Nissan’s rival for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is due in showrooms in early 2023 – but even the cheapest version may cost more than a top-of-the-range RAV4.
The 2023 Nissan X-Trail e-Power hybrid family SUV is due in Australia early next year – but all models are slated to cost in excess of $50,000 plus on-road costs, or $55,000 drive-away.
The X-Trail mid-size SUV will be Nissan’s second model to offer its e-Power hybrid technology in Australia (after the smaller Qashqai), when it goes on sale in early 2023 – a few months after the standard petrol model, due between October and December 2022.
But whereas its chief rival, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers the option of hybrid technology across the range – with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) – the X-Trail e-Power will only be available in the two most expensive model grades, Ti and Ti-L, with standard AWD and five seats.
Prices are yet to be confirmed, but it is very likely to cost more than the petrol-powered X-Trail Ti AWD – which is priced from $49,990 plus on-road costs, or about $54,000 drive-away (with a Sydney postcode).
The top-of-the-range, petrol-engined X-Trail Ti-L AWD currently costs $52,990 plus on-road costs, or about $57,000 drive-away (exact drive-away prices vary between state and territory).
For context, the most affordable Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (GX front-wheel drive) costs $36,900 plus on-road costs, increasing to $52,700 plus on-road costs for the most expensive version (Edge Hybrid AWD).
It’s unclear how much more Nissan will charge for the hybrid system. Toyota RAV4 hybrids cost $2500 more than petrol versions – with a further $3000 for all-wheel drive – while brands such as Subaru and Haval ask up to $7000 more than petrol models.
The Nissan X-Trail e-Power’s hybrid system uses the petrol engine as a generator to power its electric motors – compared to a Toyota hybrid system, which is capable of driving its wheels with petrol and/or electric propulsion.
Nissan says this offers “the pleasurable, effortless and smooth driving experience associated with a pure [electric vehicle], but without the need to recharge.”
Australian X-Trails will be fitted as standard with the all-wheel-drive version of e-Power, combining a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors, one powering each axle.
Nissan in Europe rates the system’s combined output at 157kW, with individual torque outputs of 330Nm from the front motor, and 195Nm from the rear unit.
The result is a 7.0-second sprint from zero to 100km/h – making the hybrid the quickest and most powerful X-Trail ever sold in Australia.
Fuel economy on Europe’s WLTP test cycle in combined (urban and highway) driving is rated at 6.3 to 6.4 litres per 100km – about 10 per cent higher than a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD, which claims 5.8L/100km on the same test procedures.
In Australia, where fuel economy testing is more lenient, Nissan claims an efficiency claim of 6.1L/100km – which compares to 4.8L/100km for an all-wheel-drive RAV4 Hybrid variant – and an estimated economy rating of 8.0 to 8.5L/100km for a petrol X-Trail AWD, based on calculations by Drive.
Five seats will be the only choice in Australia – despite a seven-seat layout being available in Europe and Japan.
Also available overseas is a cheaper front-wheel-drive e-Power model, with a 150kW output and a claimed WLTP fuel economy rating of 5.8 to 5.9L/100km. This won’t be sold in Australia, at least initially.
Standard features for the Nissan X-Trail e-Power are expected to match the variants they’re based on.
Highlights referenced in Nissan Australia’s latest media announcement include tri-zone air conditioning, a head-up display, ProPilot semi-autonomous driving technology, and USB-C charging ports.
Other standard features on the X-Trail Ti petrol in Australia include 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, adaptive LED headlights, 12.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, leather-accented seat upholstery, and a power driver’s seat.
Stepping up to the X-Trail Ti-L adds features such as quilted nappa leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated outboard rear seats, 10-speaker Bose sound system, driver’s seat memory, and hands-free functionality for the power tailgate.
X-Trail e-Power-specific features referenced in Europe include a regenerative braking system – which can bring the car to “creeping speed”, not a full stop like some ‘one-pedal’ driving systems in electric cars – while in Japan there’s a noise cancellation system.
The ‘vehicle-to-load’ system available in Japan – which features a home power outlet in the car capable of providing up to 1500W to power small electrical devices – does not appear to be available in Europe, and most likely, not Australia either.
The 2023 Nissan X-Trail e-Power is due in Australian showrooms in early 2023, after first deliveries of the standard petrol model begin before the end of this year.
Customers will be able to place a pre-order on Nissan Australia’s website before the end of this month.