My Test Drive. The Nissan X-Trail

When people ask me what car I drive, I usually reply that it’s a white one. I appreciate the benefits of a car, but am not nuts about them.

So on my recent trip to the Cape, I can confidently tell you that I drove a red car. A big one. With lots of complicated buttons and more gears than I knew what to do with (hence the tortured sounds from the abused machine).

I do know it was a Nissan X-Trail, a newly-launched model, and my mate Mike from Nissan had arranged a test-drive for me.

One feature I disliked, at least to start with, was the automatic handbrake. It worked perfectly, but I felt a little strange losing an element of control, and was always worried the car would slide back and destroy whatever puny vehicle was cowering behind.

On the plus side, it is a very spacious and comfy vehicle, with room for lots of kids in the back, should you be partial to reproduction.

The accelleration was superb, even up quite steep hills, and I was constantly checking the speedometer because the red monster charged along, smoothly and effortlessly. I hope I didn’t get too many speeding tickets, Mike. If so, I owe you lunch.

I have driven larger vehicles, but normally when I hire a car, it is standing room only.   So it was a superb treat to be in such an impressive and spacious machine.

I suspect that those who understand four-wheel drive and off-road activities will sneer at my naïve desire to stay on the highway, to play it safe. After all, I wasn’t going to wash the damn thing if it got dirty.

However, I am equally sure that this will be just the right choice as a family vehicle for those with a large family. Think of all those tacky character stickers you could put on the back windscreen…..

It flowed well through the Winelands, but I would like to take the X-Trail somewhere a bit more adventurous, like a game reserve, to properly put it through its paces.

Me in my big red car stalking the Big 5?   Now that would be fun.

How about it, Mike?

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