Nissan X-Trail offers 360° view of Season’s congestion


Look Ma, no eyes! The “blindfolded” X-Trail can still toe the line, as demonstrated in this custom-made track.

Do you want to freak out your balikbayan relative who has long grown accustomed to the rather “civilized” manner of driving in the Western world?

Take him or her to Edsa, or for that matter, to any busy street in Metro Manila during this Holiday season. Hear the shrieks and screams of terrified passengers who sound like their souls are about to part ways with their mortal bodies everytime an 18-wheeler creeps too near, or a taxicab speeds into an intersection, then stops inches, millimeters even, from your relative’s side of the door, or when a motorbike decides to turn right coming from the extreme left lane, with only a millisecond to spare between your front bumper and the rider’s right foot.

Yes, for us, that’s a typical day of driving on Philippine streets. Pity your poor balikbayan relative, though, whose hair he or she must have entirely pulled off by the end of the ride, swearing to high heavens that they’ll never do a “MacArthur” again to this crazy land.

Do we drive crazy? Or have we just evolved our driving reflexes to rival that of even the most skillful of Jedis?

Regardless if others do or do not equate our driving skills to driving intelligence, we have to face it: our driving senses are limited to what we see and hear. If one or both are compromised, so would our street-level decision-making.

Many features of the modern automobile already make it easy for us to make split-second decisions. But rare are those that make you drive more intelligently.

Just months ago, you wouldn’t have imagined a crossover SUV like the Nissan X-Trail being among those rare few.

Prior to September this year, the X-Trail 4×4 wasn’t equipped with the Moving Object Detection (sends a visual and audible alert when there’s movement around the vehicle), Blind Spot Warning (detects objects in the driver’s blind spot), Forward Collision Warning and Intelligent Emergency Braking (sends a visual and auditory warning, and applies an emergency break to avoid collisions), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (alerts the driver to unseen vehicles while reversing) systems.

Before September, though, the X-Trail 4×4 already had an Around View Monitor (providing drivers with a 360-degree perspective for easier navigation) and the 4×4-I System (that automatically adjusts power distribution to give drivers full control of the vehicle as they take on challenging road conditions).

The new X-Trail’s Intelligent Mobility features aren’t readily seen. But still, the handsome stance is undeniable.

Now, the new X-Trail is imbued with such features that qualify it to belong in the Japanese carmaker’s vision of the future of driving, as embodied in its Nissan Intelligent Mobility.

This writer witnessed its practical application when she was a passenger of the compact crossover at a private track inside Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, La Union.

The track was exclusively created by Nissan Philippines for the motoring media to experience the X-Trail’s features.

I sat in front of a “blindfolded” X-Trail. Its windshield, and both its front windows were all covered, making the driver dependent solely on the X-Trail’s monitor while maneuvering around the track.

I saw the bird’s eye view of the entire vehicle on the X-Trail’s monitor. The vehicle moved forward amidst all the pylons. It also went backward to simulate parking. No pylons were hit in the process.

I also saw around the vehicle, through the monitor, approaching pedestrians.

The Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Warning, and Intelligent Emergency Braking (which was done on a paved road on gunshot driving) all worked, but what I liked the most was the Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which is useful when backing up from the garage onto the street.

The 350-degree all-around view enables better viewing than when you’re just looking at your windshield, rear and side view mirrors.

Nissan Philippines says that this new X-Trail is the first Nissan vehicle in the Philippines to be integrated with the largest range of available advanced Intelligent Mobility technologies.

Nissan Philippines president and managing director Ramesh Narasimhan said, “The Nissan X-Trail offers enough room for families and groups who love to go on road trips. With Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our customers can enjoy each adventure as they drive safe and sound. We want them to treat the new X-Trail as a partner that looks out for them so they can have a fun and hassle-free time on the road.”

Nissan Philippines has announced that the new X-Trail would be available in Premium Corona Orange, Marine Blue, Pearl White, Gun Metallic, and Diamond Black.

The company also says that the new X-Trail has a fresh interior and exterior styling for a sleeker yet robust presence. It boasts of a new front fascia with integrated fog lamps, bumper, the signature Nissan “V-Motion” grille, and revised headlights with LED signature daytime running lights.

Finally, new 19-inch wheels, a fin-type antenna, and a newly integrated sun roof round off the vehicle’s dynamic look.

The media release added that the new door and instrument panel finishers, new shift knob design, revised center console, and the console lid define the car’s plush interiors.

Other design modifications include a new D-shaped steering wheel with a modernized interface, and leather-booted transmission shift lever.

Adding to the convenience of customers is the motion activated tailgate that allows customers to access the rear compartment with ease.

The X-Trail’s rear hatch is opened by swinging your leg underneath it.

Now, here’s the catch: The Nissan X-Trail is available in both 4×4 and 4×2 variants, and priced at P1.728 million and P1.399 million, respectively.

It’s already available in Nissan dealerships. So, unless you develop X-Men-like ESP overnight, the new Nissan X-Trail and its uncanny ability to see even when blindfolded can surely be useful on very congested days like these.

I’m sure your balikbayan relative won’t leave home without this.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

latest stories