Nissan X-Trail review
The Nissan X-Trail is essentially a larger version of the Qashqai with the option of seven seats.
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.
More reviews for X-Trail SUV
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- Nissan X-Trail Tekna diesel review
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.