Nissan X-Trail SUV
Price £23,195 - £31,345
- Easy to drive
- Reasonable running costs
- Smart looks inside and out
- Seven seats cost extra
- Big wheels spoil ride quality
- Diesel engine is underpowered
At a glance
"In looks and ability, the X-Trail resembles the popular Nissan Qashqai, except it's a little bigger in order to accommodate an optional third row of seats in the boot."
The Nissan X-Trail is a large SUV that aims to build on the success of its sister model the Nissan Qashqai with a roomier cabin and a choice of five or seven seats. It's perfect for growing families for whom conventional hatchbacks or compact SUVs just aren't roomy or versatile enough.
Until very recently, the X-Trail was held back by only having one engine on offer: a 1.6-litre diesel. Still, it's punchy and around 20% more economical than the old X-Trail's 2.0-litre diesel. However, with seven people on board, you might wish for more performance. In mid-2015, Nissan introduced a 1.6-litre petrol engine to run alongside its 1.6-litre diesel offering. The petrol is around £1,500 cheaper and offers around 30bhp of extra power compared to the diesel. That said, the petrol is around 10mpg less economical than the diesel too.
On the other hand, the X-Trail does at least have many of the virtues that make the smaller Qashqai such a big hit with buyers. It looks good and has a stylish, well-equipped interior. In fact, given its extra space and additional seating, a basic seven-seater X-Trail looks better value for money than a similarly priced five-seat Qashqai.
This X-Trail's build quality and specification are both much better than the previous model's. There are five trim levels: Visia, Acenta, Acenta+, N-Tec and Tekna – all of them featuring cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity and air-conditioning as standard. Even a panoramic sunroof is available on all but the most basic version. The new X–Trail rides and handles better than its predecessor, too, although it leans quite heavily in corners and the steering is a little light.
The car is available with a choice of six-speed manual and CVT automatic (Xtronic) transmission. Both are reasonably efficient, although unless you really need it, we'd avoid the auto. You can specify your X-Trail with two or four-wheel drive as well. However, although the X-Trail has enough ground clearance to tackle light off-roading, it's designed primarily for the road, where two-wheel drive is sufficient, and cheaper, too.
The X-Trail scored the full five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test and comes with a good package of safety equipment. Its predecessor was reliable, but we’d expect this better-made version to be even more so.
The Nissan X-Trail’s small diesel engine does well to achieve reasonable fuel economy and emissions for such a large vehicle
It doesn’t offer boundless performance, but the Nissan X-Trail makes good use of what it has
Nowhere does the new Nissan X-Trail demonstrate how much it’s changed compared to the previous model than from the driver’s seat
With a seats-up capacity of 550 litres and a seats-down figure of 1,982 litres, the Nissan X-Trail’s boot dwarfs rivals’
Even owner of the most basic Nissan X-Trail can rest assured they have some of the most sophisticated safety technology offered on any mainstream car