Our earlier reports mentioned plans by Nissan China to launch the all-new X-Trail this month have been proven correct. The company has previewed the all-new Nissan X-Trail at the Auto Shanghai 2021 motor show that also debuts a new 1.5L turbocharged petrol engine.

More details have emerged on this downsized turbocharged petrol engine. The new three-cylinder engine uses variable compression ratio technology that Nissan first employed in the Infiniti QX50 model in the USA.

All internal combustion engines have a fixed compression ratio, in the case of turbocharged engines, excellent fuel economy can only be achieved with a high value, while a lower figure is applicable to achieve high power outputs. Nissan designed the engine to vary the compression ratio of the new turbocharged three-cylinder engine between 14:1 to 8:1 to achieve the said targets, via special hardware, actuators and control systems.

In China, the revolutionary ‘VC-Turbo’ engine is said to deliver class-leading outputs of 204 hp and 300 Nm of torque with only Volkswagen’s Tharu model eclipsing the torque output by dishing out 320 Nm from a much larger 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Engine output is channelled to a CVT-type transmission that cleverly adjust to the engine outputs, all transparent to the driver and occupants.

The latest Nissan X-Trail for China is identical to the design that was launched in the USA back in June of last year. Key features inside include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 9-inch touchscreen display (largest in its class), a 10.8-inch head-up display, ambient lighting and a Bose Premium Audio System.

To further separate itself from the crowded SUV segment, the rear doors itself now open up to nearly 90 degrees, making ingress and egress easier plus movement of child seats.

The new X-Trail also comes with the new Vehicle Motion Control system that predicts what the driver is trying to do by monitoring steering, acceleration and brake inputs. It works in conjunction with the revamped Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system through different drive modes (now with Off-Road, Snow and Sport) to provide four-wheel individual control, even by applying a single brake to allow the SUV to corner more smoothly.

The all-new Nissan X-Trail with the new 1.5-litre VC-Turbo engine will only arrive at Chinese dealerships at the second half of this year.

Which do you prefer to see made available in Malaysia? An all-new technology with high outputs as seen in this Chinese variant, or the proven large displacement 2.5-litre four-cylinder found in the US market?