New Nissan X-Trail 2021 detailed: Next-generation Toyota RAV4-rivalling SUV revealed

Officially it’s called the Nissan Rogue, but what you’re looking at here is really the all-new X-Trail. 

Unveiled in the USA overnight (where it sells wearing the Rogue badge) the new mid-size SUV is sporting a bolder, chunkier look than the model it replaces, returning the X-Trail slightly back to its boxier original appearance.

But that doesn’t mean it has gone backward in terms of comfort and technology, instead it’s the opposite. Nissan USA has only released images of the interior of high-spec variants, but it shows a far more premium presentation with new switchgear, a larger multimedia screen and leather upholstery in multiple colours.

While it’s too early to talk about specification details for the X-Trail, it’s worth noting that in the US the Rogue will come loaded with technology both for convenience and safety.

All Rogues will come standard with Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 that incorporates autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist and rear automatic braking.

Nissan is also offering its ProPilot Assist mild-autonomous system as an optional extra, which features active cruise control as well as “Navi-Link”, a new feature that the brand claims uses the navigation data to predict upcoming conditions.

There’s more technology inside too, with Nissan revealing a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, full-colour 10.8-inch head-up display and 9.0-inch multimedia touchscreen. Another new tech feature is wireless Apple CarPlay, that will allow for both the driver and passenger to connect their phones to the multimedia system. 

One big question unanswered about the cabin is how many seats it will have available. Nissan only confirmed the Rogue as a five-seater but it’s likely that the X-Trail (that will be built in Japan) will retain the seven-seat option of the current model.

Under the bonnet Nissan USA has only confirmed a single engine, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit good for 135kW of power and 245Nm of torque.

However, it’s widely expected that the X-Trail will debut Nissan’s e-Power hybrid technology in Australia. Given the success of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Nissan believes now is the time to enter the hybrid market with its unique technology.

E-Power uses the petrol engine to charge a battery that’s connected to an electric motor to drive the wheels. However, it’s a deliberately small battery (to save weight and money) so it can’t retain significant charge, which means the petrol engine is always working. According to Nissan the benefit of this system is the petrol engine runs at optimal revs, by simply charging the battery, which makes it more than 1.5 times more efficient than a conventional petrol engine.

While the Rogue is due to go on sale in the US before the end of 2020, Australians will have to wait longer for the X-Trail to reach local showrooms. It’s not expected to reach Australia until late 2021 or early in 2022.