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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Good to drive; refined; decent off-road performance

Against Limited rear legroom; some reliability issues

Verdict Chunky yet comfortable

Go for… 2.0dCi 148 Sport

Avoid… 2.5i Aventura

Nissan X-Trail 4x4
  • 1. This second-generation X-Trail looks like it's more evolution than revolution when compared with the original, but don’t be fooled – it’s actually an all-new model
  • 2. The range was face-lifted in late 2010, with revisions to the front lights and grille, plus a slight change to the engine line-up.
  • 3. Diesel is the best option, and there are two 2.0-litre engines to choose between. The 148bhp version is easier to live with, while the 171bhp model is far more flexible and better at low revs
  • 4. The diesels are far more efficient than petrols, with the 148bhp model averaging 39.8mpg and emitting 190g/km of CO2, while the 171bhp version averages 38.2mpg and emits 198g/km
  • 5. Short, stop-start journeys can cause the diesel particulate filter to clog, because the engine never reaches the correct operating temperature
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Nissan X-Trail 4x4 full review with expert trade views

This second-generation X-Trail looks like it's more evolution than revolution when compared with the original, but don’t be fooled – it’s actually an all-new model.

Nissan designed the car to be family friendly, so it’s comfortable and refined yet remains decent to drive with little body roll through corners. It’s almost 18cm longer than the car it replaced, which means more room for occupants. However, the bulky transmission tunnel reduces comfort in the rear middle seat.

The boot is generous and practical, and with the rear seats folded forward there’s a large, level loadspace.

The car’s off-road ability is also enhanced, with improved four-wheel-drive technology on all but the base model. Unlike the older X-Trail there’s no dedicated two-wheel-drive model.

The range was face-lifted in late 2010, with revisions to the front lights and grille, plus a slight change to the engine line-up.

Trade view

The Sport editions are the sweet-spot of the range because, in addition to a decent specification, they come with stability control as standard.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Diesel is the best option, and there are two 2.0-litre engines to choose between. The 148bhp version is easier to live with, while the 171bhp model is far more flexible and better at low revs. An automatic gearbox is an option on the 148bhp engine, while a six-speed manual is standard on both.

The two petrol models are harder to find and far less popular. The 139bhp 2.0-litre offers reasonable performance, while the 167bhp 2.5-litre feels smooth and is available as an automatic. Both were dropped in early 2009.

For the 2010 face-lift, the lower-powered diesel became an automatic-only model.

From launch, the entry-level Trek came with climate control, alloy wheels and electric windows, while the Sport added traction- and stability controls, and the Sport Expedition sat-nav. Aventura editions are the best quipped with leather upholstery and upgraded cabin trim. In early 2009 the range was simplified, with Acenta as the entry-level trim, with climate control, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and stability control, while the Tekna edition added satellite-navigation, electric and heated front seats, leather upholstery, a reversing camera and larger alloys.

Trade view

Rugged and dependable, the X-Trail proves that good 4x4s don’t have to cost a fortune to buy or run.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The petrol 2.0-litre averages 32.5mpg and emits 208/km of CO2, while the 2.5-litre manages only 29.4mpg and emits 230g/km of CO2. This puts the 2.5 version in the highest possible road tax band.

The diesels are far more efficient, with the 148bhp model averaging 39.8mpg and emitting 190g/km of CO2, while the 171bhp version averages 38.2mpg and emits 198g/km.

The revised diesels introduced in late 2010 are more efficient, with the auto-only 148bhp model averaging 39.8mpg and the 171bhp model 44.1mpg with emissions of 168g/km.

Insurance ranges from group 27-32.

Trade view

The Sport editions are the sweet-spot of the range because, in addition to a decent specification, they come with stability control as standard.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The X-Trail generally rates well in reliability surveys, but there are a couple of common problems.

Short, stop-start journeys can cause the diesel particulate filter to clog, because the engine never reaches the correct operating temperature. This causes a warning light on the dashboard, which needs to be cleared by a dealer. If the warning light isn’t cleared a fault light will come on, requiring a trip to a dealer for more expensive repairs.

The electrics can also malfunction, with stereo, electric window and dashboard issues.

There have been a few recalls for this generation of X-Trail concerning the steering mechanism and problems with airbags.

Trade view

Rugged and dependable, the X-Trail proves that good 4x4s don’t have to cost a fortune to buy or run.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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