In-depth reviews

Nissan X-Trail review

The Nissan X-Trail is essentially a larger version of the Qashqai with the option of seven seats.

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£25,910 to £35,495
  • Smart styling
  • Spacious cabin
  • Effortless to drive
  • Lacks character
  • Top models pricey
  • Seven seats extra

The familiar styling of the Nissan X-Trail means it's easy to mistake for the Qashqai – even after a facelift in 2017 – but the third generation of Nissan's flagship family model has plenty to offer in the large SUV class.

First and foremost, it's a practical SUV, with good passenger room and the option of seven seats, although these aren't the roomiest rear seats at this price level. The X-Trail's cabin is similar to the Qashqai's, but that's no bad thing. Not only is it smartly designed and well made, it's also packed with equipment on top-spec models.

The X-Trail isn't thrilling to drive by any means, and the latest crop of rivals, such as the Skoda Kodiaq and Mazda CX-5, strike a better balance between agility and ride quality. However, the Nissan remains generally comfortable and composed at cruising speeds. 

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.

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 5008VW 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. 

For an alternative review of the latest Nissan X-Trail SUV visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk

More on X-Trail

Show me:
New 2021 Nissan X-Trail revealed in US-only Nissan Rogue form
Nissan X-Trail
16 Jun 2020

New 2021 Nissan X-Trail revealed in US-only Nissan Rogue form

The new Nissan Rogue will be rebadged as X-Trail and receive different engines when it arrives in Europe next year
Nissan X-Trail SUV gains new more efficient engines
Nissan X-Trail Platinum Edition - front
Nissan X-Trail SUV
11 Apr 2019

Nissan X-Trail SUV gains new more efficient engines

Nissan has revised the X-Trail’s engine line-up, with new petrol and diesel options and an all-new dual-clutch transmission
Used Nissan X-Trail review
Used Nissan X-Trail - front
Nissan X-Trail SUV
6 Jul 2018

Used Nissan X-Trail review

A full used buyer’s guide Nissan X-Trail covering the X-Trail Mk3 (2013-date)
Nissan X-Trail Platinum Edition SUV revealed
Nissan X-Trail Platinum Edition - front
Nissan X-Trail SUV
26 Feb 2018

Nissan X-Trail Platinum Edition SUV revealed

Plush Platinum Edition SV package launched on Nissan X-Trail, offering buyers extra kit on N-Connecta models
New Nissan X-Trail 2017 facelift review
Nissan X-Trail - front tracking
Nissan X-Trail SUV
22 Sep 2017

New Nissan X-Trail 2017 facelift review

The Nissan X-Trail SUV benefits from trim and tech updates, now we drive the facelifted model in the UK for the first time
Nissan X-Trail SUV: facelifted model revealed with subtle new look
Nissan X-Trail - front reveal
Nissan X-Trail
2 Jun 2017

Nissan X-Trail SUV: facelifted model revealed with subtle new look

The X-Trail has been updated for 2017, gaining a new look, new equipment and Nissan's new ProPILOT semi-autonomous tech
New Nissan X-Trail X-Scape comes with £500 drone as standard
Nissan X-Trail X-Scape
Nissan X-Trail
10 May 2017

New Nissan X-Trail X-Scape comes with £500 drone as standard

New limited edition X-Trail to be limited to just 200 units in the UK, but fear not - the drone is a £500 option on basic models
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 diesel 2017 review
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 diesel - front
Nissan X-Trail SUV
1 Dec 2016

Nissan X-Trail 2.0 diesel 2017 review

The current-gen Nissan X-Trail gets a new, more powerful engine that buyers have craved - is it any good?
Nissan introduces new, more powerful diesel for X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail front tracking
Nissan X-Trail
21 Nov 2016

Nissan introduces new, more powerful diesel for X-Trail

The 175bhp 2.0-litre unit sits above the 128bhp 1.6-litre in the range; order books are open now for 2017 delivery
Nissan’s Winter Warriors take cold weather grip to another level
Nissan Winter Warrior concept - front cornering
Nissan X-Trail
11 Feb 2016

Nissan’s Winter Warriors take cold weather grip to another level

Nissan reveals three tracked “Winter Warrior” concepts based on Pathfinder, Murano and X-Trail SUVs at the Chicago Motor Show
Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T review
Nissan X-Trail SUV
1 Oct 2015

Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T review

Despite going on sale almost 18 months ago, this is the first current-generation with a petrol engine. Is it any good?
Nissan X-Trail vs Hyundai Santa Fe
Nissan X-Trail vs Hyundai Santa Fe
Nissan X-Trail
20 Aug 2014

Nissan X-Trail vs Hyundai Santa Fe

Nissan has transformed its pioneering X-Trail crossover from rugged workhorse into classy family 4x4. Can it beat its Hyundai rival?
New Nissan X-Trail 2014 review
Nissan X-Trail SUV
29 Jul 2014

New Nissan X-Trail 2014 review

Does Nissan’s gamble to replace the old X-Trail and Qashqai+2 with one car pay off? We drive new Nissan X-Trail dCi 130 n-tec to find out
Nissan X-Trail video review
Nissan X-Trail
19 May 2014

Nissan X-Trail video review

The new Nissan X-Trail is good looking and well equipped, but is it too sensible?
Nissan X-Trail Tekna diesel review
Nissan X-Trail SUV
8 May 2014

Nissan X-Trail Tekna diesel review

Nissan's latest X-Trail compact SUV adds style and comfort to the old model's substance
New Nissan X-Trail on sale now from £22,995
Nissan X-Trail
1 May 2014

New Nissan X-Trail on sale now from £22,995

Price, specification and release date details for all-new Nissan X-Trail SUV are revealed
New Nissan X-Trail: the inside story
Nissan X-Trail
14 Apr 2014

New Nissan X-Trail: the inside story

We get full details on the new UK-spec Nissan X-Trail, which arrives later this year with seven seats and a £25k pricetag
New Nissan X-Trail spec and engine details
Nissan X-Trail SUV
5 Mar 2014

New Nissan X-Trail spec and engine details

All the latest details on the new Nissan X-Trail, due to go on sale in July
Nissan X-Trail (2007-2013) review
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi Tekna
Nissan X-Trail SUV
12 Aug 2013

Nissan X-Trail (2007-2013) review

The Nissan X-Trail combines decent off-road ability with a strong driving experience on the road and a practical interior
Nissan X-Trail N-Tec+ trim announced
Nissan X-Trail N-Tec+ trim announced
Nissan X-Trail SUV
3 Oct 2012

Nissan X-Trail N-Tec+ trim announced

New Nissan X-Trail N-Tec+ model adds lots of kit and costs £27,790
Nissan X-Trail Platinum
Nissan X-TRAIL Platinum
Nissan X-Trail SUV
3 Jan 2012

Nissan X-Trail Platinum

Luxurious Nissan X-Trail Platinum is limited to just 200 units
Nissan X-Trail vs Kia Sorento
Nissan X-Trail vs. Kia Sorento
Nissan X-Trail SUV
26 Nov 2010

Nissan X-Trail vs Kia Sorento

Nissan has revised its x-trail compact SUV inside and out, and cleaner more powerful engines – does it get our vote as it meets Kia’s Sorento head-to-…
Nissan X-Trail: 24,715 miles
Nissan X-Trail SUV
13 Mar 2009

Nissan X-Trail: 24,715 miles

FINAL REPORT: How has the practical yet easy-to-drive SUV coped with 12 tough months on our fleet?