Nissan X-Trail – Review

When it comes to family cars, like SUVs, Irish buyers are spoiled for choice. There are a lot of good SUVs on the market that competition in the segment is strong. So does the Nissan X-Trail have what it takes to compete in this crowded segment?

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A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Nissan X-Trail SVE
Engine: 1.6 Diesel – 130hp and 320Nm
Transmission: 6-Speed manual, front-wheel drive.
Price: Prices for the X-Trail range start at €29,995. Price as tested – €40,250.

Styling

With the exception of some, like the Renault Scenic, family MPVs and SUVs aren’t the most exciting of car designs. Unfortunately, the Nissan X-Trail hasn’t followed suit of partners, Renault. The X-Trail is a bulky design. Lots of tacky chrome bits are scattered around the car like on the grill, fog light surrounds and door handles.

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Up front, it uses Nissan’s new distinctive face. It comes standard with LED daytime running lights and LED headlights on the SVE model. Nissan’s attempt to give the X-Trail some funky charm are the 19 inch alloys and the panoramic sun roof. The sunroof is a nice addition. Half of it opens for the front two passengers but overall, adds some light into the cabin.

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Interior

Inside, the SVE model adds Black leather seating. The SVE trim is quite spec heavy, which is a good thing. The leather seating is accompanied by electrically adjustable seats up front.

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Its a spacious place to be with lots of storage. Although, cheap and scratchy plastics are very much present.

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Around the city, there is excessive engine noise from the 1.6 diesel and opening it up on the motorway fills the cabin with an abundance of road noise.

On The Road

When I drove the Skoda Yeti, I was quite disappointed by it. It didn’t handle well at all despite Skoda’s efforts of making it feel more like a car than a crossover. Unfortunately, the same goes for the X-Trail.

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The SUV measures at 1.7m high and this is evident in the corners. Its quite unstable on the road with lots of wheel spin from the front wheels, which doesn’t help. Gear changes are notchy too so it doesn’t make for a pleasant drive. The X-Trail is available as a 4×4 also so maybe handling is improved in that version.

Practicality/Boot Space

My test car had the only optional extra for the SVE model which was the addition of two seats in the boot, Thus, making the X-Trail a spacious 7-seater.

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This option therefore adds to the practicality of the X-Trail. Although the boot measures at 550l with the extra seats down, it is decreased to 135l with them upright. Need help loading the boot? An electronically operated boot door is to your aid.

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There is plenty of storage in the glove box and door cards and the cup holders up front even benefit from a cooling system.

Equipment

The infotainment system in the X-Trail is simple but it works. It doesn’t have any complicated menus and isn’t even a touch screen. The Sat Nav works well and my phone paired up without hassle. Standard on the SVE trim is a reversing camera with 360-view technology.

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The 7-seater is an extra €2,900 over the same spec 5-seater model.

Running Costs

I averaged 6.6l/100km throughout my week with the X-Trail. The tax bill equates to €280 per year.

Pricing

Prices for the 2017 X-Trail range start from €29,995. My test car was priced at €40,250.

Competition

Renault Scenic – Yes, Yes, I know. The Renault Scenic is an MPV, not an SUV. But Renault and Nissan share the same engines and some other components so it is a fair comparison. The 2017 Renault Scenic is a very handsome package, the French have given it the perfect amount of flair. A 7-seat option is available too in the form of the Grand Scenic.

Ford Kuga – The 2017 Ford Kuga received a facelift and is looking even better than ever. The old Kuga got a lot of hate for its disproportions but I have always been a fan. Although the Kuga only offers a 5-seater option and has a 456l boot. It is also pricier with a starting price of €33,345(€36,145 for the ST-Line, the higher spec trim). Point for you Mr. X-Trail.

Mazda CX-5 – Another car that is very handsome in my eyes, the CX-5. With prices starting from €27,995(€35,795 for the highest spec, Platinum), it is cheaper than the X-Trail. Although, the Mazda also lacks the option of 7-seats and has a boot space of 503l. Congrats Mr. X-Trail.

Conclusion

Although I have concerns over the X-Trail’s build quality, there is no denying the practicality of the Japanese SUV. At just over €40,000 for the 7-Seater in SVE trim, it is good value for what you get too. Maybe I just need to get over the fact that family-orientated SUVs/crossovers aren’t good to drive.

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