2021 Nissan X-Trail - should you hold that Honda CR-V's booking and wait for this?

Sanjay · Dec 07, 2020 02:20 PM

Remember the early 2000s when Nissan in Malaysia could go toe-to-toe with the kings of the era like Toyota and Honda? 

The 2020 Almera.

The 2020 Nissan Almera is somewhat of a callback to those times (it's a compelling purchase, read the review here) but Edaran Tan Chong Motor's (ETCM) fortunes might improve even more with the all-new 2021 Nissan X-Trail

Eh, this is the wrong car! It says Nissan Rogue!

Hold on to your hats, this is the upcoming T33-generation Nissan X-Trail. It's called the Rogue in the United States and sold globally as the X-Trail. No, this isn't a new development - it's been this way since the second generation (T32, launched in 2013). 

For ease of understanding, we'll refer to it as the X-Trail as we go along.

What's new in the upcoming X-Trail?

Looks! The T33-generation X-Trail puts on a sharp new suit, ditching the subdued lines of the outgoing generation's. 

The front fascia is a bit 2020 Mitsubishi Xpander-ish with its two-tiered design, blocky LED lights flanking a redesigned V-Motion grille and all. 

Dual-tone wheels stay, albeit redesigned. The rear has also been resculputred to look wider, something that owes to the wider number-plate recess. 

Is it also riding on an all-new chassis then?

Nope! The upcoming X-Trail will ride on the same CMF-CD platform, just like the outgoing models. But everything else is new. 

What engine and transmission does it have?

The new engine in the US-market X-Trail is codenamed PR25DD. It's a 2.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine with 183 PS and 245 Nm on tap, paired to a CVT. 

Cool. What features can I expect?

Malaysians' conservative tastes mean that ETCM is very likely to eschew the bright colours and opt for the darker shade.

We'd bet that 'flair, pizzazz and upmarket' were words that designers plastered on the mood board throughout the whole design process. An antithesis to the outgoing-generation's utilitarian interior, the new X-Trail gets several choice features. 

Specs inside include an LCD instrument cluster, up to a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment display (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support) and even a Bose sound system. 

More importantly though, the new X-Trail gets memory seats, a head-up display (HUD) and a shift-by-wire gear lever - all things the previous model never got.

It's got a massive trunk too, coming in at 895 litres with the rear second-row seats up. That's 345 litres bigger than the current X-Trail we have!

No ADAS, no buy. How safe is it?

Nissan's heard you, so the US-market X-Trail will get the Nissan Safety Shield suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Here's the features: 

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection (AEB)
  • Forward collision warning (FCW)
  • Blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert (BSM, RCTA)
  • Lane departure warning (LDW)
  • Auto high-beam (AHB)
  • Traffic sign recognition (TSR)

Safe enough for you?

There's also 10 airbags and the customary anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD). 

What are its rivals?

Dimensions-wise, the T33-generation X-Trail really hasn't grown much compared to the outgoing model: 

2021 Nissan X-Trail vs 2019 X-Trail dimensions
Model 2021 Nissan X-Trail (T33) 2019 Nissan X-Trail (T32)
Length (mm) 4,648 4,690
Width (mm) 1,839 1,820
Height (mm) 1,689 1,740
Wheelbase (mm) 2,705  2,705

As such, the X-Trail will be fighting for market share alongside the Proton X70Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.

When can we expect the 2021 Nissan X-Trail in Malaysia?

The 2021 X-Trail only recently went on sale in North America. Right-hand drive market cars aren't expected to be out until next year (the T32-generation X-Trail is still on sale in Japan), so Malaysians can expect the new X-Trail sometime around 2022 or 2023. 

However - the current-gen X-Trail has been discontinued in Thailand. If they get it by next year, then it bodes well for us too. 

Do you have reviews for the current-gen X-Trail?

The X-Trail that's currently on sale in Malaysia.

Yes we do, and we think it's underrated and overlooked. Agree or disagree? Read our review and watch the video, then come debate with us in the comments section.