Dear Bob From Kuching,
My apology for being late to come up with my answers. The last few days have been an Obama for me! Yes. I was `technically' involved in the inauguration coverage... from my office!
So you're interested in Nissan X-Trail. I shall not present my views in a way that might influence you in any way. So it's gonna be brief, point-form and simple. The rest, you decide lah.
1. It has a good handling, which is a Nissan DNA. You find the easy handling (i.e smooth power steering, acceleration, torque) in every Nissan's model range. This is very important when you want to drive an SUV to differentiate from driving a truck (like me... hahaha). Having a huge body size, you want to have all the necessity features and X-Trail has it all.
2. The current model is coming to its end. The good news is that, the 2nd generation doesn't change that much. Tan Chong Motors yet to introduce the new model but you can find it in the Net. What I meant is that, having a new generation but not much changes in looks, can be a blessing because people wouldn't know. Look at BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. They changed la a bit here and there and on the engine. But you hardly notice the difference.
3. The price is competitive. The 2nd hand-value I'm not really sure because the downturn faced by the local automotive industry is across-the-board. Meaning, every model is experiencing some decline in the residual department. But it is a good news for you if you're looking for the 2nd hand unit.
4. Fuel consumption. SUV doesn't equates to fuel-efficient. You can't compare it to sedan. But having a 2.5 liter engine that exudes 180 horse power... hmmm... you will have that urge to speed and that spells massive fuel. You do the math.
5. Location. I'm not sure if Nissan is having huge presence in Sarawak. I'm driving a D-Max. I know how many it is sold back home but still a bit low than Toyota Hilux. Catch my drift? Being so, my point is that you got to ensure where is the nearest 3S Centre. I'm a bit ultra carefull with my rides, so I don't encourage myself to service my vehicles at any workshop. Priority is the authorised dealer. A bit pricey but they can't cheat you. And if they do, you still have avenues to present your case. Straight to the consumer service of the respective company. In this stiff marketing environment, no car companies dare to ignore your grouses.
6. Point B of the above statement, having a good demand for X-Trail in your locality means you won't have to worry of getting rid it someday because there will be ready demands. If it's too exclusive a model, who do you think would want it? That's why I'm a bit perplexed when I saw a timber tycoon parked his Lexus GS 460 in Bintulu. With that kind of road we have back home, the only reason to have Lexus there is simply to show off. That's not a crime. Yes it is not. But it is unfair for the car. I really pity the car lah.
So, Bob... you decide.
* picture show the `highlight' fix on the roof-rail of X-Trail. So you don't have to install off-market product...