What am I looking at?
Easy to mistake for the new Qashqai, this swathe of multicoloured metal is in fact Nissan's grown-up SUV, the X-Trail.
Good though it was off the road, the boxy X-Trail wasn't much of a looker and it's safe to say that this isn't the case now. The new approach to unify the fascias of the Nissan crossover range - including a forthcoming Murano replacement - is surprisingly stylish.
But it's not just skin deep. The third generation X-Trail is a blank paper car - everything is new, starting with the platform. We've already seen the underpinnings in the Qashqai, but it'll also form the basis of replacements for the Espace and Laguna in the Renault-Nissan alliance.
Current X-Trail owners will find the car familiar though. It's exactly the same length as the older car, and only 30mm wider and 5mm lower.
What powers it?
For launch the only available engine is the 1.6 commonrail diesel also found in the Qashqai. It offers up 128hp and 236lbfft and can be paired to either a 6 speed manual or XTronic continuously variable transmission for all trims above the Visia entry level. 4WD is also available on these higher specification models.
In manual 2WD form, the X-Trail will return 129g/km CO2 - equivalent to 57.6mpg - putting it into VED band D for a zero rate first year tax disc and 105 thereafter. This increases to 135g/km for XTronic cars and 139g/km for 4WD models, both in VED Band E (125pa)
After launch, a 1.6 DiG-T petrol will join the line-up, with 161hp.
The X-Trail slots into Nissan's existing trim naming schemes, so there's a lot of familiarity here.
Starting at Visia grade, the X-Trail offers 17 alloy wheels, airconditioning and a Bluetooth-compatible CD/MP3 audio system with USB and Aux inputs. There's a 5 inch colour screen that gives 12 different graphics to inform of vehicle status and condition and navigation. On the outside you get LED daytime running lights and electric heated mirrors with indicators incorporated.
The next grade up is Acenta which adds a smattering of interior leather and exterior chrome, auto lights and wipers, a set of front foglights, electric folding mirrors and dual zone climate control. Front rear parking sensors help manouevre the 4.6 metre long X-Trail in tight spaces too.
Take the n-tec grade and the parking sensors are upgraded to Nissan's natty Around View monitor via a 7 inch colour touchscreen, while you also get lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and emergency braking, all lumped in with the NissanConnect navigation and information system. 19 inch alloys help the outside world know you're in an n-tec.
Top of the tree is the Tekna specification, adding LED headlamps, heated leather seats (electric adjustable for the driver, with lumbar support) and the very creepy auto parking system.
How much will it cost me?
The most basic, 2WD Visia will set you back 22,995 - 2,600 less than it currently costs to buy a new X-Trail. Moving up to the Acenta grade costs 1,800, with n-tec another 1,500 above that and the Tekna a further 2,000 on. The XTronic CVT is a 1,350 option and 4WD is 1,700. If you want to specify a third row of seats, making the 5 seat X-Trail into a 7-seater, you'll need another 700 on your budget.
This class is not exactly short of alternatives and pretty much anything that's a competitor for the Qashqai is an X-Trail rival too - including the Qashqai itself, though it's 30cm shorter. High rollers will be looking at the Volvo XC60, Audi Q5 or BMW X3 - though the toys in the top spec X-Trail Tekna should swing the decision for all but the most aspirational badge snobs. Realistically, the major players will be Toyota's RAV4 and the Mazda CX-5. You might want to check the Ford Kuga too, which is no less stylish.
In 7 seater specification, the most direct competitor is the Kia Sorento.
In a line?
An X-Trail with looks. Where do I sign?