Nissan X-Trail review
The new Nissan X-Trail is bigger and better than before, but its innovative electrified powertrain isn’t as efficient as some rivals
Nissan has made some big improvements to the X-Trail SUV, delivering more passenger space, better cabin quality and excellent safety features. It’s still as practical as ever, too, while family buyers should find the X-Trail comfortable enough and easy to use every day.
It is a bigger car than before, which may deter some, and higher prices at the top end of the range spoil the X-Trail’s ability to challenge its close rivals. However, the real sticking point for both private buyers and business users is that the efficiency of Nissan’s e-Power setup is not as good as it should be. When you examine the numbers, it doesn’t stack up well enough against more conventional competition.
About the Nissan X-Trail
It’s taken four generations and more than twenty years for the Nissan X-Trail to evolve from a rather boxy, workaday SUV into a more polished offering that now competes in a very crowded large family SUV market.
The latest X-Trail is wider and taller than the model it replaces, while its sharper styling gives the big SUV a more aggressive look which Nissan hopes will attract customers away from a host of well-established rivals.
Competition comes in the form of the capable Peugeot 5008, Kia Sorento, SEAT Tarraco and Skoda Kodiaq seven-seaters, along with the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. If you don’t require the flexibility of two extra seats, then the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 are all proven alternatives that offer family buyers plenty of practicality and comfort.
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With electrification increasingly becoming the norm, Nissan has chosen not to go with a typical full-hybrid or even a plug-in hybrid set-up for the X-Trail and instead opted for a type of range extending hybrid that it calls e-Power. The system employs a 1.5-litre petrol engine that helps to charge a battery, which in turn feeds an electric motor which drives the wheels. X-Trail buyers can choose from either a 201bhp front-wheel drive single motor version, or a 210bhp all-wheel drive dual motor configuration.
A 161bhp mild-hybrid, front-wheel drive model is also available at the entry point to the range, while all cars feature Nissan’s Xtronic CVT automatic transmission.
Trim levels include Visia, Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna+, although if you’re looking for a few extra creature comforts we’d bypass the entry Visia and look towards one of the mid-range specifications; the former adds items such as a rear-view camera, dual-zone air conditioning, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, while the latter features two 12.3-inch screens – one covering infotainment and the other displaying key information for the driver such as sat-nav directions, active safety systems and audio controls.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe new Nissan X-Trail is bigger and better than before, but its innovative electrified powertrain isn’t as efficient as some rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveA good motorway cruiser with decent refinement, the X-Trail isn’t the most exciting car to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsFuel economy is average, although the X-Trail shouldn’t be too expensive to insure and holds onto its value well
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe X-Trail is bigger than before, while top-spec models feature impressive levels of onboard technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceInterior space is good, but the X-Trail’s boot isn’t as big as some rivals
- 6Reliability and safetyThe X-Trail features excellent levels of safety, while customer satisfaction with Nissan is improving