The year was 2001 when the Nissan X-Trail was launched facing off against the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. At that stage, both were in their second generation which meant the Nissan X- Trail had stiff competition with these already successful SUV crossovers.
We didn’t see the Nissan X-Trail locally until 2003 which gave the Japanese automaker enough time to size up the market. This allowed them to ensure that the X-Trail had everything it needed to be unique and competitive. It already stood out as the Nissan X-Trail was available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants where the Honda and Toyota only offered all-wheel-drive versions. They also only had one choice in transmission which was an accomplished four-speed, electronically controlled automatic gearbox.
Secondhand Nissan X-Trail Pricing
While the current price of a 2.0-litre 4×2 used Nissan X-Trail varies depending on the year model, you can get a 2017 model at Group 1 Cars for R260 900. Looking at older secondhand options, a 2003 model can cost anywhere from R79 000* depending on mileage and overall condition. Whether you choose older or newer, the pricing is really good for a comfortable, quality crossover with sufficient passenger and cargo space.
Considering Nissan’s renowned climate-control system and the fact that X-Trail owners generally take great care of their cars, it is one of the best pre-owned options available. In terms of maintenance costs, the 2003 Nissan X-Trail is very similar to other vehicles from the same time period. Considering that this variant will carry on for some time alongside the newer X-Trail 2.5 CVT, finding replacement parts won’t be a problem.
Nissan X-Trail Exterior and Interior
The exterior of the older Nissan X-Trail is stylishly boxy that exudes an urban gracefulness while brimming with outdoor ruggedness. From well-sized headlamps to the high-mounted rear lights, motorists get a clear vision of their surroundings. While the fenders are plastic, they provide sufficient protection against small bumps and rust.
The roof rails are seamlessly incorporated onto the roofline giving a sportier look along with additional space if needed. Adding further practical prowess is the wide-opening tailgate which lifts up and out of the way showing off a textured cargo-loading area with built-in cargo tie-downs. For even more space, the seats can fold flat allowing you to transport longer and wider objects.
Dimpled, fabric seats provide good support and are also water-resistant making cleaning that much easier. There are cubbyholes and covered bins on the dash and even a beverage cooler in the centre console. For most X-Trail owners, the centre-mounted gauges work but some do find it a little odd and out of place. The Nissan X-Trail features a respectable audio system and a well-designed four-spoke steering wheel.
Engine Specification And Performance
As mentioned earlier, the 2003 Nissan X-Trail came with two engine choices, i.e. 2 488cc all-wheel-drive (AWD) and a slightly smaller 1 988cc front-wheel-drive (FWD). The smaller engine produced 150bhp at 6,000rpm and 200nm of torque at 4,000rpm. Compared to any modern 2.0-litre engine, it’s still pretty impressive. In terms of economy, you can get around 6-7km/l in city and 10-12km/l on the open road.
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* Disclaimer: Pricing is accurate as of June 2019 and based on information collected from online searches