By Wang’ombe Kibunja
The Nissan Xtrail is one of the most common SUV on our Kenyan roads. You would easily spot the boxy look either on the highway or in a parking lot somewhere. Since introduction in 2002 of the first Generation Nissan Xtrail, the T30, the vehicle was a hit due to its spacious interior. The T30 was plagued with a myriad of engine issues caused by poor servicing and some manufacturer defects, fast forward to 2007 after introduction of the 2 nd generation the T31 the Xtrail’s popularity has kept on soaring with the reliability issues having been sorted out. Taking a look at the 2012 Nissan Xtrail here are some of the key features that stood out.
The vehicle has a boxy shape that doesn’t add much on its looks department, but makes it look like a serious SUV. It’s basic looking but the T31 has more curves unlike its bland looking predecessor. The tail lights sitting high on the rear does give it a characteristic look combined with the roof rails. The vehicle is spacious and can comfortably sit 5 passengers, with the sits providing a natural seating position. There is plenty of head room and legroom making it an ideal for tall passengers. There is plenty of storage space inside the cabin with the glove box, center storage box and door pockets. The car comes with six cup holders, four on the first row and two in the second row.
Standing tall with a ground clearance of 8.1 inches the vehicle will comfortably handle Kenyan terrain including the high speed bumps and ever emerging potholes on our roads. The vehicle comes with Alloy wheels that range between 16inch rims and 18 inch rims depending on the trim options of the Xtrail you choose.
The vehicle comes in with a variety of engine configurations, three Petrol variations between 2000cc and 2500cc and one Diesel variation of 2000cc. The engines are either mated with a six speed manual or a six speed CVT transmission and comes either in 2WD of 4WD configuration. The 2000cc petrol version is the most common version on the roads. The vehicle is equipped with adequate power but feels a little sluggish when going uphill, you can feel the laziness as it goes up, this is a problem the T31 retained from the T30 model. The manual version has a high reverse gear making it hard to do a proper reverse without some clutch slip especially when loaded. The manufacturer rates the vehicle to tow between 750kgs unbraked trailers and 2000kgs braked trailers depending on the engine and engine configurations. This seems to be a stretch especially when going uphill, fortunately very few Kenyan car owners hitch trailers on their SUVs. The four wheel variant is a good off roader but I wouldn’t trust it much in mud on a hilly terrain.
The vehicle boast a big boot and the rear seats can fold to create more cargo space. Underneath the raised boot floor are two storage shelves, the shelf to the right opens as a drawer making it ideal to place items that would roll around in the boot concealing them out of view creating a tidy boot. The boot is layered with water proof material making it easy to clean.
Fuel consumption and reliability.
The Xtrail does approximately 10.8kms per litre of fuel in city driving or 15.2Kms per litre in highway driving, however this depend on the engine variant selected. Tank capacity of the Xtrailis 65 litres guaranteeing you around 1000kms before a full refill. The T31 is reliable with most of the issues plaguing the T30 model having being sorted, except for the whinny CVT transmission the vehicle has no issues that would prove problematic. Sticking to the user manual, regular and consistent service at 15000kms and using recommended oil the vehicle is guaranteed to give you value for money
The vehicle is one of the most underappreciated vehicles in our market. The Nissan brand
doesn’t hold much when it comes to resale value. The vehicle attracts a tag of kes1.8M going up depending on engine size and other trim options. The price of genuine parts can be slightly higher compared to some of its competitors but they are worth every penny paid.