Used car of the week: Nissan X-Trail

If you've outgrown a Nissan Qashqai, the larger X-Trail offers plenty of space for growing families - and their luggage

Words By Darren Moss

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Nissan X-Trail

The Nissan X-Trail is a good choice in the large SUV market. It goes up against the Mitsubishi Outlander and Hyundai Santa Fe, and aims to offer growing families enough space to cater for all of their luggage. There's also the option of four-wheel drive and clever seating for up to seven people.

The current X-Trail is priced from Β£22,395, but for less than half that you can pick up a great example of the old X-Trail, which entered the market in 2007 and lasted until 2012. Like the original X-Trail, this model's main focus was space, and it came with one of the biggest boots in this class at the time. It was also good to drive, offering impressive balance and steering responses for a car of this size.

What budget do I need?

Despite being an older car, the X-Trail is still in good demand, thanks in part to its huge space and the availability of its rugged four-wheel drive system. You'll need around Β£4500 to get on the ownership ladder with an early example, but we'd budget about Β£7000 for our recommended 170bhp version from 2011.

If you want the newest, top-end Tekna version of the X-Trail, you'll need around Β£11,000.

Unfortunately, and as is the case with most large SUVs, the X-Trail is expensive to run. Even our recommended 170bhp diesel engine emits 168g/km of CO2 and averages 44mpg, while the lower-powered 147bhp model returns 39mpg.

We'd recommend opting for the diesel models if you can - the 2.5-litre petrol returns just 29mpg and emits 230g/km of CO2, making it too expensive to run.

Which version should I go for?

There's not much difference in the performance of the two diesel models, but we'd opt for the 170bhp model, which is available only with a manual gearbox. This version is faster and because the X-Trail is so heavy, can actually be kinder to your wallet in the long run.

All X-Trails come with anti-lock brakes, electric windows and door mirrors, Isofix child seats and climate control, but our recommended Tekna specification gets you a CD multi-changer, cruise control, front fog lights, leather trim, parking sensors and satellite navigation. The options list features plenty of modern-day tech, including a bird's-eye view camera and a panoramic glass roof.

Any problems to be aware of?

If you get a two-wheel-drive X-Trail, watch out for excessive front tyre wear, and keep an eye on the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) warning light. If it's turned on, it means your filter is clogged up with soot particles and the car needs a decent run on the motorway to clear it. Be warned that if the problem is ignored, a replacement filter is expensive.

This second-generation X-Trail is far more reliable than the original model, but do watch out for engine management issues on diesel models, although the problem has been fairly isolated. Also watch out for leaking oil coolers or fragile oil pumps.

The X-Trail is better than the class average in terms of longevity when it comes to replacing consumable items such as brake fluid and discs, pads and calipers, as well as wiper blades and pollen filters.

Major component issues with the air conditioning, turbocharger or suspension shouldn't be an issue on cars that have covered less than 100,000 miles.

What next?

Read our full Nissan X-Trail review, or click here to read our new Nissan X-Trail review.

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