the QR25DE 2,488cc engine that has 180hp at 6,000rpm and 245Nm at 4,000rpm to play with. The 2.5 variant feels lighter even at low speeds, credit its engine displacement. While the lower end 2.0 variant has adequate power, it feels slightly under powered and can use a little more of it.
Because of its car based platform, the X-Trail possesses one of the most comfortable and cushiest rides on a crossover SUV. Obviously not available in a car is made standard in the X-Trail, which are high ground clearance and excellent all-around visibility. And since it has car based underpinnings, ride and handling are comparable to one.
Thanks to Nissan's not-so-stellar resale value, the X-Trail is a steal for people looking for a vehicle that has the riding comfort of a sedan and the ground clearance of an SUV. Surely, there are some competitors that have brand advantage, but the X-Trail has found home in Filipino garages. A worthy pick especially for urban dwellers and wanting the height.
- Scratch proof cargo area
- Good all around visibility
- Low resale price is a good used car investment
- Center located gauges
- Tacky exterior visuals (for some year models)
- Some cheap interior bits
Engines: 1,998cc QR20DE and 2,488cc QR25DE I4 gasoline
Power: 150hp @ 6,000rpm (2.0), 180hp @ 6,000rpm (2.5)
Torque: 200Nm @ 4,000rpm (2.0), 245Nm @ 4,000rpm (2.5)
Fuel Consumption: 5-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear parallel link strut
Price (New): P1,070,000-P1,350,000 (range from 2003-2011)
Price (Now): P450,000-P750,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Captiva, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda Tribute, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota RAV4
On Sale: 2003-present
Nissan Mantrade - 812-6789
Nissan Gallery Ortigas - 635-5888
Nissan Gallery Quezon Avenue - 731-5308
UPDATE: Vehicle had been discontinued as of 5/7/2012. This is not listed in Top Gear's buyer's guide as well as dealers confirmation.
Photos by Myk Belmonte
X-Trail unit courtesy of Mark