NISSAN is a big player in the crossover segment, both globally and locally, with its X-trail and Qashqai models, both of which received upgrades in the past six months as part of Nissan’s strategy to make their crossovers smarter and safer with Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology.In February, the X-trail and the Qashqai, were recognised among the top 25 bestselling vehicles in the world. Both vehicles have an array of features that ensure customers enjoy both off-road capabilities and comfort. Express on Wheels spent a week test driving both the new models on the mom’s taxi route.For this week’s column, we look at the revamped Nissan X-trail which sports a brand-new athletic exterior - a huge revamp of the rather boxy previous model.Nissan launched its revamped X-trail at the end of last year featuring a more muscular exterior and plenty of high-tech features. Its athletic exterior with panoramic sunroof (a standard spec on the top of the range X-Trail that was testdriven) and stylish interior creates quite an inspiring first impression. This SUV makes you feel like packing your bags for a picnic and taking to the road.But due to work commitments, there was no escaping the concrete jungle during the test week and most of the time spent with this state-of-the-art crossover was on the mom’s taxi route. The X-trail, however, certainly put a lot of pleasure into the daily urban commute. Peak hour traffic gave one the opportunity to while the time away discovering what all the buttons are for staring at you from the dashboard or simply just admiring the spacious, comfy interior. The X-Trail sports several Nissan Intelligent Mobility advancements, which combine smart technology with innovative features to provide drivers with a safer and more comfortable drive.Potential buyers would also be glad to know that it packs a punch price-wise as well and one can purchase a seven-seater version of the X-Trail, in a choice of petrol or diesel, for under R400 000.Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) for safetyAmong the stand-out features of NIM, I found the Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection to be the most impressive. This assists drivers to park much easier by providing an all-round view of the vehicle’s surroundings.With this monitor, one can see with almost a bird’s eye view exactly how you are parked. Gone are the days of having to open the door to see whether you have parked neatly in between the lines or enough to the front. You simply check on the monitor and you can see exactly if you have parked like a pro. Other features that most motorists would benefit from on a daily basis is the Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention, which alerts the driver to the presence of vehicles in blind spots behind the car.The Intelligent Cross Traffic Alert is quite handy on the busy school or weekend shopping run – when backing out of a parking space, this feature can detect and warn the driver of vehicles that are approaching from behind.Other features of NIM are Intelligent Lane Intervention, which alerts the driver when it detects that the vehicle is straying from its lane. Intelligent Emergency Braking uses radar technology to keep an eye on one’s speed and proximity to the vehicle in front, and will alert the driver before engaging the brakes. Intelligent Forward Collision Warning helps alert drivers of an impending collision with a slower moving or stationary car and Intelligent Auto Headlights automatically changes between high and low beams when it detects oncoming vehicles at night.Exterior enhancementsThe upgraded X-Trail offers one the choice between 17- and 19-inch alloys as well as new exterior colours.It also sports a new “V-Motion” grille and bumper, revised headlights and signature daytime running lights.The front also features integrated fog lamps while the rear has LED taillights in a redesigned rear bumper.The X-Trail shares a platform with the Qashqai, but the X-Trail is noticeably higher and longer than the Qashqai and there’s the option of a third row of seats.Interior upgradesChanges to the interior are mainly a new, thicker, leather-clad D-shaped steering-wheel and the use of nicer materials throughout, especially the double-stitched leather seats.The Nissan Connect centre console has an upgraded interface and there is a new gloss black trim with metallic accents. The X-Trail sports a versatile seating system and the second row offers plenty of space and comfort for those passengers as well. The 60/40 split seat slides forward for easy access. The seats also recline. The third row provides additional versatility and folds down completely to make a flat cargo floor.Ride The engine range of the new X-Trail remains unchanged and the X-Trail is available in petrol or diesel, manual or CVT automatic models.Nissan claims a combined consumption of 5.3 litre/100km. I got about 9.9 litres during my time of mostly city driving. The trip computer however stated a best consumption of 5.2 litre/100km.The X-Trail had plenty of power, combined with good road holding, well-balanced steering and smooth gearshifting. It simply makes driving such a pleasure.It also has good ground clearance to go off road without breaking a sweat, or the chassis. The range-topping X-Trail 2.5 Tekna CVT 4WD seven-seater is powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine which delivers 126 kW and 233 Nm of torque.With this range-topping Tekna priced at R485 000, one will struggle to find another vehicle offering the same features in this price range. Pricing: The new Nissan X-Trail comes with Nissan’s class-leading six-year/150 000km warranty, a three-year/90 000km service plan and 24-hour roadside assist.Service intervals are at 15 000km and the new X-Trail is priced as follows:2.0 Visia: R375 5002.0 Visia 7s: R380 500 1.6 dci Visia 7s: R399 500 2.5 Acenta CVT 4WD: R434 500 2.5 Acenta CVT 4WD 7s: R439 500 2.5 Acenta Plus CVT 4WD 7s: R451 900 1.6 dci Tekna 4WD: R472 500 2.5 Tekna CVT 4WD 7s: R485 000.