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Driven: Nissan X-Trail 4x2 2.0 SE Chilli – on sale now



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Reports that demand for SUVs is set to fall will send a shiver up Nissan’s spine. It has five 4x4s, but argues that most are true off-roaders purchased for that purpose.

Some are SUVs, however. X-Trail is the smallest, and the one most likely to be protected from any downturn caused by rising fuel prices.

From the outside this small 4x4 (or 4x2) has the look of an SUV, but inside it offers the comfort and space customers expect from an MPV or family hatchback.

This compact SUV comes with a choice of three engines, 2.0- and 2.5-litre petrol, and 2.2-litre turbodiesel.

SE specification includes alloy wheels, body coloured front grille, leather trim, and chilled cup and food holders.

On top of the 2.0 SE’s equipment roster, the dCi gets a Family Pack, giving buyers looking at five-seater MPVs an SUV alternative.

Behind the centre console there is a toy box with a scroll top lid and a 12v socket for gaming power. The rear centre armrest also folds down into a table.

The X-Trail drives and handles like a car, giving a smooth ride from a high driving position. This makes the 4x2 version especially suitable for buyers looking for the style and practicality of a 4x4, but who don’t need the all-terrain mobility.

Dealers will find this car is an easy sell to those looking for an affordable SUV that offers some protection against high fuel prices.

Price: £17,607
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol, 140bhp @ 6,000rpm
Performance: 0-62mph 11.0sec
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Efficiency: 31mpg, 217g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £5,725 (34%)
Rivals: Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, Land Rover Freelander
Strengths: Excellent car-like drive
Weaknesses: Non-descript appearance
Opportunity: Attract ‘soft off-road’ audience
Threat: Falling demand for SUVs
USP: Price/fuel efficient SUV

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