2021 Nissan X-Trail launching with trio of hybrids - report

The 2021 Nissan X-Trail promises to be thoroughly electrified, offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid and e-Power powertrains.

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William Stopford
Journalist

The redesigned 2022 Nissan X-Trail will take the fight to the Toyota RAV4 with a trio of electrified variants.

BestCarWeb reports the fourth-generation Nissan X-Trail will offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid and e-Power variants.

Local line-up details have yet to be revealed as CarExpert understands the X-Trail won’t launch in Australia until next year.

It’ll borrow the 2.4-litre four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

In exchange for handing over its plug-in powertrain, Alliance partner Mitsubishi will use the new X-Trail’s platform and other components for its next-generation Outlander.

The X-Trail’s plug-in system is said to be more efficient than the current Outlander PHEV’s. The next-generation Outlander PHEV, also due this year, is expected to feature a larger battery and an increase of 20km in electric range, up to 70km.

BestCarWeb also mentions an X-Trail variant with a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine that uses a “one-motor, dual-clutch full hybrid system”.

Nissan introduced a hybrid version of the outgoing generation in 2015, which mated a 105kW 2.0-litre petrol four with a 29kW electric motor, lithium-ion battery and continuously-variable transmission, but it never reached Australia. It’s available with both front- and all-wheel drive.

Nissan’s e-Power system will also reportedly make its way into the X-Trail.

Though BestCarWeb mentions a 1.2-litre petrol four being used as part of the powertrain, as in the Juke-sized Kicks sold in Asia and the Americas, Nissan has confirmed a larger 1.5-litre engine for the next-generation Qashqai.

It seems unlikely the larger, heavier X-Trail would use a smaller engine for its e-Power variant than the Qashqai.

Nissan’s e-Power system differs from conventional hybrid systems in that it uses a petrol engine as a generator to charge the battery, with the electric motor delivering power directly to the wheels.

The company says this gives you the feel of an electric vehicle, including the instant torque, without the need to plug in to charge.

Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester has previously indicated his desire to have one third of the range electrified by 2022, telling CarExpert the “market is ready” for more electrified vehicles.

There will continue to be un-electrified engines in the X-Trail range, with BestCarWeb mentioning a naturally-aspirated 2.4-litre petrol engine.

However, the X-Trail has already debuted in North America – where it’s known as the Rogue – with a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

No mention is made of a diesel engine in the powertrain line-up, suggesting the current car’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four is living on borrowed time.

The X-Trail will be available with both front- and all-wheel drive and two- and three-row seating layouts though, as with the current Outlander PHEV, the X-Trail PHEV will be available only with all-wheel drive and two rows of seating.

Inside, the X-Trail will be available with a new 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 10.8-inch colour head-up display, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Wireless Apple CarPlay is included, with wireless phone charging at the base of the centre console. The overall cabin design is far more modern than that of the ageing current-generation X-Trail, and promises to pack nicer materials.

Nissan will offer a full ProPilot suite of active safety assists, including adaptive cruise control with steering assist feature backed by the navigation system. When the navigation tells the car it’s approaching a bend, the cruise control can slow down ahead of time.

The X-Trail won’t be the only mid-sized SUV to offer a choice of both hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The Ford Escape/Kuga offers both overseas, though only the plug-in hybrid is coming here. It’s due late this year after issues with the batteries forced Ford Australia to delay its launch by 12 months.

The hybrid model accounts for the lion’s share of Toyota RAV4 sales locally, though the plug-in hybrid version – called PHEV or Prime depending on the market – remains off-limits to Australia.

Hyundai Australia has said it’s interested in both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of its redesigned Hyundai Tucson, though no decisions have been made for a local introduction as Hyundai says our market’s lack of fleet emissions targets has pushed us down the priority list.

There are more plug-in hybrid SUVs incoming to give the stalwart Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV some competition, including the front-wheel drive MG e-HS during the first half of this year.

Peugeot will introduce two plug-in hybrid versions of its mid-sized 3008 SUV before the second half of this year: a 165kW front-wheel drive one with 56km of electric range and a 221kW all-wheel drive one with 59km of range.

MORE: Nissan X-Trail news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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