Go wild ... the X-Trail will take you there!

2018-02-01 06:00
=30 Times quicker than the blink of an eye ... that is how fast the X-Trail adapts to changing road conditions.                                 Photos:HEILIE COMBRINCK

=30 Times quicker than the blink of an eye ... that is how fast the X-Trail adapts to changing road conditions. Photos:HEILIE COMBRINCK

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Amazingly surprised!

Crossing the Baviaans River 34 times in the new crossover Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dci Tekna 4WD on the way to Zandvlakte, and experiencing the smarts of a high-tech multi-purpose vehicle, was just as astonishing as the scenery.

I took it to heart when Nissan said, “Adventure-seekers take note: Get ready to get inside and go out there with the new Nissan X-Trail.”

Come weekend, packing is an open invitation to take more than actually needed for your adventure trip, because the X-Trail’s cargo system offers a variety of 9 configurations. There is even secret under-floor storage for things you want to hide.

When the X-Trail’s newly designed “V-Motion” grille and bumper with its signature day-time running lights is turned towards the open road, its performance is exhilarating.

Leaving the Bay towards Willowmore, I at first was very annoyed with an electronic “beep-beep-beep” which I could not detect.

Aha ... finally ... it is super-smart technology! Sensor cameras at the bottom of the side mirrors detect the yellow line on the verge of the road and centre traffic line. The moment the vehicle gets too close to it the lane departure intervention “beeping” starts. But, it cleverly kept quiet whenever the indicator was activated.

In fact its intelligent panoramic view monitor which comes with 4 cameras (front, rear and side mirrors) offers a virtual 360° bird’s eye view. This comes in very handy for parking or for manoeuvring capabilities. You can check the front and rear whilst remaining in the driver’s seat.

The X-Trail has the look and feel of a premium SUV vehicle. It is an easy rider, with its intelligent mobility features and interior designed for comfort and driving pleasure.

This turbodiesel with its 96kW output (320Nm) has enough power to quickly pass slower driving vehicles on the R75 road meandering through the hills at the foot of the Zuurberg mountain range. A sunroof adds to the feeling of freedom. So does the option to keep an eye on the navigating system, reading names of all the other interesting places in the vicinity still to be visited.

Reaching the start of the 36km single lane cement road on the R329 towards Willowmore, one of the X-Trail’s outstanding characteristics effortlessly kicks in. This road was completed in the mid 50s and demands clever driving skills as vehicles have to move on to the gravel verge of the road for oncoming traffic.

30 Times quicker than the blink of an eye ... that is how fast the X-Trail adapts to changing road conditions, switching from two wheel to all wheel drive! The system automatically sends power to the wheels that need it the most. Phew! ... I wish I could get a grip on life’s slippery things so fast!

Willowmore always is a nice stop to catch the feel of real people, Karoo people, and to enjoy refreshments at local businesses catering for tourists.

When one looks at the X-Trail Tekna from the winkelstoep, it stands high with its XX ground clearance and body lines that look a bit like a leopard ready to leap!

Well, leaping into the World Heritage Baviaanskloof is an excitement of its own. Adding to this was the amazingly surprising feeling of how the X-Trail Tekna handles gravel roads.

With the X-Trail’s 4x4-i, you can choose between full-time 2-wheel drive for maximum efficiency; Auto Mode, which constantly monitors conditions and adjusts the balance of power between front and rear wheels; or choose 4-wheel drive.

Choosing 4-wheel drive, my hands were dead-still on the stearing wheel, with the suspension absorbing and neutralizing all the shocks, humps and bumps on the Baviaans gravel road.

This to me is one of the outstanding driving performance characteristics and pleasures of the Nissan X-Trail Tekna. It is a comfortable and versatile vehicle allowing you to break free from the city and to experience our beautiful Eastern Cape platteland.

The average fuel consumption during this nearly 600km trip was 8.1l/100km.

  • Zandvlakte is within the Baviaanskloof Hartland Private Game Reserve and owned by agri-ecologist Pieter Kruger and his wife Magriet. It offers accommodation in old restored buildings dating from 1811 to the late 1900s. Zandvlakte is internationally recognized for its extraordinary biodiversity and ground breaking ways of restoring the functionality and ecosystems of a water catchment area.

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