Nissan X-Trail Review
The Nissan X-Trail is an extremely practical and economical seven-seater SUV.
- Plenty of standard equipment
- Extremely practical, accomodating up to seven people
- Good engine economy
- Ride is quite harsh
- Looks too much like the Qashqai
Nissan have cornered the SUV segment very well with the Qashqai becoming their most successful car. They also have an even more practical, larger SUV, the X-Trail in their range that has been around for over ten years.
Refreshed in 2014 at first glance it looks exactly like the Qashqai, proportions are different though and the length, height and wheelbase has been increased over its predecessor.
On the Road
There is a 1.6-litre dCi 130 diesel, which comes in two or four-wheel drive and is available with manual or XTronic automatic transmission. With Nissan trying to make their engines more efficient it doesn’t lose on power, as it still produces the same torque as the previous 2.0-litre engine. From a standing start it can get to 62mph in 10.5 seconds and with 320Nm of torque available from just 1750 rpm it has no issues as a motorway cruiser.
A petrol offering has been released in 2015, the 1.6-litre DIG- T turbocharged engine producing 163 PS which gets from 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds with a top speed of 124mph.
With figures as low as 129g/km of CO2 and a combined 45mpg, revisions of the external design have helped keep numbers low. In models with All Mode 4x4-i transmission the figure is 18% less than the previous generation.
The ride is not great, it felt like we were on a rollercoaster a lot of the time and the Active Ride Control didn’t really ease the hardness of it at all.
The All-Mode 4x4-i that comes on the X-Trail is ideal for aiding with traction when driving in tricky conditions and although we’ve taken it on a mild ‘off-roading’ section, which was a sedentary, slightly stoney route through a national park with a deep puddle of water in the middle of it, it still showed how good the car is on different road surfaces.
The steering is heavy but you still get decent feedback and with the body lighter in weight than the previous generation it is surprisingly nimble for such a big car.
Like a lot of diesel engines they can be a bit noisy getting up to speed but Nissan have produced a refined, newer generation of the X-Trail with a comfortable drive matched to a quieter, better quality cabin, despite its off-road credentials.
In the car
The interior is of a decent standard, piano black gloss and leather gives it an upmarket feel although the lack of height adjustment for the front passenger seat seemed strange, but that aside the zero-gravity inspired seats are comfortable and heated.
A seven-inch touchscreen in the centre stack displays the Nissan Connect system so at the touch of your fingerprints are navigation, media, car information and you can keep in touch with friends with the social media apps available. Smartphone connectivity is available through Bluetooth, with more than one device being connected at any time, also there are USB and Aux-In ports.
There is available to the driver a five-inch TFT display which comes as standard on the X-Trail, it’s located between the two main dials so that you don’t have to look across to the larger screen. This shows navigation instructions, driving advice, warning signs and torque distribution settings when in 4WD mode.
The X-Trail comes in four different trims: Visia, Acenta, n-tec and Tekna. Standard equipment is very generous and includes LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, cruise control, Hill Start Assist, air-conditioning and alloy wheels.
Seven people can be piled into the car, legroom in the rear also went up by 20% over the previous generation but the third row seats, which also fold flat into the floor are better suited to children due to the lack of leg room. Clamber around and the rear seats are easy to access and manoeuvrable, while the second row sliding seats are practical too. With all rows offering a ‘theatre view’ - every row is higher and visibility is better for passengers.
Nissan have also added rear doors that open outward to more than 80 degrees, piling kids in will be a doddle.
Boot space is really practical with compartments to store both wet and dry items and
an electronically operated tailgate has been added as has an electronically opening panoramic sunroof.
Prices start from £21,995 for the entry-level X-Trail making it seem good value for money amongst its rivals, but although Nissan are on a roll at the moment with their model lineup, the X-Trail doesn’t seem to have enough identity to differentiate it from the Qashqai. We like models that stand alone and although this is a well built and designed car with plenty of equipment and technology we wanted it to have a uniqueness.
The Nissan X-Trail comes with a three year/60,000 mile warranty which isn’t as much as Kia’s Sorento which is seven years.
Running costs are likely to be good, the 1.6-litre diesel has the best mpg around the late fifty mark with 129g/km of CO2 so it’ll be £110 after the first year for road tax.
The Nissan X-Trail interior could be mistaken for that found in the Qashqai with plenty of chrome and black gloss details with nice, soft touch materials. It certainly feels much improved over its previous generation, something which owners remarked upon.
Reliability is an area Nissan need to improve upon as owners have had issues and it struggles to get above average ratings, which is disappointing as they have such a strong lineup, so hopefully this’ll improve.
The Nissan X-Trail took the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP tests scoring highly with 86% in adult protection, 83% for children.
Nissan have really improved the model and it benefits from their Safety Shield system featuring Forward Emergency Braking, Driver Attention Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Assist, Moving Object Detection and Blind Spot Warning offering high levels of protection when out on the roads.
With airbags, Isofix points, a tyre pressure monitoring system and Hill Start Assist there is plenty of safety equipment and to stop thieves the X-Trail has an alarm and immobiliser.