So where do I begin? I suppose the best place to start is to put you in the picture as to how I viewed the Nissan brand until recent times.
The real acid test for any of us motoring writers is after driving a particular car ask oneself would you buy it?
Until recently for me at least if asked would I buy a Nissan the answer would quite simply have been no!
Not because they were bad cars, or othewise but I looked on them as unimaginative and well to be frank quite boring if reliable cars.
For example an Almera has all the allure of a wet weekend in a caravan in Tramore, so why would I desire one?
The rest of the range was not much higher up on my desireability scale.
However things have changed at Nissan. New blood has injected a bit of flair and imagination to their products.
It all started back in 2007 with the then new Qashqai and things have been getting steadily better since then.
With a range that now includes the Micra, the stylish Note, the stunning new Qashqai and of course the new funky Juke, as well as the all new and very attractive X-Trail and high tech electric car the Leaf, Nissan now have a range to be proud of, and now I can honestly say I would buy one!
So to the car I want to introduce to you today. The all new X-Trail.
Apart from its stylish exterior and equally attractive and very well appointed interior the new X-Trail is available as a full seven seater which will make it very attractive to Mums on the school run.
The new X-Trail is powered by a 1.6 litre dci diesel and this power plant is mated to either a standard 6-speed manual or an optional CVT auto.
There are three trim grades, XE, SV and SVE.
Prices for the new X-Trail start at a competitive €29,950 for the 1.6dci XE 5 seat version.
Safety specification across the new X-Trail range is comprehensive and even the entry level XE gets, 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, tyre pressure monitoring, a full spare wheel, and dynamic chassis control.
The list of goodies is no less impressive with highlights including 5” colour Drive-Assist display, air conditioning, Bluetooth, electronic park brake, Hill Start Assist, 17 inch alloys, luggage board system with 18 different combinations, and of course a good audio system with CD/USB/AUX-port.
As you move up the grades to SV and SVE the list becomes increasingly longer, with advanced technologies such as Traffic Sign recognition, auto lights and mirrors, a larger display screen with reversing camera and around view monitor giving a much larger view of whats outside.
Other innovations seen as standard on the SVE for example include Intelligent Park Assist, Nissan Connect, Driver Fatigue Alert, Blind Spot Warning, power Moonroof and Moving Object detection to name but a few.
So as you can see the new X-Trail boasts the latest in automotive technologies, many there to make your journey safer and more comfortable.
Nissan chose the heartlands of county Laois to launch the new X-Trail and Juke to the Irish Mooring Press.
We had a good opportunity to test drive both vehicles on a variety of routes from Dublin to Durrow and back and I came away most impressed but in particular with the new X-Trail.