Seven months ago, we saw Nissan officially reveal the next-generation X-Trail. Featuring a Juke-like design, the fourth-generation model is perhaps the most stylish yet. At the time of its release, however, the X-Trail (or Rogue as it's called in the US) was only available with a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four. While it makes 181 PS with 245 Nm of torque, some say Nissan could have done better.
For the 2022 model year, Nissan finally decided to introduce a more powerful engine. But unlike the 2.5-liter mill, this one is turbocharged and has one less cylinder. This is the all-new 1.5-liter three-cylinder VC Turbo engine, and it makes a lot more than the 2.5-liter engine.
Despite its small size, Nissan says the three-cylinder produces an impressive 201 PS along with 305 Nm of torque. This translates to an increase of 20 PS and 60 Nm over the 2.5-liter engine. This was made possible as the engine benefits from variable compression technology which was first introduced in the 2.0-liter VC Turbo inline-four launched in the 2019 Nissan Altima.
Unlike most engines which have a fixed compression ratio, the X-Trail's new 1.5-liter engine comes with both high and low compression ratios that automatically adjust while on the go. The result is two different driving profiles in one engine - dynamic performance and eco/efficient, each seamlessly available depending on driver demand.
Aside from having VC technology, the 1.5-liter motor also comes with key upgrades. These include a new high-pressure fuel injection system that helps improve acceleration, stainless mirror-bore cylinder coated walls, new textured valve lifters that reduce friction and deliver better engine efficiency, and a low-pressure die-cast cylinder head that provides better engine cooling. Last but not least, the X-Trail features a new engine mounting system that enhances engine vibration isolation.
Nissan will connect the new 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo to a new-generation Xtronic transmission. Unlike before, the new transmission gets a twin oil pump system that combines a small mechanical pump for slow shifting between low and high ratios. The second electric oil pump, meanwhile, provides quicker shifting for hard-driving situations. The result is a 17% wider gear ratio, better acceleration, and enhanced fuel economy in the 2022 X-Trail.
Will the new 1.5-liter turbo make its way to the PH-spec X-Trail? There's no word yet as to when Nissan Philippines Inc (NPI) will reveal the all-new crossover. But with most automakers nowadays offering downsized turbocharged engines, we're hoping that Nissan makes it available here in the country.