Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
You can have your Nissan X-Trail in two different flavours, the first of which is a mild hybrid. That version, badged the VC-Turbo, gets its power from a 1.5 turbocharged petrol engine and a 12V hybrid system, which helps to boost efficiency. In total, it gives you 161bhp, so it should be more than enough for normal driving.
Then there’s the E-Power engine. This sits somewhere between the world of normal cars and electric cars, featuring a 1.5 turbocharged petrol engine that never actually interacts with the front wheels directly. Instead, the engine charges a battery which, in turn, then gives you 201bhp through an electric motor on the front axle.
As you get faster, the subtle busyness disappears, at which point the X-Trail is perfectly comfortable, proving an effective shield from imperfections, and only thudding through the worst potholes. Despite the soft suspension, the X-Trail never feels floaty as the Citroen C5 Aircross does, nor does it exhibit the same side-to-side sway over undulations.
If comfort is important to you, we suspect that sticking to the smaller 18in alloy wheels, which come as standard with all the trims below Tekna, will help to make the X-Trail even more comfortable. Alternatively, you might want to take a look at the better-riding Skoda Kodiaq.