The Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander aren't the newest nameplates out there. After all, the first generation of these nameplates came out during the start of the compact SUV craze in the mid- to late 2000s. That was a time when people were swapping their sedans in favor of bigger vehicles.
That said, the third-generation X-Trail and Outlander bring fresh features to the segment.
The X-Trail totes a suite of driver assistance systems called Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM), while the Outlander PHEV (plug-in electric vehicle) was the Japanese carmaker’s local foray into electrified vehicles.
Let's look into the other areas where the compact SUV Cars differ.
A 2.5-liter that nets 169hp and 233Nm of torque powers the 4x4 X-Trail variant, while a 2.0-liter with 142hp and 200Nm on tap propels the 4x2 trim. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Suspension is made up of an independent strut type with stabilizer at the front, and a multi-link strut type with stabilizer at the rear. For the 4x4 X-Trail, it's also equipped with a limited slip differential for all-terrain peace of mind.
There’s an All-Mode 4x4 system, too, that intuitively senses slippery roads or rough terrain. It then automatically adjusts power sent to each wheel so the driver can maintain control and stability of the vehicle.
Two motors move the Outlander PHEV: a 2.4-liter gasoline engine (126hp, 199Nm), and electric motors on both ends of the car (80hp and 137Nm for the front wheels, 93hp and 195Nm in the rear).
The electric motors make the Outlander an all-wheel drive car. Along with AWD traction, the plug-in hybrid uses S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control), which promises greater control regardless of terrain.
Aside from off-road ability, the e-motors help the gas engine move Outlander PHEV. As a result, the car nets an estimated 20kpl in both city and highway driving.
Price and kit
The entry-level 2.0L 4x2 X-Trail goes for P1.534 million, while the 2.5L 4x4 costs P1.820 million.
For both trims, a five-inch infotainment system permits Bluetooth, USB, and iPhone connectivity, which is linked to four (4x2) or six speakers (4x4). Even though it's classified as a compact SUV, the X-Trail's third row of seats make it a seven-seater.
The aforementioned NIM includes a new automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and rear cross traffic monitoring to alert the driver if the vehicle is about to back into traffic. A 360-degree camera provides an all-around bird’s eye view of the car’s surroundings.
Given the complex running gear, the sole variant of the Outlander, the PHEV 2.4L, comes at a rather steep P2.998 million.
Its equipment list includes an eight-inch touchscreen panel with smartphone mirror link, power supply sockets, a second-row armrest with cupholders, and a sunroof.
The Outlander PHEV also comes with an army of safety acronyms. It features active stability control (ASC) with traction control (TCL), misacceleration prevention system, corner sensors, blind-spot warning (BSW), rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA), and adaptive cruise control (ACC).
Those are on top of the emergency stop lamp system, airbags for front passengers and the driver's knee, and first and second-row curtain airbags.
The original X-Trail and Outlander appear ancient next to the safety tech-rich X-Trail, and the environment-friendly Outlander PHEV.
The PHEV's price seems to be prohibitive, as the rarity of the model in the streets suggest. Not many people are willing, or have the means, to shell out almost P3 million for a car.
If money were no object, the Outlander would've been the winner. But money is valuable, so the safe X-Trail takes the trophy.
Photos from Mitsubishi