Nissan X-Trail Crossover full 9 point review
A 129bhp 1.6-litre diesel is the only engine. It’s available with front-wheel drive and a manual or CVT automatic gearbox, or four-wheel drive with a manual ’box only. The engine is lethargic at low revs, but the turbo kicks in progressively, so you don’t get a sudden surge in acceleration, and there’s enough oomph to make the X-Trail feel sprightly in fast-moving traffic.
Ride & Handling
The X-Trail’s body leans heavily through corners and wobbles subtly as you go over big bumps, but the soft suspension absorbs creases in the road effectively, so the ride is comfortable most of the time. Light steering makes for easy going around town, too. The two-wheel-drive model has good traction and plenty of grip, so go for the four-wheel-drive version only if you regularly drive off-road or in slippery conditions.
The diesel engine is a bit gruff under acceleration, although it fades into the background at a cruise. Wind and tyre noise are more noticeable on the motorway, but they’re still more easily ignored than in most key rivals. Mechanical vibration is kept to a minimum, and the manual gearshift is light. The optional CVT automatic gearbox is smooth enough in normal driving, but can let the engine rev noisily if you want a burst of acceleration.
Buying & Owning
List prices are competitive and the X-Trail’s resale values should be strong compared with those of most similarly sized SUVs. Equally, the diesel engine offers substantially better CO2 emissions and fuel economy than those of rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, making the X-Trail tempting for company car buyers. Good-value finance deals and fixed-price servicing plans are also available.
Quality & Reliability
We’ve tested only higher-spec X-Trails, which get a seven-inch touch-screen system compete with well damped buttons around it. The audio controls on the steering wheel feel a little flimsy, and there are some cheap-feeling plastics around the glovebox and door handles, but generally the cabin feels classier than those of key rivals. The X-Trail was too new to feature in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but Nissan as a manufacturer was rated merely average for reliability.
Safety & Security
All versions have six airbags, stability control and a tyre pressure-monitoring system to help keep you safe. A Smart Vision Pack (optional on Visia and Acenta trims, and standard on more expensive models) adds lane-departure warning and emergency braking functions. An engine immobiliser and alarm are fitted to fend off thieves.
Behind The Wheel
Every model gets a height-adjustable driver’s seat and front armrest, which, combined with the airy cabin, make things comfortable up front. It's a shame that only top-spec models get lumbar adjustment, though. The switchgear on the dashboard is a little small and fiddly, but otherwise it’s easy to get used to and is logically laid out. There’s also a colour read-out between the dials that allows you to display a variety of useful information.
Space & Practicality
There’s plenty of space for adults in the sliding and reclining middle-row seats, as long as the seats aren’t moved as far forwards as possible. It’s also easy to fold the 60/40-split bench flat for a long, uninterrupted load bay. Adding the optional third row of seats means boot capacity drops from 550 to 445 litres, but it’s still a big, square shape. Sadly, those two rearmost seats are pretty cramped; adults or even taller children will be short of stretching room.
Entry-level Visia models get air-con, alloys, Bluetooth, a USB socket and cruise control, but Acenta is the best value because it adds dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, and automatic lights and wipers. N-tec is worthwhile if you want touch-screen sat-nav and a digital radio, but range-topping Tekna versions are expensive.