Nissan X-Trail review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Impressive interior space, seven seats and a decent boot make the X-Trail a very strong all-rounder
On first impressions, the X-Trail makes a great case for itself as a family car. It has decent cabin space and Nissan has effectively consolidated its crossover line-up by offering the X-Trail as a substitute for the old seven-seat Qashqai+2.
However, if you do want that third row of seats, the X-Trail only offers them as an option, even on the most expensive model. It’s a £1,000 upgrade on N-Connecta cars and around £700 on Tekna versions, which seems a little stingy. We’d prefer it if the extra chairs were included as standard at the top of the range, and we'd recommend seriously thinking about whether you'll actually use the seats enough to justify the extra outlay.
Still, the standard five-seat X-Trail offers lots of appealing practical touches, with unusually wide-opening doors, plenty of storage space, including a compartment with a lid between the seats and a useful glovebox. Then, there’s that generous rear load area.
The X-Trail is one of the larger cars in the medium-sized SUV class. Its 4,640mm length compares to the 4,524mm of the Ford Kuga and 4,690mm of the Hyundai Sante Fe, but it’s slightly narrower than both at 1,820mm versus 1,838mm (Kuga) and 1,880 (Santa Fe). The X-Trail is tallest of the three at 1,710mm, but there’s not a lot to split them.
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However, thanks to its updated platform co-developed with Renault which features a 76mm wheelbase stretch versus the last version, the X-Trail offers decent space in the cabin.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The X-Trail has good cabin space, including decent legroom. The rows of seating are arranged in a tiered theatre-style system, where every row sits a little higher than the one in front, so the rearmost seats don't feel as claustrophbic as they could. This doesn’t come at the expense of headroom, though, as there’s plenty of space in the back seats.
The rear doors open outward to almost 80 degrees, aiding access for passengers and for fixing child seats. The optional third row comprises a pair of flat-folding seats, but they are only big enough for children – despite the fact that the middle row slides fore and aft to make more space for the extra passengers or for luggage. There are a trio of seatbelts in the second row, and the outer seats have ISOFIX child seat mounts.
With all seven seats in place the Nissan offers only 135 litres of space). In five-seat form it’s also down on some rivals, with only 445 litres. Fold both the middle and third rows and there is a 1,996-litre space available. And while the load space is good, it’s still slightly smaller than the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq can offer.
The X-Trail has some very neat practical touches, like a boot floor that moves up and down to create horizontally-separated loading areas – in fact, Nissan claims the versatile X-Trail has 18 different configurations for the load area.
The Nissan X-Trail has different towing capacities depending on which engine and transmission combo you choose, starting at 1,500kg and rising all the way to 2,000kg. Drivers looking for the maximum pulling potential will have to settle for a diesel, although the more powerful unit is only available with four-wheel drive. If you’re after a petrol X-Trail for towing, the maximum you can pull is 1,800kg with the 1.6 DiG-T, which isn't available with four-wheel drive.
In this review
- 1Nissan X-Trail reviewThe Nissan X-Trail is essentially a larger version of the Qashqai with the option of seven seats
- 2Engines, performance and driveLesser engines offer no more than adequate performance, but the 2.0-litre diesel is much punchier
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDownsizing pays dividends for diesel economy and emissions, and the 1.6 petrol isn’t bad either
- 4Interior, design and technologyStrong kit levels and an easy-to-use interior layout, but rivals have caught up in three years
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingImpressive 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