When it comes to sporty compact crossovers, it's the previous generation Subaru Forester XT that comes to our minds. With its 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine, it made over 220 PS. That figure was unheard of at the time, especially within its class.
Unfortunately, those days are over, and there isn't much in the way of a sporty crossover in the country. Mazda won't even offer the turbocharged CX-5 here either. Meanwhile, the turbocharged Forester Sport appears to be a Japan-exclusive model, at least for the time being. But there is a glimmer of hope, and it comes from Nissan.
A few days ago, Nissan unveiled the all-new X-Trail during Auto Shanghai 2021. At the time, they didn't mention any specifics apart from it being available with the e-Power hybrid system. What we didn't know was the standard engine. We are glad to report that Nissan has finally revealed it, and it's rather surprising.
The standard engine in the redesigned X-Trail is a 1.5-liter turbo with just three cylinders. It doesn't sound sporty at all until you look at the other figures. The tiny three-pot engine managed to squeeze out 204 PS, making it even more powerful than the 2.5-liter in the North American-spec Rogue. If that's not impressive enough, it also has 300 Nm of torque. There are no performance figures from Nissan yet, but this boosted X-Trail could be a quick family crossover.
Performance probably wasn't Nissan's priority with the new turbocharged three-cylinder. The main reason for shifting to a small turbo engine is fuel economy. Having more than 200 PS was simply a happy byproduct of boost. Nissan did reach their goal of offering high efficiency, though. The manufacturer claims the new crossover can get up to 17.2 kilometers per liter.
We are curious if Nissan Philippines will offer this engine for the local-spec X-Trail. On paper, it offers the best of both worlds by having a high-output engine without heavy fuel consumption.