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2023 Nissan X-Trail e-Power AWD revealed, to tackle RAV4 hybrid

Nissan today revealed the Japanese-market X-Trail, which will come standard with the company’s e-Power petrol-electric drivetrain, available with dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD).

As such, it’s our best look yet at Nissan Australia’s confirmed competitor for the top-selling Toyota RAV4 hybrid, currently subject to wait lists of up to 18 months.

While it won’t form part of the petrol-only X-Trail lunch range due here around October this year, the X-Trail e-Power will definitely join the range – likely during 2023.

Japan market data shows the second-generation e-Power system in the new X-Trail pairs a novel 106kW and 250Nm variable-compression (VC-Turbo) petrol engine with front (150kW and 330Nm) and optional rear (100kW and 195Nm) electric motors.

The X-Trail e-Power models with two motors therefore offer an Ariya-style ‘e-4orce’ electric AWD system, theoretically capable of variably delivering power to the rear axle more rapidly than an engine-based mechanical AWD system.

The available rear axle motor is much more powerful than the RAV4 hybrid AWD’s optional rear power unit, which makes 40kW and 121Nm.

Nissan’s e-Power system isn’t quite the same as a Toyota parallel hybrid, in which the wheels are driven by both the petrol engine and electric motor/s. In the Nissan system the combustion engine is a generator, powering one or two electric drive motors for where rubber meets road.

The X-Trail e-Power will also have the Leaf EV’s e-Pedal function (slows the car using regenerative braking), a vehicle sound for pedestrians, and Active Noise Cancellation.

The X-Trail e-Power will be the second Nissan in Australia with the unusual hybrid engine, following the smaller Qashqai detailed here.

We don’t know the X-Trail e-Power’s fuel economy as yet, but it’s likely to be a little less efficient than the RAV4.

For context the Qashqai e-Power uses 5.3L/100km on the combined WLTP test cycle, which is a smidgen more than the similarly sized Toyota C-HR hybrid (4.8L/100km WLTP).

MORE: 2023 Nissan Qashqai e-Power review – First drive

While we know that the Qashqai e-Power will be offered in multiple variants (ST-L and Ti), it’s unclear whether Nissan Australia will employ a similar strategy for the X-Trail e-Power – though we’d wager at least two minimum.

It’s also not clear if the X-Trail e-Power will offer a seven-seat option like petrol models, though the related Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (with a much bigger battery) does offer up to three rows of seating. A third row would be a major point of difference against the Toyota.

Nissan’s local division says pricing and specifications for the X-Trail e-Power will be “confirmed at a later stage”.

The new-gen petrol X-Trail line-up has just been fully detailed for the Australian market ahead of deliveries commencing in the coming months, with five- and seven-seat options, as well as front- and all-wheel drive variants.

At launch four trim levels will be offered – ST, ST-L, Ti and Ti-L – with the ST and ST-L coming standard with front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive and seven seats optional), while the high-grade Ti and Ti-L available only with AWD.

Pricing for the petrol range, which uses the same 135kW/244Nm 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol as the Mitsubishi Outlander, starts at $36,750 plus on-road costs for the entry-level X-Trail ST FWD, and tops out at $52,990 before on-roads for the flagship Ti-L 4WD.

MORE: 2023 Nissan X-Trail price and specs

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