Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Nissan X-Trail 4x4?
We’d suggest taking a look underneath any X-Trail, because there is the possibility it could have been damaged by some off-road driving, however remote a possibility that might be. Also check the lower edges of the bumpers for scrapes or cracks from any off-road use.
Also, the X-Trail is aimed at families which might mean that the interior has seen some action. It’s all pretty well screwed together, but it is always worth checking for broken interior plastic pieces, stains on the seats and wear on the upholstery.
If you want an automatic gearbox, the X-Trail offers a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the 1.6 or 2.0-litre diesel engines. Nissan have given this gearbox ‘steps’ in its programming to drop the revs at certain points, all to try and mimic the normal gear-changing of a traditional automatic, because normally CVTs will hold at high revs until you lift off the accelerator. This gearbox can take some getting used to, so it would be a good idea to go on an extended test drive to make sure you can live with it.
What are the most common problems with a used Nissan X-Trail 4x4?
We’ve seen no reports of serious recurring problems with the Nissan X-Trail, but it is always worthwhile to keep in mind that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) on diesel models could cause problems, especially if you accidentally shut it off part-way through its regeneration cycle. The result is contamination of the oil system with fuel, which results in the oil level rising gradually over time. If this is happening, some damage to the engine may already have been done.
Diesels need to be given frequent motorway runs in order to ensure they complete this regeneration cycle, which is only triggered at high speed. So if you’re planning to buy a diesel, it’s worth checking the previous owner’s usage, and making sure that you’re going to travel on the motorway often enough to justify owning a diesel.
Is a used Nissan X-Trail 4x4 reliable?
According to our latest reliability survey, the news here isn’t great. Nissan as a whole ranked 27th out of the 32 manufacturers included. The X-Trail scored 85%, putting it in 19th place out of the 25 large SUVs surveyed, beating the Land Rover Discovery Sport, but falling behind the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.
If you would like to see the full reliability list for large SUVs, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.