The 2.0 and 2.5-litre petrols seem to be reliable, but the 2.2-litre diesel suffers from some quite serious issues. Mostly, they are to do with the turbocharging system; if you spot leaking oil around the engine block, it’s usually coming from the turbo’s intercooler, which will need replacing, and that is quite an expensive job.
Black smoke or a whistling noise when you rev the engine is also a bad sign – it means that the turbo itself is on the way out, and again it will need replacing, although it’s generally a more affordable task than the intercooler.
The engine’s timing chain tensioner can jam, which usually doesn’t result in the failure of an engine, but it does mean that it won’t start, and it can cause damage to the camshafts.
Nissan actually felt the need to instigate a 'service campaign', which is essentially a voluntary recall. In this, many X-Trails had their engine management systems replaced or upgraded, but if the car wasn’t serviced at a main dealer, this work may not have been carried out.
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