Unfortunately, adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat is available only on top-spec Tekna versions, so you run the risk of backache over long journeys in lower-spec models.
Otherwise, across all versions, the driving position is generally very comfortable and benefits from a central armrest, a seat that’s adjustable for height, and steering reach and rake adjustability. The only niggles are a headrest that’s tilted forwards a little, and an uncomfortably large gap between the slightly offset brake and throttle pedals.
The dashboard is clear and logically laid out, with controls all placed within easy reach. Buttons and switches are all large and easy to operate on the move, while their action is positive and precise.
Nissan X-Trail visibility
The Nissan X-Trail’s high driving position and broad windscreen provide good forward visibility, although the chunky door mirrors can sometimes obscure your view at junctions. Even with the big mirrors, rear visibility isn’t great thanks to the X-Trail’s fairly high rear windscreen and chunky rear pillars.
This could be a bigger problem on entry-level Visia models, which don’t get standard front and rear parking sensors.
A system that gives the driver a 360deg bird’s-eye view of the car’s surroundings is standard on N-Vision models and upwards, while range-topping Tekna also gets blindspot warning as well as an automatic parking system. This tells the driver if the parallel space they’re aiming for is big enough, and then steers the car while the driver operates the pedals.
Nissan X-Trail infotainment
Entry-level Visia and mid-range Acenta models go without a touchscreen, but do have a CD player and Bluetooth. However, most buyers opt for the N-Vision or Tekna trims, which have a 7.0in colour screen, sat-nav and a DAB radio.
The touchscreen in this more sophisticated arrangement responds quickly. Plus, its menus are logically presented, making most key functions easy to control, and the physical shortcut switches which bracket the screen also help. A button that switches the screen off altogether is another useful addition for night driving.
Granted, some of the settings are a bit tricky to find, and the screen can be hard to see in direct sunlight, but the X-Trail’s range-topping infotainment system is pefectly usable, if not as good as that found in the Skoda Kodiaq or Mazda CX-5.
Nissan X-Trail build quality
The Nissan X-Trail feels solidly put together. The dashboard features various textured, soft-touch plastics and contrasting silver highlights, and the switches are well damped. However, there do appear to be some signs of cost saving. The steering wheel controls feel a little tacky, there are some flimsy plastics around the door pockets and the dashboard looks a little plain.
Materials further back in the car look more durable than plush but you don’t find exposed metals or sharp edges, even underneath and around all the seat adjustments for the middle and (if they’re specified) rearmost seats. Ultimately, the X-Trail has the best quality interior of any circa-£30,000 seven-seat SUV.