Nissan X-Trail review
With an all-new replacement waiting in the wings, the Nissan X-Trail seven-seater soldiers on
The X-Trail has a lot to offer drivers exploring options at the larger end of the SUV category. It’s by no means the biggest in the seven-seat SUV class though, 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.
About the Nissan X-Trail
The Nissan X-Trail SUV is basically a larger version of the Nissan Qashqai, with extra length in the body which allows you to spec it with an optional extra pair of rear seats. The Qashqai has been recently replaced though, with an all-new model featuring hybrid tech. While Nissan has already revealed how the next X-Trail will look - it was on display at the 2021 Shanghai motor show - Nissan dealers in the UK will be plugging away with the existing X-Trail until the new one arrives here in 2022.
The X-Trail is Nissan’s largest SUV, at least in the UK market, where it’s given up on the bigger nameplates such as the Patrol and Pathfinder. It’s not for lack of available product, as Nissan still sells sizable SUVs in the US and elsewhere. However, with most larger SUV buyers preferring premium badges in the UK, Nissan knows the strength of its brand lies in the more mainstream sectors.
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Those seven seats are the X-Trail's key selling point, especially because this generation abandoned the rugged character of the older X-Trail models in favour of a more rounded look that it shares with the (now replaced previous-generation) Nissan Qashqai. The relationship is more than skin-deep, as the two SUVs share a platform, engines and interior tech.
As it’s basically a stretched Qashqai, the X-Trail isn’t as big as some of its rivals, instead sitting somewhere in-between the compact and large SUV categories. That means it’s not the roomiest seven-seater in its class.
Rivals with more space include the Skoda Kodiaq, SEAT Tarraco, Peugeot 5008, VW Tiguan Allspace, Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, all of which offer more space for passengers to enjoy. Five-seat SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are also worth a look if you’re not in the market for seven seats, but need a larger 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 the extra row as a cost option.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWith an all-new replacement waiting in the wings, the Nissan X-Trail seven-seater soldiers on
- 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 reliability appears to be good