Reviewed for you: Nissan X-Trail
There are plenty of options when looking for an SUV but Nissan has one trump card it can play in the medium-size segment: the X-Trail is the world's most popular SUV. Credentials like that must mean it does plenty right and, despite this model getting a little older compared to the competition, it also offers some of the best value for money.
What’s the price and what do you get?
The X-Trail comes in five trim levels (ST, TS, ST-L, Ti and TL) priced from $28,490 to $48,340 plus on-road costs.
Standard comfort and convenience features on most models include seven-inch colour touchscreen, six-speaker sound system with DAB+, Bluetooth phone connectivity, sat-nav with traffic monitoring, six-way power-adjustable driver seat and four-way passenger seat, heated front seats, leather-accented seat trim, leather-accented steering wheel, heated and cooled centre console cupholders, keyless entry with push-button start, cruise control, automatic headlights, two front 12V power outlets and one in the cargo area, second-row air vents, speed-sensitive electric power steering, 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, privacy glass and heated door mirrors.
What’s the interior like?
Surrounded by plenty of quality trims, soft-touch materials, and pleasant design, sitting in the X-trail driver’s seat is a pleasant experience. The nice leather accent trim is soft, and the seat offers a good range of adjustments including height and lumbar. The steering is adjustable for rake and reach, and all of the controls and switches are logically positioned and clearly marked.
X-Trail’s seven-inch colour touchscreen is nice and bright but navigating your way through some of the functions takes a little getting used to. The ‘Nissan Connect’ app isn’t as intuitive as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, but it does allow you to access certain phone apps via the X-Trail’s touchscreen.
What’s the passenger space like?
If you’re carrying passengers there’s enough width across the second-row seat for three adults on short journeys but, as is the case with many back pews, it’s far more comfortable seating just two. The centre position’s backrest doubles as a fold-down armrest when not in use, which is never ideal for comfort if you happen to be seated there. Nevertheless, there’s good legroom in the back, rear air conditioning vents and big door pockets with cup holders. Getting in and out of the back seat is made easy by the big back doors which open to an impressive 77 degrees.
What’s under the bonnet?
On paper, the 2.5-litre engine’s peak power and torque outputs look quite modest at 126kw at 6,000rpm and 226 Nm at 4,400rpm, but the X-Trail offers surprisingly spritely acceleration, thanks in part to the clever Xtronic CVT that ensures the engine is always at the right revs for road conditions and driver demands.
In other words, if you’re driving along with the cruise control set at 100km/h and you start to climb a hill, engine revs will steadily rise to maintain the set speed. For those used to a traditional auto that would kick down a cog or two in such a scenario, the CVT can feel a little strange, but it’s certainly an effective system.
What’s it like on the road?
The ST-L model grade’s 17-inch alloy wheels come with sensible 225/65R17 Goodyear Assurance tyres, and ride quality over bumpy surfaces is pretty good, though there is some tyre noise over coarse bitumen and there can be a bit of booming through the cabin when the X-Trail hits big road-surface irregularities. Wind noise, however, is very well suppressed, and on smooth surfaces such as freeways, noise in the X-Trail’s cabin is quiet.
The X-Trail certainly offers sharp handling when pushed along, even on damp, twisting backroads. Body roll is also well controlled in such conditions, and while you wouldn’t describe the handling as sporty, it’s still sharp for an SUV wagon.
What about safety?
The X-Trail was awarded a five-star ANCAP score in June 2017. In ST-L specification the X-Trail is loaded with safety features including ABS, hill start assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent around-view monitor with moving object detection, forward collision warning, outer ISOFIX and three top-tether child-seat mounting points.
If you want lane departure warning and intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection, you’ll have to opt for the Ti model, while the TL also gets lane-keeping assist.
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