Nissan X-Trail SUV
Price £21,995 - £31,545
- Smart looks both inside and out
- Reasonable running costs
- Easy to drive
- Seven seats cost extra
- Big wheels can spoil ride quality
- Diesel engine could do with more power
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 that find conventional hatchbacks or compact SUVs just not roomy or versatile enough.
Until recently, the X-Trail was held back by only having one engine: a 1.6-litre diesel. Although it's punchy and around 20% more economical than the old X-Trail's 2.0-litre diesel, it can struggle with seven people on board.
Nissan responded by introducing a 1.6-litre petrol alongside the 1.6-litre diesel. The petrol is around £1,500 cheaper and 30bhp more powerful than the diesel – but also around 10mpg less economical.
The X-Trail shares 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 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 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 transmission. Both are reasonably efficient, although unless you really need it, we'd recommend avoiding the automatic. You can specify your X-Trail with two or four-wheel drive as well. However, although the car has enough ground clearance to tackle light off-roading, it's designed primarily for the road, where two-wheel drive is sufficient – and cheaper to run.
The X-Trail scored the full five stars in its Euro NCAP crash tests and comes with a good package of safety kit. Its predecessor was reliable, but we’d expect this version to be even more so.
The Nissan X-Trail diesel engine does well to achieve reasonable economy and emissions in such a large car
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 from the previous model than inside
With a seats-up capacity of 550 litres and a seats-down figure of 1,982 litres, the Nissan X-Trail has a huge boot
Even owners of the most basic Nissan X-Trail can rest assured they have some of the most sophisticated safety technology