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 Nissan X-Trail vs Honda CR-V
 Posted: Nov 28 2017, 10:46 AM

Rana Capillum

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CR-V v X-Trail in medium SUV battle

Neil Dowling
Monday, 27 November 2017 5:43AM

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The Nissan X-Trail is neat looking with strong styling links to its bigger sister the Pathfinder.


Nissan has recently upgraded its medium SUV, the long- standing X-Trail. It’s impressive, with a good balance of sensible features, durable and fuss-free engine, pleasing looks and affordable ownership costs. Like Honda, Nissan has a strong choice of SUV variants including diesel, all-wheel-drive and seven seats. There has been a subtle change from a capable soft-roader into a wagon more suited to urban life but that doesn’t detract from the X-Trail’s appeal to families.

PRICE: $44,790.

The price says it all. The X-Trail is well weighed with features that — like the Honda — make it an alternative purchase for long-time sedan buyers and even those trading from a prestige car. Car-makers must have ESP because the appointment list is very similar to the Honda. Metallic paint costs $495 extra, where on the Honda it is free. The Ti version comes standard with sunroof and sat nav, 19-inch alloys, digital radio with eight speakers and heated front seats with leather-mix trim. It also, like Honda, has a sophisticated connectivity suite with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Nissan has a standard three- year/100,000km warranty, three years of roadside assistance, and annual or 10,000km service intervals. Its capped-price service program costs $835 for three years and the resale value estimate is 47 per cent.

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The previous-generation X-Trail was a macho-looking wagon that appealed to people wanting to go off the beaten track. The latest is longer than the Honda, though narrower and higher. It is neat looking with strong styling links with its bigger sister, the Pathfinder. Cabin design is even simpler than its rival, which makes it an easy vehicle to operate. Safety equipment is on par with the Honda, though each company adds its own additional functions. It includes AEB, LED headlights, lane- keep assist, 360-degree camera, heated and folding mirrors (all on the Honda) and adds bonus items such as rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitor.

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The X-Trail has loads of room with a boot area of 565/945 litres. It’s not as spacious as the Honda, though, and the X-Trail struggles to take a bicycle in the rear with its wheels attached. But the rear seat can seat three adults and there’s a decent amount of storage in the centre console. The Honda has more cabin room but the X-Trail isn’t far behind. Unlike the Honda, the X-Trail has a space-saver spare wheel.


The X-Trail carries over a 2.5-litre aspirated petrol engine rated at 126kW/226Nm, the latter at 4400rpm. It also uses a CVT unit as its automatic gearbox and an on-demand all-wheel-drive system. The engine is noted for its durability but claims higher fuel use than its rival at 8.3L/100km. Driving style, road conditions and payload will affect fuel consumption that could result in a similar result for these two SUVs. Ride comfort and quietness are above average, with road holding similar to its rival.

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The Honda CR-V cabin combines simplicity with restrained design.


Seems the CR-V has been around since the birth of the SUV craze. It was good then and, though it’s taken a few turns, is back on track. Though it is classed as a medium SUV, it is actually quite big — but so are its rivals. If you have a family with two or three children, this is your starting point.

PRICE: $44,290

There’s nothing basic about this wagon. The top-spec has loads of fruit and there may be some items you don’t need. If not, you may be able to save more than $5000 by opting for the front-wheel-drive model with seven seats. Standard features include sunroof, electric tailgate, leather-mix upholstery, heated front seats, sat nav and 18-inch alloys. The warranty is a good five years or unlimited distance and the capped-price service costs $1830 for three years of maintenance. Glass’s Guide estimates resale after three years at a high 55 per cent.

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The wagon is still recognised as a Honda; it’s just got bigger. The style typifies the genre with a tall, blunt tail with highlights allocated to the nose and flashy wheels. The cabin is more alluring, combining simplicity with restrained design and yet containing all the necessities and niceties. There’s a certain business to the steering wheel controls and the big touchscreen is bright and clear but not especially sensitive to the finger, requiring a few stabs on occasions. Safety gear is impressive, opening with the must-have autonomous emergency braking, then adding lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, driver- fatigue detection, front and rear park sensors, six airbags, LED headlights and running lights, and tyre-pressure warning.


It might be only 94mm shorter than the Nissan and have a smaller wheelbase but it has 522/1084 litres of space and can accommodate bicycles in the boot with wheels. A flat boot floor and the electric tailgate help. Honda shows space can be found and the full-size alloy spare means the CR-V is suitable for country trips. There’s better room up front with a huge centre storage bin, big centre console storage and cupholders and door-mounted bottle holders. The wagon is suitable for five adults and there’s a seven-seat version too.

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Honda has downsized the petrol engine, now 1.5-litres but with a turbocharger for 140kW/ 240Nm, the latter arriving at a low 2000rpm. It’s mated to a CVT automatic and has an on-demand, all-wheel-drive system that will rarely, if ever, be used in urban driving. Honda claims 7.4L/100km on standard fuel. CVT gearboxes have an unusual elastic function which can make the engine rev while the car is barely moving. But it can be fuel efficient. The engine has plenty of power and only upsets the gearbox when the car is loaded, otherwise it’s very comfortable and quiet.


These are very, very similar. Occupant space is about the same but the Honda has a longer cargo area, while the Nissan is much cheaper to service but the warranty isn’t as long. Both have excellent safety features and top comfort and convenience items. The Honda feels light to drive while the Nissan is a bit firmer. My choice is the Honda but it’s a by slim margin.

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Winston Churchill
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