What stands out?
The Nissan X-Trail
has a big cabin with brilliantly configurable second-row seating, and
it is one of the few mid-sized SUVs you can get with seven seats. It is
good to drive, and all but the least costly models have part-leather
trim and satellite navigation. You can specify a peppy petrol engine or a
very thrifty diesel, and all-wheel drive is available.
What might bug me?
Response from the turbo-diesel engine around town: it takes a moment to get going when you take off from rest.
Driving at 80km/h on your space-saver spare, until you can repair the full-sized flat tyre.
What body styles are there?
Five-door wagon only.
The X-Trail is available in front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive.
It is classified as a medium Mobil SUV, lower priced.
What features do all X-Trails have?
control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and smart key entry – which
allows you to unlock the doors with the key safe in your pocket or bag. A
A touchscreen for controlling
entertainment and other cabin functions: 5.0-inch for the less costly
petrol (ST) and diesel (TS) models, and 7.0-inch for the rest.
Smartphone integration through NissanConnect, which allows music
streaming from online service Pandora.
Height and reach
adjustment for the steering wheel, which carries buttons for operating
the cruise control, the sound system and your phone.
Headlamps that switch on automatically when it’s getting dark.
Aluminium alloy wheels (which are lighter and more stylish than steel wheels), and a space-saver spare wheel.
that can be folded in electrically when the car is parked narrow
streets, to reduce the chance of damage from other vehicles.
Hill-start assist, which controls the brake automatically to help you start from rest on uphill slopes.
airbags: two for frontal impacts; one on each side to protect the body
of front-seat occupants in side crashes; and a curtain airbag down each
side to protect heads in the first two rows of seats.
Electronic stability control, which can help control a skid or a slide. All new cars must have this feature.
The X-Trail is covered by a three-year, 100,000km warranty.
Which engine uses least fuel, and why wouldn't I choose it?
1.6-litre turbocharged diesel is the most fuel-efficient engine,
consuming 5.3 litres/100km in official tests (urban and country
combined). That’s very good for a vehicle this big.
petrol engines are also available, a 2.0-litre that powers only the
cheapest X-Trail, the ST two-wheel drive manual, and a 2.5 litre that
powers every other petrol model. Both use about 8 litres/100km.
all-wheel drive X-Trails are available only with a six-speed manual
gearbox, as is the 2.0 litre petrol ST. Every other X-Trail uses a CVT,
or continuously variable transmission. The CVT does without the fixed
gear ratios of a conventional automatic, instead adjusting steplessly to
meet the driver’s requirements.
What key features do I get if I spend more?
up in price from the ST models to an X-Trail ST-L and you get satellite
navigation and the 7.0-inch touchscreen. You also get Nissan’s Around
View Monitor, which uses multiple cameras to create an overhead view of
the vehicle for help with parking.
The ST-L also has
dual-zone air-conditioning, which allows different temperatures to be
set for each side of the cabin. Front seats are heated and
power-adjustable, while there is a mix of real and fake leather on all
the seats and the steering wheel. And there are roof rails, for mounting
optional roof racks.
ST and ST-L two-wheel drive auto models (only) can be ordered with seven seats.
more again on an X-Trail Ti and you get a sunroof, and a tailgate that
opens and closes electrically. Headlamps use very bright and long-lived
LEDs. Wipers operate automatically when it rains. A lane departure
warning alerts you if the car wanders out of its lane, and a blind-spot
monitor tells you if a car is alongside when you indicate to change
lanes. Wheels grow to 18 inches in diameter, and are fitted with tyres
of a slightly lower profile, sharpening steering response.
The less costly diesel X-Trails, the TS models, have the equipment all X-Trails get – same as an ST petrol.
The more costly diesels, the TL models, have the same equipment as a Ti petrol.
Does any upgrade have a down side?
you choose a seven-seat model you cannot get an all-wheel drive system.
Seven-seaters also lose underfloor storage in the boot.
The sunroof on Ti and TL models reduces head room, something more noticeable in the second row of seats.
There are three standard colours – red, white and black – with the remaining four costing extra.
17-inch wheels use a more popular tyre size, so there are more tyre
brands to choose from and these tyres could cost less to replace than
the 18-inch tyres used on the Ti and TL.
How comfortable is the X-Trail?
a mid-sized SUV, the X-Trail has a big cabin. Oversized sun-visors are a
win for short drivers. The central touchscreen is easy to navigate,
thanks to the host of menu buttons surrounding it. The ventilation
controls below the screen are nicely presented and user friendly.
up front have plenty of head room, and it is easy to get comfortable in
the driver’s seat. The broad seats work well on long trips, too.
X-Trail feels light and easy to operate, and steers nicely. The
suspension is fairly supple and does a good job of soaking up bumps, but
noise from the tyres is quite loud at freeway speeds.
What about safety in an X-Trail?
X-Trail gets a full complement of airbags, and every model has a
reversing camera. There are seat-belt reminders on front and second-row
seats. The more expensive Ti and TL models have lane-departure and
However, the head-protecting
side-curtain airbags do not extend to the third row of seats on
seven-seat models, and nor do these seats have seat-belt reminders.
No X-Trail has autonomous emergency braking.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rates the X-Trail at five stars for safety, its maximum score.
I like driving - will I enjoy this car?
2.5-litre petrol engine teams nicely with the CVT auto to make for good
response to the accelerator. The engine is fairly peppy and willing to
rev hard for overtaking. It handles a full load with little fuss.
diesel engine in the X-Trail is not as convincing, with modest power
and modest acceleration. It does a good job of holding its speed on
grades once you’re moving, but is lethargic getting there.
body is generally well controlled and recovers quickly from bumps, but
it will lean significantly if driven hard through a corner, something
more noticeable when the road immediately turns the other way. Those
body movements make the X-Trail feel less secure when driven
assertively, although grip from the 18-inch tyres on Ti and TL models is
Two-wheel drive X-Trails aren’t intended for
driving off-road, while all-wheel drive models are aimed at light duty
such as snowy roads or dirt tracks. Without a full-sized spare tyre,
you’ll be compromised if you do get a puncture.
How is life in the rear seats?
across the rear (or middle row, in seven-seat models) is achievable
thanks to the broad cabin. That pew sits slightly higher than the front
seats, for a good view. Tall folk could have their hair touching the
roof, but most will be content with the head room.
air-conditioning vents create a good flow of ventilation around the
cabin, while the backrest from the middle seat folds down to form a
chunky arm rest.
That second row of seats can also
slide forward and back, creating great leg room in its rearmost
position. Those in third-row seats (where fitted) will be a lot less
comfortable, with marginal leg room: these are best left for children.
you are using child seats, they have to be fitted to the middle row of
seats, which limits access to the third row (the easiest way in is then
through the boot). Even without child seats, getting to that third row
is best left to children: the passage between the tilted middle-row
seats and the door frame is small.
How is it for carrying stuff?
boot floor is flat and quite large, making it good for taking plenty of
gear. Five-seat models have a broad underfloor area with a removable
false floor, to further increase luggage capacity. That false floor can
also be positioned vertically, to partition the boot.
For seven-seat models, that underfloor area is consumed by the seats when they’re split-folded (50/50) into the floor.
The middle-row seat also split-folds, and in a 40/20/40 configuration that offers fantastic load flexibility.
The X-Trail is rated to tow 1500kg with the petrol engine, and 2000kg with the diesel.
Where is the X-Trail made?
All X-Trails are produced in Japan.
What might I miss that similar cars have?
emergency braking, which can monitor traffic ahead and apply the brakes
to avoid a crash. This is available on the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson,
Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage, for example.
curtain airbags for those in third-row seats. These are available on
bigger seven-seat vehicles such as the Toyota Kluger and Mazda CX-9.
Other cars you might consider include the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Toyota RAV4.
I like this car, but I can't choose which version. Can you help?
X-Trail ST-L with seven seats is great buying. The third row of seats
makes it more useful for families, and it has leather trim, satellite
navigation and the bigger control screen.
Are there plans to update the X-Trail soon?
current X-Trail went on sale in 2014, and a facelift and minor update
is likely during 2017. Expect an all-new model about 2019.