Having driven a few Nissan X-Trails before, it’s a mightily impressive all-rounder of an SUV that’s really more than enough for most folks out there. When taking into account this new and updated model, with its inclusion of hybridised powertrains, it’s a good step up from old-school internal combustion cars, but made for those who might not yet be fully committed or confident enough in full EVs. While you can get the X-Trail with a mild-hybrid set-up, the real star of the line-up, I think, is the e-Power models.
Leveraging Nissan’s unique approach to hybridisation, it gives you a good taste of what proper EVs are like to drive and experience day-to-day. Yet, without the hassle of owning an EV, such as the lacklustre charging infrastructure in some parts of the world at the moment, or the long charging times if you need to get somewhere far away in a hurry, not to mention the concerns around how long-lasting EV batteries are for long-term ownership. For a nice balance of what’s current and what the future may hold, Nissan’s e-Power is the best stop-gap compromise I could think of.
What Is The Nissan X-Trail Tekna e-Power About?
But, more on that in a moment, let’s focus, for now, on this new generation of the Nissan X-Trail. As far as its aesthetics are concerned, the X-Trail is no doubt a really handsome car, with all your usual Nissan design touches present here and there, such as that large V-shaped grille at the front, as well as its sporty and athletic silhouette. The split headlights, as slim as they look, do illuminate the road ahead quite clearly.
I also adore this champagne-silver paint, which looks even better when it’s gleaming under bright sunlight. You might’ve also noticed the amount of ground clearance and ride height it has, as well as its generous degree of suspension movement, if you ever needed it. It’s by no means a serious off-roader, but the X-Trail can get you to places where a regular car might’ve gotten stuck otherwise, so that’s something to consider.
Despite not being an EV, Nissan does seem to put a serious emphasis on aerodynamics and lowering the drag coefficient as much as possible. One notable showcase of this is the small vent and opening on the sides of the front fascia that allows air to pass through and over the wheels. Thus, creating a more slippery airflow around the car. However, while the Nissan X-Trail looks mostly conventional on the outside, it’s what’s hiding under the hood that’s worth taking a closer look at.
How Does It Drive?
The Nissan X-Trail e-Power is technically a self-charging hybrid, as that e-Power system essentially functions like a generator. There’s still an internal combustion engine in there (pop open the bonnet, and it even looks like a traditional ICE vehicle); specifically, a 1.5-litre inline-3 petrol engine. Although, this engine does nothing more than burn fuel to then supply electricity to the tiny battery pack and electric motors, which is what eventually powers and propels the X-Trail.
It’s a unique way of electrifying a vehicle, which affords you both improved fuel economy compared to a regular ICE vehicle and lower tailpipe emissions (admittedly, it’s not a massive upgrade over a pure ICE vehicle), yet you also get to enjoy some of the benefits that are inherent with all-electric cars. This includes that almost instantaneous torque, a really smooth drive, and the near-enough silence of electric drive (but, with a tiny bit of noise from the engine running and recharging the battery).
Plus, there’s no need to worry excessively about range anxiety, because it’s as easy to top up as a visit to your local petrol station for a quick 3-minute refill. On top of that, the X-Trail e-Power could also be driven as a regular EV, only being powered by the electric motors and the battery, without having to turn the engine on. Granted, given how small the battery is, it’s really only suited for the smallest distances until you will require the engine back on.
But hey, as brief as its endurance is, it’s doable enough. Another distinct and noteworthy aspect of the X-Trail that I’ve got here, in particular, is the inclusion of Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system. As such, it does feature a dual-motor set-up front and rear, paired with that hybrid e-Power powertrain. Although, if you don’t think you need all-wheel drive, you can still get this e-Power hybrid system, with the Tekna trim, with just a single motor, front-wheel drive.
With that being said, opting for all-wheel drive does make the Nissan X-Trail a more capable all-season and all-weather car, with that e-4ORCE system working hard in the background to give you as much traction as it can. You could, of course, tweak this further via the terrain management dial and drive modes on the centre console, from a more economical mode to a sportier mode, as well as specific modes for (light) off-roading scenarios and snow driving.
The more I drive the X-Trail, the more I realise why crossover SUVs like it, more so when matched with a hybrid powertrain, are so popular. The ride height gives you a commanding view of the road ahead (and it’s just low enough to make ingress and egress easier), without having to worry about speedhumps. The electric steering rack is light and easy to manage, just as the suspension keeps the ride quality well poised to soak up most of the bumps and undulations that you might come across. Overall, it’s a really comfortable and effortless machine to just get in and drive.
What Is It Like Inside?
The interior is, I find, a really nice place to be. As with a lot of Nissans, it’s well-refined and elegant, with a nice mixture of leather, brushed plastic trim, and wood upholstery. It’s a solidly practical, intuitive, and hard-wearing interior, which is what I’m looking for the most if I’m ever considering a family car or a daily driver runabout that could be used and bused for years, without a fuss from the car. The X-Trail’s cabin features a lot of the niceties that I’d expect out of a car in this price range, including a plethora of USB ports for charging (including USB-C).
The Tekna trim atop the X-Trail here even bundles in a wireless charging pad for your phone. With the addition of heated seats and a heated steering wheel, it makes for a relaxing and comforting cabin to step into on a chilly winter morning. Most of your in-car controls are conventional too, with a cluster of buttons and switchgear for managing your climate control and the infotainment system. The buttons on the steering wheel are equally as nice to use, which gives you a great tactile feel when you press down on them, without having to look, as you’re driving on the motorway.
Speaking of, the infotainment system does feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the user interface as a whole is intuitive and easy to use. With a lot of the other Nissans that we’ve seen in the past handful of years, this updated X-Trail here has a fully digital gauge cluster, neatly showcasing all of your mission-critical readouts, such as the speedometer, drive modes, driving range, battery capacity, and how much % of the power you’re deploying.
On the more practical side of things, there’s a vast array of storage solutions inside the X-Trail. The cabin at the front has numerous cubbies hidden underneath the floating centre console, more on the door cards, and accompanied by a suitably spacious boot further in the back, aided by an electric tailgate. If you’re more concerned about stuffing in passengers instead of cargo, I’m pleased with the headroom and legroom inside the X-Trail, front and rear.
It’s worth bearing in mind, as well, that the Nissan X-Trail is a seven-seater. Consequently, there are a couple more fold-out rear seats further in the third row, way in the back. It’s comfy enough to accommodate extra passengers in there, particularly smaller adults or children. I can definitely say that I’ve quite enjoyed spending time in this latest Nissan X-Trail, with its comfortable and ergonomic seating that I can sink into and sit on for hours at a time – perfect praise for a commuter car.
Given that the X-Trail e-Power here is hybridised and electrified, it does come with Nissan’s e-Pedal mode, which is what they term their one-pedal driving mode. This makes it so that you can drive mostly with just the accelerator pedal, such as getting up to speed and even decelerating and slowing down to a halt. While it’s doing that, the e-Pedal mode also beefs up the e-Power hybrid system’s regenerative braking, so that does at least aid in sustaining how much range you have in that small battery.
Fuel economy, in the low to mid-40s MPG under a mix of regular driving conditions, isn’t a huge improvement over just a regular ICE engine. However, what the X-Trail e-Power does really well, I think, is that it gets you used to electric vehicles, and softens you up to getting accustomed to electric drive and what that feels like or what benefits it offers. Yet, without having to worry about needing to charge it or worry about how much range it has, while also offering up some of the benefits of driving EVs too, as I’ve briefly mentioned earlier.
Aside from the e-Pedal mode, the sheer number of driving aids and assists that you get in the X-Trail, as with all Nissans that come with their ProPilot suite, is quite exceptional. This encompasses systems such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure prevention, a parking assist feature, and traffic sign recognition, just to name a few.
On top of that, the Nissan X-Trail, at least in this higher-tier Tekna trim, also came with a 360-degree surround-view camera, which makes parking and manoeuvring around tight spaces or narrow roads super easy and effortless, giving you that added peripheral vision on what’s around you. In addition, you also get a really big and bright heads-up display on the windscreen, showcasing crucial data at a glance, such as your current speed and the speed limit of the road that you’re on.
Nissan X-Trail Tekna e-Power Cost
While the Nissan X-Trail, with the e-Power hybrid set-up, as well as the e-4ORCE all-wheel drive and dual motor configuration, and the Tekna trim tacked on top of it starts from around £45,310, mine here goes for £47,170. With the Tekna trim, in particular, you do get most of the optional extras and perks bundled in by default, which makes it a better value proposition, so there aren’t nearly as many optional extras that you have to consider, except for cosmetic features, such as premium paint.
Now, if you don’t think you’ll need all-wheel drive, or if you find it unnecessary for your driving style and what you intend on using your X-Trail for, you could save around £2,000 or so and get the 2WD X-Trail (also in Tekna trim, and with e-Power) for about £43,110. If your budget is even tighter than that, or if you’re not yet sold on e-Power, you could also get the entry-level X-Trail with the Tekna trim for £40,710. This instead replaces the e-Power hybrid with a more traditional mild-hybrid configuration.
I’d typically refer to cars like the Nissan X-Trail as the best vehicle for 95% of people out there. It does all you need a car to do, with the added benefits of an SUV in addition to that, with a higher ride height and a commanding view ahead, a larger boot space and extra room for two people. Yet, it’s easy and effortless to drive, further accompanied by a comfortable ride and seating that, if anything, makes the X-Trail the perfect vehicle to commute over long motorway miles.
Yet, when combined with Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system, it’s now better equipped to handle adverse weather and climate, traversing through snow and wintery road surfaces like it’s nothing. When you then pair this with that unique e-Power hybrid powertrain, the X-Trail is an evermore practical car, with better fuel economy and lower emissions (even if it’s minor), and in return, you also get that smooth and quiet drive of an EV. Even if you’re only seeing e-Power as a stop-gap solution before you upgrade to a proper EV sometime down the line, the Nissan X-Trail will be a most pleasant and reliable companion until that time arrives.
Nissan X-Trail Tekna e-Power Specs
- Price: £47,170
- Engine: 1.5-litre inline-3 with e-Power hybrid
- Power: 210bhp
- Torque: 525Nm (ICE & hybrid combined)
- 0-62mph: 7.2 seconds
- Top speed: 111mph
- Weight: 1,949kg
- Economy combined: 42.2mpg
- CO2: 152g/km