I have had several conversations with the Nissan service desk at Smiths of Peterborough, which installed the new unit after the old one developed a high-pitched whistle. But when I asked what the problem was, I was told that their mechanics do not strip turbo units down at Peterborough and instead send them back to Nissan.
So there is no way of finding out what was wrong with the turbo as it is either disposed of or used for ‘training purposes’, according to the service desk.
Putting aside the communication problems, I am getting on famously with the X-trail. The new turbo is working perfectly, its 2.2-litre common-rail diesel engine hasn’t faltered and I’m getting pretty close to Nissan’s combined fuel figure with a respectable 35.6mpg.
The X-trail is the ideal car to cope with the freak weather we are used to here in Blighty. My drive to work takes in more than a few country roads which, thanks to the storms last week, were one foot under water.
Not that I could tell in the X-trail. It remained completely composed with no hint of tug on the steering wheel as I ploughed through the oversized puddles.
Ten minutes later the sun was shining and it was back to 27C. The roof-long sunroof was whipped back, the air-conditioning system switched on and the X-trail’s powerful six-CD auto-changer stereo was cranked up. Items usually found on the options list are standard on our long-termer.
Fleets can see costs jump just by adding a few extras on the baseline specification of most vehicles.
Sat-nav and CD autochangers are usually added only for highly-privileged fleet drivers. A colour-screen satellite-navigation system can cost between £1,500 and £2,000 and an upgrade from single-CD player to autochanger will set you back a couple of hundred pounds or so. Not on the X-trail. All right, £23,395 isn’t exactly cheap, but the standard specification is generous.
The list is huge: heated leather and electric adjustable seats, air conditioning, Birdview satellite navigation, six-CD autochanger, automatic climate control, electric folding mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels are all present.
Price (OTR) £23,395
CO2 emissions (g/km): 190
Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer): £192 per month
Insurance group: 11
Combined mpg: 39.2
Test mpg: 35.6
CAP Monitor residual value: £8,425/36%
HSBC contract hire rate: £452 per month
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three-years/60,000-miles