Nissan’s current range of sport utility vehicles, which is on display at the biennial Auto Africa Motor Show, makes a strong statement about Nissan’s shift in success and significance in the global market place.
Nissan’s half century of success in the off road vehicle market is embodied in the X-Trail range of compact sport utility vehicles. Its combination of stylish appearance, passenger car luxury and appointment, generous load-carrying ability and all-round performance – in both turn-of-a-button two-wheel and four-wheel-drive configuration – has made X-Trail South Africa’s favourite SUV for the past three years.
The new X-Trail range boasts electrically-adjustable leather seats on all 4×4 models (2.5 petrol manual, 2.5-litre petrol automatic and 2.2 diesel manual) as well as the addition of side impact air bags for the front seat passengers.
The full range, including the 2.0 4×2 manual model, now offers privacy glass on the side windows while rear park sensors on all four models are the only external distinguishing feature of the new level of spec. The tint film is applied on the inside of the glass and is therefore better protected from lifting or scratching.
X-Trail offers a roomy and modern interior, with distinctive centrally-mounted instrument binnacle. Versatile space easily accommodates the equipment of an active leisure lifestyle, with hyper roof rails (and built-in auxiliary lights); split-fold rear seats, electrically operated sliding sunroof and a generous luggage area that is finished in a tough plastic coating that can be washed down.
The ‘entry level’ 4×2 (best-selling SUV in South Africa two years in a row) is powered by Nissan’s economical multi-valve 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 103 kW and 192 Nm of torque.
The 4×4 petrol models are powered by an economical multi-valve 2,5-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 132 kW of power and 245 Nm of torque through a manual five-speed transmission or a four-speed automatic gearbox.
The 4×4 diesel X-Trail (best-selling diesel SUV year-to-date) delivers 84 kW and a generous 270 Nm of torque from its economical 2.2 common rail turbo-charged engine.
Nissan’s third generation Pathfinder is the company’s entrant in the medium SUV market and has quickly become a favourite of go-anywhere, freedom-loving individuals. Powered by Nissan’s award-winning VQ engine, Pathfinder is finding a ready market with people with active lifestyles wanting a luxuriously appointed and comfortable but authentic family sport utility vehicle.
Nissan has broken new ground in combining highly engineered performance capabilities, both on and off road, with premium equipment and rugged good looks.
Pathfinder is driven by a 4-litre V6 engine that boasts the most power (198 kW) and torque (386 Nm) in its segment, according to ECE standards and tests. There is also an all-new 2,5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine (with 6 speed manual or 5 speed automatic transmission), featuring an inter cooler and second-generation common rail technology for lower emissions and a new balancer system for greater refinement.
The interior is configured with three rows of seats accommodating seven people, with the second and third rows folding flat into the floor to create a huge load area. Versatility is exceptional, with a total of 64 different loading configurations. Even with the third row of seats in use there is class-leading luggage space. For added convenience, the rear glass hatch opens for easy access to the rear luggage area in tight spaces and there’s hidden, under floor storage for valuables beneath the second row of seats.
Independent double-wishbone suspension all-round is combined with Nissan’s acclaimed All-Mode 4×4 transmission to give the Pathfinder a high level of off-road capability.
The All-Mode transmission with 4Hi and 4Lo allows the driver to choose between four different settings with the twist of a selector switch, giving the control of a serious 4×4, but without the need to operate a separate gear lever.
The Nissan Patrol is a product of Nissan’s 50-plus years of creating authentic off-roaders with unparalled ability, the Patrol is designed to go where no road exists, with more comfort, style and safety.
Built on a ladder frame chassis for the ultimate in off-road ability, the Nissan Patrol nonetheless has a sufficiently compliant suspension to provide a smooth on-road ride with handling to match. Solid axles coupled to long-travel coil springs make for exceptional articulation. A rear differential lock allows the driver to exploit traction to its fullest, there’s low-range gearing to ensure that no incline is too steep for the Patrol to clamber up.
South African enthusiasts have the option of a lusty, state-of-the-art 4,8-litre straight six-petrol engine boasting an array of high-tech features, or the 3,0-litre inter cooled turbo diesel.
The fuel-injected petrol engine, available with a five-speed automatic transmission, produces a potent 190 kW, with massive torque of 425 Nm. Double overhead camshafts activate four valves per cylinder and Nissan’s induction control system (NICS) and valve timing control (VTC) optimise the torque characteristics. The turbo diesel engine offers 118 kW of power and 380 Nm of torque.
The 4×4 enthusiast can choose between the GL in petrol or diesel (both manual transmission), and the GRX in petrol (tiptronic automatic transmission). Standard features on all models include driver and passenger airbags, in-dash radio/CD player, airconditioner, split/fold rear seats, cargo net and NATS secruity system with immobiliser, remote access and central locking.
The GRX model has a number of additional features for added luxury and convenience, including a sunroof, leather trim, wood grain effect and climate contro. Side airbags provide additional peace of mind, a third row of seats provide extra passenger capacity, and there’s cruise control on the steering wheel for added driving comfort.