X-Trail to Alps: Only in the mountains will you fully understand why this four-wheel hybrid makes sense.

X-Trail to Alps: Only in the mountains will you fully understand why this four-wheel hybrid makes sense.

The Nissan brand pays for a high level and, possibly, an affordable middle class, which in Europe was fed only by the Qashqai. However, with the arrival of new model generations, the seven-seater X-Trail also held its technological corners, promising that what it offers makes sense.

The Nissan X-Trail is also sold as an e-Power with a single electric motor and front-wheel drive.

In the 4×4 e-Power version, the vehicle is powered by electric motors that draw energy from a small battery, which is powered by a 1.5 liter three-cylinder petrol engine. And that sounds like a good hybrid solution that doesn’t require a transmission, where you can enjoy the benefits of an electric drive, but aren’t tied down by a bunch of cards and cables to charging stations.

But does the e-Power all-wheel drive and e-4orce all-wheel drive perform as well in practice as it claims on paper? We drove to the foothills of the Alps in Austria to test the car where it makes sense.

Pilgrimage sites of Czech tourism

We are not saying that all-wheel drive is not suitable for example on the highway, but on what other roads will two-wheel drive work for you in an SUV? On the mountain zigzags, going up and then down.

A cobbled waterway lined our paths in Lower Austria.

For our test of travelogue features, we chose the region of Lower Austria, specifically an unnamed village, from where we set out to discover the beauty of the lake. Lunzer See is located near the town of Lunz am See.

It is a place that attracts tourists (all year round), especially Czechs come here with great popularity. On the one hand, because of the beautiful scenery and also because of the clean bathing lake. The water here is almost transparent, while information signs ask visitors not to enter the lake immediately after applying sun cream or using cosmetics containing microplastics.

Lunzer See is busy with tourists almost all year round.

And it seems everyone is being respectful so far, because the water park is thriving and no one is trying to get rich on parking or entrance fees.

There were more beautiful sights waiting for us, so we skied down the smooth road and encountered the first traces of snow. The road began to descend in places, which was a good opportunity to fully charge the 1.73 kWh hybrid battery using recovery.

Just a little descent and the traction battery is full.

The road led the gold-silver X-Trail into town Mariazell, which stands out for its unique basilica. For many Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians, it is a real place of pilgrimage, so don’t be surprised if you hear a language other than German all the time there.

But since we are more of a motorcycle crew than a tourist crew, we were tempted by the steep slopes leading up to the trail, which tested the engine’s stopping power.

The Basilica in Mariazell is a true pilgrimage site.

The car has the so-called mode B (broken), after the start-up the reduction of the electric motor increases several times and the battery charges faster. As soon as the hybrid battery stored under the front seats reports that it is full, the internal combustion engine starts and starts to help brake with its increased revolutions.

One way or another, this operation costs you only a few drops of oil (literally), which saves your brakes and still feeds your traction battery. And these are benefits that even Mountfield Béda Trávníček and the wheel of fortune did not offer at that time.

Just move the selector to switch between D/B modes.

Three cylinders under steam

If you are in Lower Austria, you will be wandering around the city Wildalpenthen know that the stream there is a source of drinking water for the whole area.

Although the local roads leading to Palfau and Lassing were among the second, sometimes even the third, they were not potholed, patched or otherwise damaged. They also don’t know salt here and instead use gravel and aggregate, which you have to be careful with (and consider) when passing other road users.

Good roads, sharp turns and fun in every meter.

We were nearing the end of our journey of several hours, where we were waiting for the exit Hochkar ski area, a cheap and very popular resort for Czech skiers with six lifts. In other words, nothing on the spot cost a million, there were no kilometer-long queues, you could park for free at the top, and even the price of a family lunch did not mean the need to take out a loan.

Climbing the steepness fully tested the technical readiness of the model, when after the first few turns the hybrid battery reached its limit and the internal combustion engine began to recharge. It typically operates at about 20-30%, which easily provides all-wheel drive and volt storage for dirt-free driving.

Although there were many people in Hochkar, it was possible to park the car without any problems.

But suddenly here we were, enthusiastic motorists who weren’t going through hood bends. And since the traffic was light and the regulations were good, we spun all four wheels as much as we could.

The three-cylinder petrol engine suddenly hit up to 80% load, however, it was able to feed the battery to a certain limit quite nicely. Normally, the engine is not very audible, however, on climbs and under steam, the hum of three mashing pistons can be heard loudly from behind the hood.

Hochkar ski area will provide six cable cars.

However, driving hard on winter tires was done in a strong spirit without whistling, because the most important driven rear axle and well-placed electronic stabilization to adjust the torque distribution to individual wheels worked here. The trap was surprising, because the car after all weighed two tons (quick weight and crew).

After a taste of the local specialty – Viennese schnitzel with potatoes and butter – it went back down, so that the brake mode B started to play again, the petrol engine helped again and the hybrid battery was full of extra energy.

Interior-wise, Nissan stepped up and brought luxury back.

From the point of view of economic operation, it was worth using the electricity saved by crossing the section directly in forced electric mode, because with a full battery you can easily drive three kilometers at urban speed.

Thanks to this, our long-term consumption during the entire test (city, highway, trip to Austria, test route, return trip) stayed at a combined value of 7.2 liters / 100 km.

Honestly, we expected a little bit, given that it is a modern hybrid system, on the other hand, with any TDI, we cannot enjoy the comfort that the quiet X-Trail and 4×4 drive provides.

And because Nissan also messed with the interior and technology, we spent a week of testing on the car, which, although it costs 1.23 million crowns in the four-wheel drive e-Power, but in terms of driving experience and design, it matches. to more expensive competitors. For example, those displaying the prestigious L logo cost at least half a million more and whose mother’s name is Toyota.

Measurements Nissan X-Trail e-Power e-4orce
Engine three cylinder gasoline + 2x electric motor
Transfer amount 1,4973 centimeters
Performance 116 kW (158 hp) at 4,600 rpm
Torque 250 Nm
Electric engine front 330 Nm + rear 195 Nm
Combined performance of the hybrid system 157 kW (213 hp)
Drive all four wheels
Operating weight 1,961 kg
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 7.2 sec
Maximum speed 180 km / h
Usage (combination) 6.4 l/100km
Fuel tank capacity 55 l
Wheels and tires 255/45 R20
Dimensions (length/width/height) 4680/1840/1725 mm
The base of the wheels 2705 ​​mm
The volume of the cargo compartment 485 l