At home on city streets, the highway or off-road, the X-Trail is truly comfortable in any and all driving environments.
Nissan’s inclusion of frequency selective dampers means this car both rides well over poor roads and handles securely at high speeds. Though ride quality can get a bit lumpy at times, especially over poorly patched up roads, ride in general is pliant enough. The suspension is relatively silent in operation and most surfaces are swallowed up without any complaint. With its light steering and good agility, the Nissan is also a dolly to drive in traffic. You aren’t intimidated by the size of this SUV because it can be steered so easily and the high bonnet and fenders are visible from the driver’s seat, making it easy to place the car – always a hit with women drivers. The slight lumpiness disappears once you are upto speed and straightline stability is very good too.
The steering may be an electric unit, but it’s direct and there even seems to be some amount of feel. The X-Trail rolls a bit as you turn into a corner but soon settles down and sticks to its line. It’s an enthusiastic handler if you push it and takes well to being driven with a bit of verve and energy. Though the brakes are good and grip is plenty, it’s no CR-V. But then nothing really ever is.
The X-Trail, however, is more effective off-road than any of its soft-roader cousins. Though it is not in the league of the Pajero and lacks much of that car’s serious hardware, the chassis may not be able to cope with some extreme drops, still the X-Trail will manage a good 60 percent of what the extreme brigade can. There’s a hill descent control, the lockable four-wheel-drive system takes you through a lot and don’t forget it has a very favourable torque-to-weight ratio. Whichever way you look at it, this is a great all-rounder.
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Issue: 165 | May 2013
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