What’s the hybrid version like of Drive’s Best Medium SUV for 2023?
- Large and comfortable cabin
- Excellent ride quality
- Hybrid driveline makes this good SUV even better
- No spare wheel
- 10,000km service intervals
- Basic infotainment system
We love the new 2023 Nissan X-Trail here at Drive.
We’ve come to feel that way after testing the who’s who of the medium SUV segment at Drive Car of the Year and watching the Nissan X-Trail beat the pack.
Nissan’s e-Power hybrid vehicles work a bit differently to regular hybrid cars too. Whereas other brands use an electric motor to work with a petrol engine, Nissan’s e-Power hybrid technology sees the onboard petrol engine become a slave to its electric motors.
The petrol engine is not connected to the wheels, rather it acts like a generator to keep two electric motors spinning the wheels from the front and from the back. That means the X-Trail hybrid drives and feels like an electric car, in terms of instant torque and quietness (most of the time).
But does the extra cost actually bring you any real-world benefits over slightly better fuel consumption?
How much does the Nissan X-Trail cost in Australia?
Although the regular 2023 Nissan X-Trail range starts from $36,750 before on-roads, a hybrid version will cost you more. Unlike Toyota, Nissan has reserved its hybrid technology for the more expensive models in the range.
Nissan’s e-Power hybrid technology is only offered on the two upper-end X-Trail Ti and X-Trail Ti-L variants. Our test car is the former, thus the cheapest Nissan X-Trail hybrid on the market at $54,190 before on-road costs, or $4200 more expensive than a petrol-only version. That means its drive-away cost is around $58,700 depending on where you live.
Standard equipment includes Nissan’s e-4orce all-wheel-drive system with electric motors on both axles, an onboard petrol engine generator, leather interior, large opening sunroof, and power-opening tailgate.
It’s well equipped overall, but devoid of a few luxury features that are found on the X-Trail Ti-L model. The flagship costs $57,190, or more than $60,000 on the road, and includes fancy things like nappa leather trim, 10-speaker Bose stereo and a heated steering wheel.
How much space does the Nissan X-Trail have inside?
The first-row seats are decently sculpted, comfortable, and feature electric lumbar adjustment. It makes the car pleasurable to cover long distances in, and the ergonomic benefit of the seats is that you get out afterward feeling less fatigued.
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The rest of the cabin looks and feels great for the money. You get a nice variety of materials throughout the cabin – like a decent-looking faux wood and a squishy stitched dashboard – as well as smart design.
Things like front cupholders big enough to fit both a regular can of drink but also a large bottle, a centre console that floats over storage underneath, and the butterfly-lidded armrest area is big enough for phones, wallets, and maybe a small bag. It’s a space parents will likely love.
Over in the second row, the theme of space continues. I’m around six-feet tall and found there to be plenty of room when sitting behind my own driving position. My legs and feet had ample room, as did the rest of my body and head.
Another benefit of the X-Trail’s second row is its high hip point, which almost creates a stadium-like seating situation for guests in the back. It means you sort of peer down and out of the front window, but also receive excellent visibility all round. Another perk of the high seat base is that it’s easy to get in and out of, so if you’re older or have the odd bad joint, you will appreciate the ergonomics here.
They’ve even made the rear door open at nearly 90 degrees to the car, so access is awesome. Boot space remains decent at 575L, or just 10L less than the regular petrol-only X-Trail.
The boot is awesome in that the opening itself is huge, meaning boxes from Ikea or a bicycle would have no issue sliding right in. The dual boot floor is another nice touch, but unlike non-hybrid models, some of the under-floor space is taken up by the car’s 12-volt starter battery, which also means the e-Power models come with a tyre repair kit and not a spare wheel.
|2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti e-Power|
|Boot volume||575L seats up|
Does the Nissan X-Trail have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
The 2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti hybrid features two 12.3-inch screens in the cabin.
The first replaces traditional dials and acts as a gauge cluster, while the second acts as an infotainment system with wireless/wired Apple CarPlay and wired Android auto connectivity.
The software interface does look basic, but it still features everything you need and remains easy to use. Inputs are responded to quickly, and its smartphone integration did not drop out or show any signs of connectivity issues over the seven-day vehicle loan.
Satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB+ radio and Bluetooth connectivity are also part of the infotainment system’s native suite, but the X-Trail does not feature app connectivity or ‘live’ connected functions.
There is one more screen in this car – a 10.8-inch one placed on the dashboard acting as a head-up display. It shows you information like vehicle speed, speed zone and navigation directions sharply and works just fine with polarised sunglasses.
Is the Nissan X-Trail a safe car?
ANCAP rated the 2023 Nissan X-Trail range five stars out of five. This rating covers all X-Trail variants (both petrol and hybrid) and is based on testing conducted on the related Nissan Qashqai.
It scored well in the driver-assist systems field – scoring an epic 97 per cent – and performed well in crash testing, with occupant protection and child occupant protection seeing scores of 91 and 90 per cent respectively.
It underperformed in terms of vulnerable road user (pedestrian) protection, however, scoring only 74 per cent.
What safety technology does the Nissan X-Trail have?
The 2023 Nissan X-Trail features a wide range of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS).
Its emergency braking system with pedestrian detection works when travelling both forward and backward, and the forward-travelling part of the system can also detect road junctions and intervene in the event of an emergency situation.
You also get traffic sign recognition, active lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, plus adaptive cruise control. Nissan links adaptive cruise and lane-centring functions in what it calls ProPilot, offering a layer of semi-autonomous assistance to help keep you on the road.
How much does the Nissan X-Trail cost to maintain?
Nissan expects its X-Trail hybrid to be serviced every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first.
The first three services cost $365, $472 and $534, or $1371 in total. Years four and five cost $571 and $411 respectively, bringing the five-year total to $2353.
Nissan also offers a sixth service at a cheaper cost as part of its fixed-price schedule for $698. It’s not the cheapest car to service, but it’s about par for the segment and fair considering the complexity of the vehicle.
An estimated insurance premium for the X-Trail hybrid comes to $1173 annually, based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver, living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances. That’s cheap considering the car’s value.
|At a glance||2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti e-Power|
|Warranty||Five years, unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 10,000km|
|Servicing costs||$1371 (3 years)
Is the Nissan X-Trail fuel-efficient?
Nissan claims its X-Trail hybrid uses 6.1L/100km on a combined driving cycle.
Over a week-long vehicle loan, our test car used 6.3L/100km with our driving split 65-35 in favour of highway driving versus around town.
It’s a good result overall, and shows that the official claimed fuel-efficiency figure is likely achievable over time.
|Fuel Usage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||6.1L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||6.3L/100km|
|Fuel type||95-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||55L|
What is the Nissan X-Trail like to drive?
Quiet. Nissan’s e-Power hybrid system has more guts than a conventional hybrid car, meaning its electric-only operation has a greater breadth of ability. Pending battery charge it’ll accelerate from zero to 50km/h mostly silently, and stay that way even up to motorway speeds.
That’s because it’s technically an electric car with an onboard petrol engine generator. The petrol engine in this car is not connected to the wheels at all. Rather it turns on and spins to power an inverter and in turn the electric motors at both axles.
The Nissan X-Trail e-Power hybrid features a 150kW front electric motor and 100kW rear electric motor to create the brand’s ‘e-4orce’ all-wheel-drive system. As both motors work with each other independently, combined peak power is only 157kW, but the power and torque are delivered instantly and swiftly like an electric car.
The petrol engine will fire up pending the charge of the battery, but it’s quite minute under regular acceleration efforts. It’s only when the battery is low or when you nail it that the engine begins to get a little noisy.
The instantaneousness of its power makes it feel perky, and it continues to feel so even with a few kids and some luggage on board. It’s easily a nicer drive than the petrol-only X-Trail, but then again, the hybrid does cost more and is far more complicated – so it ought to come with some tangible benefit other than efficiency.
The cabin is really quiet, too, and quieter than a regular X-Trail because of that hybrid driveline – once again showing its worth. A decent amount of sound-deadening materials keep buzzing and vibrations at bay, and at 110km/h on a coarser-chip freeway the cabin experience still remains bliss.
I’ve driven some higher-end luxury cars that are louder on the same roads, so credit to Nissan for clearly focussing on making this car ride smoothly and comfortably. The suspension is soft, but there’s still control under the body movement at speed. The steering is direct and sharp, and the car will change direction decently in an emergency situation.
It’s lovely to drive around town on poorly repaired roads, and equally so when out in a nice regional town where the roads are big, old and wide, but a little rough and gritty.
The added performance of the hybrid driveline makes it a great touring vehicle, too, so if you like to explore the wonderful regional towns near where you live, the X-Trail is the ideal car to spend time in.
|Key details||2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti e-Power|
|Engine||1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol hybrid|
|Power||106kW @ 4400rpm petrol (engine does not power the wheels)
150kW front electric motor
100kW rear electric motor
|Torque||250Nm @ 2400rpm petrol (engine does not power the wheels)
330Nm front electric motor
195Nm rear electric motor
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Single-speed reduction gear|
|Spare tyre type||Tyre repair kit|
|Tow rating||1650kg braked
Should I buy a Nissan X-Trail?
If you’re considering a higher-spec 2023 Nissan X-Trail, then certainly aim for an e-Power hybrid model.
The spend is worth the extra money, and not just because you’ll save fuel in the long run. The hybrid version feels better to drive than the petrol version because of its instantaneous and electric-car-like response, plus it’s quieter when buzzing around as an EV with the petrol engine turned off.
The cabin is spacious enough for most families, and the high points of fantastic ride quality and excellent sound suppression create a premium-like experience.
The hybrid version just makes the Drive Car of the Year Best Medium SUV even better, so make sure you test-drive one before doing the sums on whether it’s worth the extra cash.