Nissan X-Trail review
The Nissan X-Trail is essentially a larger version of the Qashqai with the option of seven seats.
It’s a game of spot the difference if you’re comparing the latest Nissan X-Trail to its smaller sibling the Qashqai. The two cars have a lot in common, because instead of being an entirely stand-alone model as once it was, the X-Trail is basically an enlarged Qashqai with a provision for seven seats.
Not that it’s a bad thing, as the X-Trail has a lot to offer drivers exploring options at the larger end of the SUV class.
It’s by no means the biggest in the seven-seat SUV class, which some may see as an advantage, and while that applies equally to the rear seats they’re fine for the limited use that most families will demand of them. Overall, the X-Trail is a roomy car with plenty of space for passengers and their luggage.
The similarity of the X-Trail to the Qashqai inside the cabin is a positive thing too, because it looks good, feels well-built and is stacked high with goodies on more expensive models in the range.
The X-Trail is decent to drive too, with a comfortable ride and a good sense of composure at speed. It’s not quite as much fun to drive as some of its newest rivals like the Skoda Kodiaq and Mazda CX-5, but not everyone wants sporty handling from an SUV after all.
The X-Trail’s safety levels are excellent, too, thanks to a platform that supports some of the most advanced passive and active systems around, as well as the latest semi-autonomous technology. Fuel economy is decent, too.
The Nissan X-Trail is the biggest SUV that Nissan has for sale in the UK. It used to sell bigger models in this country such as the Patrol and Pathfinder, and it sells even larger SUVs in the US. But if you want a bigger Nissan in the UK, then you're looking at the Navara pickup truck, although that can't be had as a 7 seater like the X-Trail.
Car group tests
- New Nissan X-Trail 2017 facelift review
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Used car tests
That's the current X-Trail's key selling point, because it has abandoned the rugged character of the older X-Trail models in favour of a more rounded look that it shares with the smaller Nissan Qashqai. In fact, the Qashqai and X-Trail share much more than a similar look, as they use the same platform, engines and interior tech.
As the X-Trail is essentially an enlarged Qashqai, it falls somewhere between the compact SUV and large SUV classes, and in seven-seat guise it's not the roomiest people carrier in the class. Cars such as the Skoda Kodiaq, Peugeot 5008, VW Tiguan Allspace, Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe all have bigger seven-seat cabins, as does the SEAT Tarraco. Elsewhere, large five-seat SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are worth considering if you don't need a third row of seats but need a bigger boot.
Standard entry-level equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air con, a DAB radio and Bluetooth, while top-of-the-range Tekna cars receive bigger wheels, a Bose audio system, heated leather-trimmed seats and increased safety kit.
There's just one diesel option available - a 150PS 1.7 dCi with either front- or all-wheel drive, and the choice of manual or CVT auto transmission. Petrol power is also limited to a single 160PS 1.3-litre unit, with front-wheel drive and a DCT auto gearbox.
A mid-life facelift in 2017 saw the X-Trail's looks tightened up, although not much changed under the skin compared to the 2013 original. That also means that the X-Trail is still only a seven-seater if you add them as a cost option.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Nissan X-Trail is essentially a larger version of the Qashqai with the option of seven seats.
- 2Engines, performance and driveWith a streamlined engine lineup, the X-Trail trades performance for improved economy and lower emissions.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsMore efficient petrol and diesel engines improve economy and emissions, but performance suffers.
- 4Interior, design and technologyStrong kit levels and an easy-to-use interior layout, but X-Trail can't match quality of class-leaders.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceImpressive interior space, seven seats and a decent boot make the X-Trail a very strong all-rounder.
- 6Reliability and SafetyNissan Safety Shield gives the X-Trail an edge, while the car seems fairly reliable, too.