Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- It is a spacious alternative of a family car
- It is just as good on the road as off it
- The diesel engines offer good fuel efficiency and power
- Extremely well-built and reliable
- The engines can be noisy when pushed hard
The X-Trail is one of the few 4x4s that is just as competent off the road as on it. Its high ground clearance and superior four-wheel-drive system enables it to compete with the likes of the Freelander off the road whilst still providing confident handling, sharp steering and smooth, precise gear changes on the tarmac. The interior is spacious, being able to seat five adults comfortably and offering a boot that is bigger than most of its rivals have to offer. It will easily hold the whole family’s luggage.
Exterior and Interior
The X-Trail may not be the prettiest 4x4 around but it is a good alternative to a large family car with plenty of space inside to seat five adults with ease. There is ample head and legroom for all the occupants, and seats are all comfortable and offer excellent support. The boot is a good size, too, being able to hold the whole family’s luggage easily. There are plenty of storage compartments, both big and small, dotted throughout the cabin making sure you never lack the storage space. The dashboard is well laid-out and good to look at with an easy to wipe surface. All of the dials are logically set out and the switches feel sold to the touch.
The S trim is best avoided as it didn’t come with air-con or a CD stereo so we’d go for the Sport-X or the SE+ that comes with alloys, an alarm, a CD multichanger, climate control, central locking, electric windows, sunroof, electric mirrors and roof rails.
Performance and Economy
The entry-level 2.0-litre is a smooth performer going from 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds and returning 30mpg - impressive for a petrol engine in a car of this size. The 2.5-litre that was introduced in 2002 is just as economical, but is over a second faster reaching 60mph in 9.6 seconds.
The diesels are the better engines with improved economy and loads of low-down pulling power that makes the petrol engines feel weak in comparison. The original 2.0-litre Di diesel is the slowest engine available going from 0-60mph in 13.3 seconds, but on a positive note it does achieve 39mpg. The 2.2-litre dCi that replaced the smaller engine is a lot more refined. It is the engine to go for as it achieves the same 39mpg, but is only slightly slower than the petrol engine reaching 60mph in 11.1 seconds.
Insurance costs are cheaper than you might expect, coming in below the Freelander and Honda CR-V.
Like to Drive
The X-Trail handles surprisingly well on the road. It reminds a large 4x4 with confident handling, responsive steering, stacks of grip and smooth precise gear changes. Off the road the Nissan X-Trail is just as good with its high ride height and sophisticated four-wheel-drive system making it just as good in the mud as a Freelander.
The driving position is good with clear all-round views and the cabin is well-insulated from the wind and road noise. However, the diesels can prove noisy, which can be heard to a certain extent in the cabin.
Faults and Repairs
The Nissan X-Trail has proven to be fairly reliable over the years with only one recall that we know of. The recall was for the timing chains in the diesels that tend to rattle, so make sure the work has been carried out. The only other problems that keep cropping up is related to the ventilation system and the turbochargers. As it is a competent off-roader, be sure to check the undercarriage of the car for any damage.
Servicing costs are cheap too coming in at a lower price than the Freelander; and repairs shouldn’t set you back too much either as you are unlikely to experience many.