What is it: 

It’s a hybrid but not as we know it. A tiny three-cylinder petrol engine charges a battery pack that powers two electric motors (one for the front wheels, one for the rear wheels).


The Nissan X-Trail with e-Power tech is available in three model grades: ST-L, Ti and Ti-L.

We tested the Nissan X-Trail e-Power ST-L which is priced from $49,990 plus on-road costs.

According to the Nissan Australia this translates to $54,275 drive-away in NSW. Prices in each state and territory vary according to the different registration and stamp duty fees.


A tiny turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine (106kW/250Nm) powers a 2.1kWh battery pack which, in turn, powers two electric motors.

One electric motor drives the front wheels (150kW/330Nm) and one drives the rear wheels (100kW/195Nm).


Most electric motors (with the exception of the Porsche Taycan and its Audi twin) have one ratio.

They launch hard and then get an asthma attack at higher speeds.

0 to 100km/h (as tested):

Mind blown. Repeatable 0 to 100km/h times of 6.8 seconds on our precision VBox timing equipment. 

That is about 1 second faster than a Tesla Model Y electric car and about 1.5 seconds faster than a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

It wasn’t that long ago the Nissan X-Trail e-Power’s performance would have put it in hot-hatch territory.

Of course this is a family SUV, not a performance car, but we do these tests do ascertain real-world performance versus rivals.

Emergency braking from 100km/h (as tested): 

Disappointing. The VBox showed a below-average stopping distance of 41.2 metres, even when the electric motors were in their high friction “e-Pedal” mode.

Mid-size SUVs normally pull up at least two to three metres shorter than this.

We suspect the low-friction Dunlop Grand Trek PT21 tyres (235/60/18) are primarily to blame for the poor braking performance.

Good points:

Roomy and comfortable cabin. All buttons and dials are well placed and easy to use.

Four “express” (or one-touch up and down) power windows.

Comfortable suspension. Light and precise steering. 

Smooth and effortless performance from the dual electric motors.

Absolutely epic bi-LED headlights on low and high beam. A genuine highlight of the car, especially on dark country roads.

In “normal” mode the car feels normal to drive. But an “e-Pedal” mode (activated at the press of a button) delivers a similar feeling to “one pedal” driving in an electric car.

It uses resistance in the electric motor to slow the car more aggressively and provide some charge to the battery pack.

However, the “e-Pedal” doesn’t quite bring the car to a complete stop.

Bad points:

It’s not as fuel efficient as we were expecting (5.6 to 5.8L/100km) compared to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (5.0 to 5.2L/100km) on our 130km test loop.

The air-conditioning recirculation button needs to be pressed each time you start the car (it doesn’t remember the driver’s last setting).

Small infotainment screen. The sun visors don’t extend far enough to block side glare.

No power tailgate on this model. 

There is no spare tyre on any Nissan X-Trail e-Power model grade, so you’re calling a tow truck if you get a flat.

The Nissan X-Trail e-Power has expensive servicing costs: almost double the price for routine maintenance on a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

What the haters say:

Hybrid cars are slow.

What the haters don’t understand:

Most hybrid cars are generally not slow compared to their non-hybrid equivalents because the electric motor gives them a decent shove off the line.

Furthermore, as our testing showed, the Nissan X-Trail e-Power happens to be one of the zippiest hybrid SUVs on the market today.

Should you buy one?

If you’re tired of sitting in the queue for a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, I would definitely take a Nissan X-Trail e-Power for a test drive.

Though we do have the following caveats.

Despite Nissan’s unconventional hybrid system, the X-Trail e-Power doesn’t deliver the same fuel economy as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Toyota deserves kudos for delivering a hybrid version of the RAV4 with miserly fuel economy while not sacrificing packaging space (it has a space saver spare under the boot floor, the Nissan has no spare tyre whatsoever).

In case you’re curious, in our extensive testing, while the Nissan X-Trail e-Power can’t match the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for fuel economy, it is more efficient than the Haval H6 Hybrid – and is significantly more efficient than the current crop of Mazda and Subaru hybrid models.

Also consider:

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Haval H6 Hybrid.