7 Reasons, Plus One More, On Why Owning an SUV is so Much More Fun

Oneshift Editorial Team
20 May 2017
 

While car ownership in Singapore can be very costly, there are many of us who do not mind splashing out just a little more to step away from the common sedan or even a hatch, to ensure that the vehicle we choose suits our lifestyles, or at least the lifestyles we aspire to have.

What owning an SUV really does is that it opens new possibilities for us to enjoy more out of a car. We brought the Nissan X-Trail and Qashqai out for a daytrip and found that they did not disappoint in delivering on the fun factor. Here are just some of the things which we found out!

Cool Utility
Nissan’s X-Trail and Qashqai SUVs have inherently higher ground clearance, which also means that the rear loading area is higher off the ground than a conventional station wagon, and gear that you store in there is at waist level, for easy retrieval. Additionally, the rear tailgate raises high enough for you to gain unobstructed access to larger bulky items.

The Qashqai boasts a generous 430 litre boot, even with its compact dimensions. Loading and unloading is easy too, as there is no boot lip to deal with. Fold the rear seats down, and you get a generous, flat loading area.

Taking utility to a greater level, the X-Trail offers even more spoils. A third collapsible row of seats can be deployed, and allows you to provide MPV-like people carrying capabilities. Cargo room in “normal” 5-seater mode gives you 445 litres of space, drop the middle row, and utility room is presented flat, for the occasional large extras which you might want to lug along. Hands full? The automated tail gate makes easier work of loading and unloading. A simple pass of the hand at the sensor, located near the license plate, gets the tailgate opening up. As a plus, tapping on the base of the door panel brings it to a close. There is just so much more flexibility and ease for stowage.

Commanding View
For those who have lived their moments driving in a hatch or a sedan, would also find that the commanding view from the higher driving position would mean a clearer view of the traffic situation way ahead, especially on highways. While there is your GPS telling you which roads are congested, nothing beats a good visual of which lane you can switch to much earlier on, to avoid or best handle any major slowdowns or bottlenecks. At the lights, look at the car beside you… perhaps with the added ride height, you could catch the other guy “Tindering” on his mobile device… like LOL!

What Flood?
The more recent spate of continuous “once in fifty years ponding” in Singapore could make an otherwise routine trip to the office or to the supermarket difficult to navigate. By now, many of you may have witnessed cars avoiding lanes which are submerged, with water levels just above kerb level. While most ordinary cars may stand a risk of water getting in, the Qashqai’s higher-up ground clearance of 165mm, ensures that you can simply dive through, in full confidence. The X-Trail provides even higher ground clearance of 210mm, and the added advantage of 4WD.

You get to go Softroading
We wouldn’t need serious off-roaders here on our urban island, and Crossovers do offer the best of both worlds. They provide civilised, plush car-like travelling comfort from very well-built platforms.

Going further off the beaten path, the X-Trail comes equipped with its ALL MODE 4X4 system, enabling you to switch from 2WD mode to its intelligent, automated 4WD mode with a simple rotation of the rotary knob located at the centre console. Go further, get dirty with the X-Trail, and drive with the same confidence as you’d have on the road. With an electronic differential lock mode, you need not worry about entering a muddy patch of terrain, as you go about your exploration. Under Lock Mode, the system reduces wheel slippage and uneasy wallow from traction loss, and works hard for you, to get you out of a sticky situation.

The Grandparents Would Approve
There are those who may need to ferry around the grandparents. With age, getting in and out of car door apertures can prove to be a challenge. Modern sedans and hatches at times, would sacrifice some function for form, where rooflines tend to taper down a little, all for some added style. On the flip side, this would mean that poor grandma might need to crouch a little more just to enter a sedan or hatch. One of the prime reasons why more people are buying an SUV. The Qashqai stands at 1,590mm, while the X-Trail is an even taller 1,715mm. The added height would mean that getting in and out is so much easier.

You get Two Extra Seats in the X-Trail
The additional third row of seats, mentioned earlier on in the X-Trail also adds MPV-like practicality in terms of passenger seating. As a plus, the adjustable middle row ensures spatial flexibility between rear and middle row passengers, being able to slide forward also helps if you do have a child seat installed in the middle row, and simply rolling the seat forward makes it easier to tend to your child.

Extra ‘Garang’ Maybe, But Effective in Power Delivery
Tall ride height, sunglasses on the top of your head and a little tan, makes you look more rugged. Let’s face it, getting in and out of one of these seems a little sexier. But that is just half of the story. 

The Qashqai is equipped with a very effective 1.2 litre turbocharged engine, mated to a smooth and efficient Xtronic CVT transmission for optimum power delivery through the front wheels, and providing enough grunt, when performing overtaking manoeuvres on the highway, or when you just need that extra push to get you through some rougher terrain. Need more out of the Qashqai? There is also an available 2.0 litre option with direct Injection.

The X-Trail utilises a 2.0 litre Direct Injection engine, mated to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission, delivering power either through the front wheels, or through its intelligent automated 4WD mode.

You Secretly Want One, And it Secretly Keeps You Safe
It is in a small way, like a big toy you want to play with. The added utility and features, makes them so appealing. 

Both the Qashqai and X-Trail come feature-laden and sport 8-inch infotainment touchscreen units, Bluetooth connectivity for mobile devices, in-dash DVD players, connectivity for your MP3 player, and even USB connectors, just in-case you need to charge your phone.

Additionally 12V sockets are available for that electric cooler box you might want to bring along on your trip.

But all the spoils are nothing if a car cannot keep you safe. The X-Trail benefits from additional parking cameras, in order to provide you with a 360 degree view of your surroundings.

Both cars offer active and passive protection, with what Nissan terms as their Safety Shield concept. Ranging from features like Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Dynamic Control to Electronic Brake Force Distribution, all built in to keep you and your loved ones safe, by keeping the vehicle in control. When all else fails, a series of airbags, including side curtains inflate in the event of an impact.

But essentially, the SUV represents everything which you need in a car, but brings with it so many intangibles, while the added advantage of versatility which makes things all the more easier. The values which have made the X-Trail and Qashqai one of the most popular SUVs in Singapore.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1197cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10:1
Bore x Stroke (72.2 x 73.1)mm
Power 115bhp @ 4500rpm
Torque 165Nm @ 1750rpm
Power to Weight 89.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Fuel Consumption (combined) 17.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4380 x 1806 x 1590) mm
Wheelbase 2646 mm
Kerb Weight 1285 kg
Boot Capacity 430 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs

Engine

Engine Capacity 1997cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 11.2:1
Bore x Stroke (84.0 x 90.1)mm
Power 144bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 4400rpm
Power to Weight 88.6 bhp per ton

Performance

Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.3 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Xtronic CVT
Drive Type F4
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4640 x 1820 x 1715) mm
Wheelbase 2705 mm
Turning Circle 5.6 metres
Kerb Weight 1626 kg
Boot Capacity (folded) 445 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs