Nissan X-Trail review

August 3, 2014 | By | In Reviews
Nissan X-Trail review

The Nissan X-Trail is a medium-sized off-roader which slots in above the hugely popular Qashqai in Nissan’s line up. With the choice between two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models, the X-Trail competes head to head with a number of off-roaders including the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and the Ford Kuga.

Thanks to the option of an additional two seats in the boot, the X-Trail also goes up against seven-seat models such as the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mitsubishi Outlander. Prices start at a reasonable £22,995 for the entry-level model and rise to £31,695.

A CVT automatic gearbox is also available on two-wheel-drive models; this gearbox has no traditional gears, but holds the engine at a set speed when accelerating.

What is it?

The new Nissan X-Trail has moved on from its off-road oriented predecessor to become a comfortable, refined family machine – with a little off-road ability. The square styling of the previous model has been sanded down, while the interior is larger and more luxurious than before.

Only one engine is available – a 1.6-litre diesel – though buyers can choose from a range of equipment levels. Affordable entry-level Visia specification includes six airbags, hill start assist, cruise control and air conditioning along with Bluetooth connectivity and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Acenta trim adds handy front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers and electric folding door mirrors. It also includes a panoramic, electrically opening glass roof, front fog lights and tinted rear windows.

Step up to n-tec trim and you get additional safety equipment, an electrically opening tailgate and colour front, rear and side cameras to make parking in tight spaces easier. A touchscreen sat nav system and digital radio are also standard. Top of the range Tekna versions gain powerful LED headlights, leather upholstery and electric, heated front seats.

What is it like to drive?

57.6 mpg

128 bhp

Unlike a number of current off-roaders, the X-Trail doesn’t attempt to be engaging to drive. The steering is light and doesn’t give the driver much feedback and the car feels a little cumbersome around corners. However, it’s also not the most comfortable car, failing to isolate occupants from bumps as well as it could.

We found the clutch slightly tricky to modulate too, making it easy to stall the car. Try to counter this with more throttle and the front tyres spin surprisingly easily.

Despite this, the engine isn’t the most punchy; it has sufficient power to get up to speed easily enough, but you’ll need a relatively long distance to overtake safely. Unlike most rivals, the X-Trail is also not available with a more powerful engine, so those who regularly carry heavy loads may be better suited elsewhere. The gear change in the car we tested wasn’t as slick as some rivals either.

Refinement levels are good though. When cruising at motorway speeds the engine is practically inaudible and when driving around town the engine is unobtrusive too. There is a slight delay between pressing the throttle and the car gaining speed however.

What is it like inside?

The Nissan X-Trail is available from £22,995.

Nissan has gone to a lot of effort to make the cabin feel high quality and modern, with its clean design. Plush front armrests and comfortable front seats are plus points, as is the useful amount of space for five passengers.

The front seats aren’t particularly supportive around corners though and some of the materials used do look a little cheap, including the chequered dark grey trim in our car. The interior does feel solidly constructed however.

Is it practical?

The X-Trail offers a generous amount of space for passengers across the front two rows of seats. Passengers sit high, though the raised dashboard and bonnet makes it tricky to judge where the front of the car is. Take into account the very large rear pillars and front and rear parking sensors come in very handy on this model.

The nearly flat floor in the middle row means that the car should work well for five passengers, however we found the hard seatbelt mounts and firm seat base were uncomfortable for an adult passenger in the middle seat. Outer rear passengers should have more than enough head and legroom though. The optional rearmost two seats are suitable for children.

The boot is large and comes with a two part floor. These versatile pieces can flip vertically to offer a smaller space for luggage to stop it sliding around the entire boot. There is also an additional storage space under this boot floor. We did find the boot cover tricky to fit however, and the large cover handle dangles in the way when loading the boot. n-tec and Tekna models include a handy automatically opening tailgate.

Should I buy one?

The X-Trail is a sharply styled off-roader which offers strong value in entry-level trim – and a long list of equipment in higher specifications. Claimed fuel economy for manual two-wheel-drive models is strong at 57.6mpg too.

Buyers can choose between a wide range of models as well. However, the one engine option doesn’t offer as much power as most rivals, making for slow progress with a fully loaded car. And while it isn’t the most comfortable model, it’s also not very enjoyable to drive.

If you’re after a good value off-roader with a practical interior and potentially space for seven passengers, the X-Trail could be a good choice. However, if you want a car that is enjoyable to drive or the most comfortable for passengers, you may be better served elsewhere.

Don't want to buy new? You can browse for a used Nissan X-Trail in our classifieds here.

The facts

Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DCI 130 2WD n-tec

List price: £27,995
Engine: 1.6-litre, four cylinder diesel
Power: 128bhp
Top speed: 117mph
0-62mph: 10.5 seconds
Fuel economy: 49.6mpg (urban), 62.8mpg (extra-urban) 57.6mpg (combined)
Emissions: 129g/km CO2
Euro NCAP rating: Not yet tested

Nissan X-Trail Review

May 21, 2014 | By | In Reviews
Nissan X-Trail Review

There’s no doubt that Nissan are the crossover kings – and they seem determined to hang onto their crown. This year, all three of its ‘soft-roader’ models – the Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail – have been treated to comprehensive overhauls to help them stay one step ahead of the competition. Here we put the new X-Trail, the biggest of the three, through its paces.

What is it?

It’s perhaps over-simplifying things a bit to say the X-Trail is basically a bigger version of a Qashqai, with seven seats rather than five, but if you haven’t got time to read on, that’s pretty much where we’re at. To play a quick round of carmaker bingo, it’s been redesigned ‘from the ground up’ and showcases Nissan’s new ‘design language’. What that means is that X-Trail’s lost its slightly boxy look and is a lot more sleek and streamlined. There’s some new, clever tech on board, the quality of the interior has been improved and the car has been equipped with a cleaner and more economical 129bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine, the only option for now. Don’t worry that it might not be up to the job though. It is – and produces the same amount of torque as the 2.0-litre lump it replaces. The X-Trail is a capable off-roader too in optional four-wheel-drive guise.

What is it like to drive?

Up to 57.6mpg

129bhp

You won’t be surprised to read that the driving experience won’t raise the hairs on the back of your neck, but for such a chunky vehicle, the X-Trail does handle very well. Having said that, we drove it with a single travelling companion. With seven people on board plus bags and belongings, it might be a slightly different story. The split-level dashboard, similar to a Qashqai’s, is well-designed and thoughtfully laid out and we found all-round visibility pretty good, so even those unfamiliar with the Nissan brand will find it pretty easy to find their way around the on board tech and infotainment system.

What is it like inside?

In the spirit of the recent ‘Fast Show’ revival – niiice. Well, a lot nicer than its long-in-the-tooth predecessor, anyway. The cabin area features a host of high-quality materials, including chrome and piano black trim detailing, and leather upholstery with contrasting stitching. Nissan says it examined every surface that the driver or passenger comes into contact with to improve perceived quality. A particularly eye-catching feature is the large, electrically operated panoramic glass sunroof.

Is it practical?

The Nissan X-Trail starts from £22,995

Yes. A key point we haven’t drawn attention to yet is that this car has a wheelbase (the distance between the two axles) that’s 76mm longer than before. That might not sound like a lot but it makes a surprising difference. The car has space for an optional third row of seats and a clever touch here is a ‘theatre-style’ layout with each row a bit higher than the one in front, helping visibility and increasing the feeling of interior space. The smart and innovative double load floor provides flexible storage options with up to nine configurations. Some of the tech is worth a mention here too. Already tried and tested on other Nissan cars are features such as Driver Attention Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Moving Object Detection. We love tech that’s actually useful and all of the above fall into that category, making journeys safer by covering any minor attention lapses from the driver.

Should I buy one?

If you regularly need to carry six people around in comfort and safety, with a bit of off-roading ability thrown in, then yes! If your family is a bit smaller but you’re still keen on Nissan as a brand, the Qashqai would suit you better. With the competitive pricing structure of the new X-Trail, you do get a lot of kit for your cash so it’s definitely worth a look. There’s certainly a good chance it could suit you, sir. (Or madam.)

Don't want to buy new? You can browse for a used Nissan X-Trail in our classifieds here.

The facts

Nissan X-Trail

List price: £22,995-£31,695
Engine: 1.6-litre, turbocharged diesel
Power: 129bhp, 320Nm
Top speed: 117mph
0-62mph: 10.5 seconds
Fuel economy: 53.3-57.6 mpg (combined)
Emissions: 129-139g/km CO2
Euro NCAP rating: Not yet tested

 

 

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