Whatever the demand, the X-Trail is up to it. This chunky sports utility vehicle is as happy off road as it is on and has been designed so the driver can enjoy the very best levels of comfort and technology on any terrain. It boasts outstanding safety features and plenty of creature comforts too. Available with five or seven seats.

The good

Firm favourite with great off-roading ability

The bad

Lots of opposition out there these days

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
0-62 from
9.4 seconds
max speed up to
co2 from

Test Drive

Nissan X-Trail Tekna 1.3 DIG-T 160 2WD Auto (2020)

Nissan’s beefy five-door X-Trail SUV has been around for almost two decades now and has appealed to the masses with its five or seven-seat versatility and off-road ability.

The car was given a mild make-over a couple of years back, but more recently Nissan upgraded the vehicle’s range of engines.

Buyers can now opt for a 1.7-litre dCi 150PS diesel unit that is matched to a six-speed manual or CVT automatic gearbox, and is available in 2WD or 4WD. And for petrol fans there is a new 1.3-litre DIG-T 160PS engine in 2WD with a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).

We opted for the petrol-driven X-Trail in top-of-the-range Tekna trim with five seats costing £31,190. This car, with its 270Nm of torque, could reach from 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds and maxed out at 123mph. According to official figures, it can deliver combined fuel economy of 33.6-34.9mpg (WLTP) with carbon emissions of 149g/km.

The seven-speed DCT is also new to the latest X-Trail and it delivered very smooth gear changes as the vehicle cruised effortlessly along motorways and B roads. The acceleration was constant and there was always plenty of power on tap for rapid-fire bursts of pace to overtake slower moving vehicles.

The road holding was confident and assured provided tight bends were given a degree of respect and there was minimal body movement despite the vehicle sitting on large 19-inch alloy wheels.

The X-Trail boasts lots of clever systems such as Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Intelligent Engine Brake – these set-ups work together to make day-to-day driving more enjoyable by smoothing out the bumps and dips and helping deliver improved handling through bends.

With its athletic styling, the X-Trail certainly looks the business when viewed from any angle thanks to its bold, upright stance and eye-catching features, including a V-Motion grille that sweeps into the headlight clusters, rear privacy glass, a black honeycomb front grille, chrome window surrounds, satin roof rails and 19-inch machine cut alloy wheels.

Move inside and the interior is clutter-free and very upmarket in its design and layout with plenty of techno treats to explore. The high-end Tekna model features the Nissan Connect touchscreen navigation and entertainment system, an upgraded eight-speaker Bose sound system, DAB radio, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. However on the downside, there is no smartphone link-up via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

In busy town centres, the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated seating position and all dials, readouts and controls are ideally positioned for ease of use. It’s also nice to see a separate panel to control all the heating systems so you don’t have to navigate a fiddly touchscreen menu simply to lower the temperature within the car.

Comfort levels are high too with powered leather front seats, heated front and rear seats, plus a heated steering wheel to help fend off the winter chill. And refinement levels within the car impress thanks to the introduction of some new aerodynamic panels around the pillars which, along with a low aerodynamic underbody, make for a quieter ride as well as helping to improve fuel efficiency.

Being a family SUV, the X-Trail needs to have all the practicality bases covered and it does with a boot capacity that ranges from 565 litres to 1,196 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. And there are plenty of handy storage compartments throughout the car too, including a glovebox, front and rear cup holders, a deep central cubby box, sunglasses holder, door bins and a couple of trays.

There is ample room in the back for three adults to sit comfortably although the addition of the panoramic sunroof does eat slightly into head space.

All in all, the latest Nissan X-Trail is an excellent all-round package in a highly competitive sector. It offers a wealth of on-board technology, impressive driving dynamics, high levels of comfort and good economy. And when you factor in the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, it’s clear to see why the car has proven so popular throughout the years.

Test Drive

Nissan X-Trail 1.6-litre 163PS Tekna 2WD

In order to keep up with customer demand, SUVs come in all shapes and sizes these days with prices to suit every budget, but few are as dynamically styled or upmarket as the Nissan X-Trail.

It’s a real attention grabber especially in range-topping Tekna trim with eye-catching features including a muscular, upright stance, sweeping light clusters with LED signature lights, satin silver roof rails, a shark fin antenna, lots of chrome trim, a distinctive black honeycomb grille, front fog lights, a powered panoramic sunroof and 19-inch alloys to complete the look.

Step inside and the spacious interior is beautifully designed and presented. It is clutter-free and modern in its appearance with a wealth of techno treats to be discovered. Creature comforts include the likes of leather upholstery with heated front seats that are power adjustable, heated rear seats (second row), a flat-bottomed steering wheel that can also be heated, a seven-inch touchscreen with navigation system, a six-speaker sound system, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, dual zone air conditioning and lots more besides.

The car is available with two or four-wheel-drive and boasts room for seven people although the space is rather limited in the two rear seats and only suitable for children on relatively short journeys.

Our test model was powered by a 163PS 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It was priced at £32,095, although the additional two rear seats added £660 to the cost. The vehicle could reach 62mph from a standing start in 9.7 seconds, maxed out at 124mph and, according to official figures, can deliver combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg with carbon emissions of 149g/km.

With its upright and elevated seating position, the driver is treated to excellent all-round visibility and the large windows mean passengers in the second row have a great view of their surroundings too. The pair of third row seats are easy to access once the middle seat has been moved forward and tilted, but leg room is minimal.

The robustly styled X-trail has a solid feel to it and copes well when put through its paces out on the open road. There is ample power from the petrol engine and that helps make light work of overtaking slower moving vehicles and the smooth acceleration through the gearbox impresses too.

As expected, due to the shape of the car, there is a little wind noise at higher speeds, but generally the cabin is well protected and insulated against engine and road surface sounds.

In congested city centres, the superb all-round view is a real bonus factor with traffic, pedestrians and cyclists darting out from all angles and then out on the faster country lanes, the X-Trail can be cut loose with a degree of confidence. The road-holding is super-assured with only a minimal amount of body sway when pushed particularly hard into tight bends and the highly effective suspension system irons out all but the most severe dips and bumps in the road surface.

Another point of note is how comfortable the X-Trail is. We clocked up just shy of 180 miles in a single trip and still got out the car feeling refreshed. There is ample leg room in the second row for six footers and three passengers can sit comfortably without feeling squeezed in.

The storage options are good too with a boot capacity of 565 litres that is increased to 1,996 litres with the second and third row seats folded flat. And there are plenty of convenient storage spaces scattered throughout the vehicle, including a deep central bin, practically-sized door pockets with a groove to hold a bottle, cup holders, a glovebox and a drop-down sunglasses compartment.

Our car was in 2WD guise, but for drivers looking for extra grip or who want to take their X-Trail off-road there is a very capable 4WD model.

Safety systems are comprehensive and the X-Trail was awarded a maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating. Features include lane departure warning, moving object detection, traffic signal recognition, blind spot warning, intelligent forward emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, tyre pressure monitoring system, six airbags and plenty more. It is fitted with a Thatcham alarm system to keep intruders at bay.

In a world where every other car seems to be an SUV, manufacturers need to make certain their cars have a wow factor. And the X-Trail has its very own X factor – it looks great, drives beautifully, it’s versatile, practical and won’t break the bank with its price-tag or running costs.

Test Drive

Nissan X-Trail (2014)

There’s no denying the success story that is the Nissan X-Trail with 1.7 million sales worldwide, but now the Japanese company is pushing the boundaries even further with its new third generation model.

The X-Trail was launched in 2001 and was an instant hit thanks to its bold, beefy, go-anywhere design and off-road capabilities.

But now the vehicle is likely to gain even more followers thanks to its ultra-dynamic styling, first class technology and flexible practicality.

The X-Trail has always been firmly planted in the action-packed SUV segment, but the latest model is easing towards the crossover section with a softer appearance that is bursting with energy and sporty prowess.

Eye-catching design features include a powered tailgate, new headlamps available with LED lights, a new LED signature strip which makes the car instantly recognisable at night and a panoramic roof. There are still trademark large wheel arches, plus deeply sculpted flanks and a sloping roofline.

In addition, the new X-Trail is 30mm wider, 5mm lower and 90kg lighter than the outgoing version. The wheelbase has been increased by 76mm and that means additional space inside the car.

There are seven seat options (which is a bonus as Nissan has ditched its Qashqai+2 model) and there is theatre seating throughout which means each row is slightly higher than the one in front. This tackles any claustrophobic concerns for rear seat occupants although leg room in the third row is only suitable for children.

The interior oozes class and the V-shaped central console houses the NissanConnect system with a seven-inch high resolution screen and a whole array of smartphone connectivity features.

The vehicle is priced from £22,995 and available in four richly equipped trims – Visia, Acenta, n-tec and Tekna. All models feature Bluetooth connectivity, a great sound system, sliding and reclining rear seats, air conditioning, alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and plenty more besides.

Top end models can also be fitted with Nissan’s Safety Shield technology which introduces the likes of forward emergency braking, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, moving object detect and high beam assist.

At launch the vehicle is only available with the Renault-Nissan Alliance 128bhp, 1.6 dci diesel engine that generates 320Nm of torque.

This 1.6 frugal powertrain produces the same torque as the outgoing 2.0-litre version but is much cleaner and more efficient.

In fact, compared to the outgoing model, the X-Trail is 30 per cent more efficient on fuel, has 39g/km less carbon emissions, has dropped 10 insurance groups and the residual value is up by nine per cent.

It is worth noting that a 1.6 DIG-T petrol derivative will be introduced in 2015.

And with customer choice in mind, buyers can also select from manual or automatic gearboxes along with two or four-wheel-drive.

Storage and practicality is a vital factor for the X-Trail and it doesn’t disappoint boasting a double load boot floor along with nine configurations, plus a number of generously-sized storage options throughout the vehicle.

Nissan is predicting that 45 per cent of sales will be 2WD manual and 43 per cent 4WD manual, with just 12 per cent opting for automatic gearboxes.

They also believe 70 per cent will choose 5-seat models and 41 per cent will be driving the range-topping Tekna editions.

So with those figures in mind we put both manual models through their paces on an extensive road (and short off-road) route in Portugal.

First up was 1.6 dci model in Tekna trim priced from £29,995. It had 2WD and a six-speed manual transmission. According to Nissan stats, it can sprint to 62mph in 10.5 seconds, redlines at 117mph, has combined fuel economy of 57.6mpg and carbon emissions of 129g/km.

It has to be said that it’s nigh on impossible not to be impressed with the spacious interior complete with top quality materials and an abundance of technology at your fingertips.

Comfort levels all round are excellent with plenty of leg, head and elbow space to stretch out in the second row. And all dials, readouts and controls are perfectly positioned for driver usability which is another bonus rather than searching for fiddly buttons.

Despite the engine downsize, there is definitely no shortage of power.

The test car was deceptively sprightly for its size and the acceleration was both smooth and rapid which meant even winding, steep mountain roads were conquered with ease and the road-holding was flawless with next-to-no body roll.

Bouncy and bumpy road surfaces were overcome with ease and the all-round visibility is excellent thanks to the high-seated driving position.

Next up was the four-wheel-drive model with six-speed manual gearbox – once again in Tekna trim – priced from £31,695. This car sprints from 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds, tops out at 117mph, has fuel economy of 53.3mpg and carbon emissions of 139g/km.

Once more, the X-Trail lived up to all the hype and big build up. We even took it on a gentle off-road course which didn’t really test the car, but was a hint of what could be achieved if pushed.

It is incredibly hard to split the vehicles with regards to handling and performance and the sales will be determined by customer preference regarding two or four-wheel-drive.

All in all, Nissan has taken what was already a huge success story and improved upon it keeping the strength, power and versatility but adding softer design traits, state-of-the-art technology and extra refinement along the way.

And with that in mind, it’s easy to see why they are confident of selling 500,000 units per year.

Test Drive

Nissan X-Trail 2.0dCI n-tec+

Long gone are the days when 4×4 vehicles were just for the filthy rich or farmers needing the resources of a beefy off-road vehicle.

Sporty SUVs have become all the rage with families demanding more versatility from their cars as they pursue an active lifestyle. Add in the fact that our winters are getting more severe resulting in harsher weather and more challenging driving conditions and the need for 4×4 capabilities suddenly becomes all the more apparent.

The gritters may be out in force during the cold snaps, but there always seems to be an excuse why our roads are impassable, be it running out of salt or being caught out by a Mother Nature mood swing.

Over recent years 4x4s have grown in their numbers and there seems to be a vehicle for all occasions from the fashion-led to the soft-roaders and the full blown workhorse monsters.

But one vehicle has certainly remained true to its roots and is recognisable with a single glance. That model is the Nissan X-Trail.

It may not be the most attractive model on our roads today with a somewhat box-like shape, but that aside the X-Trail is a magnificent all-rounder that offers superb comfort, plenty of built-in techno treats, good economy and that all-important on-demand 4×4 ability.

It boasts a very upright stance with tinted windows, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, deep rear light clusters, 18-inch alloys, body-coloured door mirrors, chrome door handles, a chrome front grille and side bars with steps.

There is plenty of built-in technology too such as the Nissan Connect 5-inch colour touchscreen navigation system, a 360 degree around view monitor, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a six speaker sound system with CD radio plus plenty more besides.

Changing between two-wheel-drive, automatic 4×4 or locked four-wheel-drive is via a rotary knob and for the majority of the time the vehicle can remain in the more economical two-wheel-drive mode.

Thanks to the upright design of the X-Trail, the driver has a high seated driving position and benefits from excellent all-round visibility.

Elsewhere, all other occupants are treated to plenty of leg, head and elbow space. Storage options are excellent and the generously-sized boot can be increased further thanks to 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats.

There is extra room within the drawers under the boot floor and throughout the cabin too with a sunglasses holder, a deep central bin, glove-box with heater/cooler function, door pockets and a handy compartment on top of the dashboard.

Despite its larger-than-life size, the X-Trail proved deceptively nimble and easy to handle in busy city centre traffic and out on the open road.

It has plenty of zip and the 2.0-litre diesel engine can power the vehicle from 0-62mph in just 10 seconds and on to a top speed of 124mph.

Acceleration through the six-speed manual gearbox is nice and smooth and any bumps or dips are easily absorbed by the car’s excellent suspension system.

Road-holding is superb although I did feel the vehicle leaned a little into tight bends if taken at speed. But that aside, the X-Trail handled beautifully and coped admirably with any challenge put in its path.

And those additional cameras and sensors make parking all the simpler too.

Nissan has packed a comprehensive range of safety features into the vehicle, including anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability programme, numerous airbags and lots more.

All in all, the X-Trail may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but with a price-tag of £27,790 and its amazing off-road credentials it will certainly be capable of taking on any challenge and completing it without any fuss along the way.

Test Drive

Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi 150 Sport Expedition 5dr auto

There is a certain element of greed in human nature nowadays – the more we are given, the more we want. Thankfully, Nissan has come to our rescue.

Not only do we expect a monster of an off-roader that can take on any challenge or tricky terrain, but we want all our creature comforts too.

And in fairness to Nissan, the latest X-Trail certainly delivers on all counts.
The off-roading capabilities are excellent and with its pioneering all mode 4×4, the X-Trail will analyse the terrain as you drive and deliver exactly the right amount of torque to each wheel.

This offers the best possible handling on any given surface.

There is also uphill start support, downhill drive support and many other class-leading features to ensure road safety and performance.

The cabin of the X-Trail is comfortable, spacious and very airy thanks to its massive panoramic sunroof.

And the high-seated driving position makes all-round visibility excellent which is a real plus while manoeuvring around a congested city centre.

As one might expect, the list of quality features is most impressive and includes a leather steering wheel, auto headlamps, heated door mirrors, rain-sensing wipers and even privacy glass to keep onlookers guessing!

In addition, it is fitted with excellent safety specifications and an intelligent key system, which means you don’t even have to get the keys out of your pocket.

All in all, the X-Trail is a complete package and for less than £25,000 offers a stylish, economical and practical solution to anyone wanting something a whole lot more than a soft-roader.

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