The Nissan X-Trail used to be a bit agricultural, but now the crossover is a tour de force, as our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, found out.
The X-Trail is a very easy crossover vehicle to drive, and in 4×4 guise, it will give you plenty of traction when the need arises. Sure, it used to be a bit basic inside and a tad undeveloped to drive – but that was a long time ago and things are very different now for X-Trail drivers. These days, Nissan has refined the vehicle inside and out, the result being a stylish crossover with a really pleasant driving experience.
Unlike its forerunners, and indeed, many of its challengers, the latest Nissan X-Trail offers the possibility of two extra seats in the load area. Consequently, this option essentially replaced the old Nissan Qashqai+2 in the Japanese automaker’s line-up. However useful these additional seats are, they’re not meant for adults. Small friends of your kids will love them, though. The Nissan X-Trail’s middle bench will even slide forward to help make things a little roomier for the children in the rear, if necessary. The five-up Nissan X-Trail costs a bit less, and still has the same sliding rear seat set-up, along with a rather nifty fake boot floor. The compartment under the false floor can be used to store extra luggage or it can be removed altogether to increase load space for larger objects.
The X-Trail offers really comfortable, supportive seating, with loads of fine-tuning for the driver’s seat. The steering wheel is also multi-adjustable, making it all very straightforward to find a superb driving position. Things remain uncomplicated in the dashboard area. The X-Trail’s dash is wonderfully intuitive; the dials are easy to read and the switchgear is all logically laid out. This goes for the touchscreen that controls the infotainment and sat-nav system. It’s rapid to respond and using it soon becomes instinctual. The Nissan X-Trail has got to be one of the easiest vehicles in its segment to control. The steering wheel turns nimbly in your hands, the clutch is easy, and the pedals are all agreeably weighted. The vehicle also feels sprightlier than you might expect, given its bulk.
Parking is made stress-free in the X-Trail, due to all round parking sensors, and on the flagship, leather-laced, Tekna version, as driven here, there are parking cameras that give you a helicopter view of the Nissan to make reversing into constricted spaces a piece-of-cake. On the road, the 1.6-litre diesel unit, fitted under the bonnet, can get noisy – and it’s not the fastest engine around – but why would you want it to be in a crossover vehicle? Practicality and predictability, rather than pace, are reasons why you’ll choose this car. The Nissan X-Trail is also very safe and self-possessed – exactly the qualities you want in a family-focused vehicle. Go for the Nissan X-Trail with four-wheel-drive, as in the Tekna dCi 130 4WD version I got to drive, and you’ll get plenty of grip, too.
Equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, as my test car was, the Nissan X-Trail offers up some of the most impressive fuel consumption figures in its segment. 52.3mpg on average and CO2 emissions of 143g/km are good for a turbo-diesel powered 4×4 crossover of this size. Therefore, the X-Trail won’t make you feel as though you’ve been a victim of a mugging at the fuel pumps and, with Nissan’s reputation for bullet-proof reliability, it should provide hassle-free motoring for many years. Nissan’s X-Trail is also a very easy vehicle to operate and it’s pleasant to live with. You also get the option of two very handy additional seats for any extra kids you need to carry, which may well make you a hero on the school run!
There is so much to like about the Nissan X-Trail that it’s got to be worth a test-drive. Why not contact Perrys Blackburn Nissan to find out more?
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Efficiency √
- Ride √
- Room √
- Equipment √
- Noisy Engine X
- Max speed: 116 mph
- 0-62 mph: 11.0 secs
- Combined mpg: 52.3
- Engine layout: 1598cc 4-cylinder, turbo diesel
- Max. power (PS): 130
- CO2: 143 g/km
- Price: £32,110