The Nissan X-Trail could see a new turbocharged 1.5-litre engine option

The Nissan Rogue, or better known as the X-Trail around our parts of the world, could be getting a brand-new engine option soon – if the US’s Environmental Protection Agency’s official 2021 Fuel Economy Guide listings is anything to go by.

Spotted by automotive portal Car and Driver, the government website includes a listing for an unannounced variant of the Nissan X-Trail, featuring a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

No other information on the new powertrain were found on the website; it is a fuel economy guide after all. When compared to the current naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre engine, the new three-cylinder unit is rated for a fuel consumption figure of 14 km/l in the combined EPA cycle, which translates to approximately 10% in improvements.

Compared to other turbocharged 1.5-litre engines, Nissan’s offering, rumoured to also employ the complex variable compression ratio (VCR) technology, supposedly delivers better consumption than the small displacement engines offered by Honda in the CR-V and Ford in the Escape.

It does obviously lose out to the hybrid powertrains from its competitors though, with most of them hovering around the 16 km/l range thanks to electric propulsion.

As expected, Nissan USA essentially denied rumours regarding the availability of this new 1.5-litre engine in the Rogue line-up. In its clarification to Car and Driver, a Nissan USA spokesperson said, “Nissan regularly evaluates potential future technologies on existing models. We are planning a small pilot program with a potential new powertrain, utilizing the 2021 Nissan Rogue. We have nothing further to announce at this time.”

To further add fuel to the rumour, automotive websites from China have also recently spotted new units of the latest generation Nissan X-Trail, fitted with a ‘300 VC-Turbo’ badging at the rear – pointing towards a turbocharged VCR engine underneath the bonnet. The ‘300’ in the emblem denotes torque outputs of approximately 300 Nm.

If the rumours turn out to be true, we could see the Nissan X-Trail with the new engine as soon as in a month’s time, to be launched at the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show.

This 1.5-litre turbocharged engine is certainly not a new powertrain; the mill will also be featured in the recently-unveiled Nissan Qashqai, acting as an energy generator for their latest-generation e-Power series-hybrid system.


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