Published on May 1, 2014
The most important SUV in the Nissan range is the Qashqai, but its bigger brother the X-Trail has arrived in an all-new form to serve those looking for something more sizeable. The new X-Trail owes a lot to the Qashqai as it uses the same platform and mechanicals. The key difference is size, with a longer wheelbase and greater length creating more space and room for seven seats.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
It’s a game of spot the difference for the X-Trail and the smaller Qashqai. The old X-Trail was an undeniably boxy affair but the new one is slick, modern and attractive. It still looks tough and has the raised ride height, but it’s a much classier car that can cut it with posh boys rather than looking like a farm hack.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
You don’t fully appreciate just how large the X-Trail is until you step inside. Up front, there’s generous head and legroom and in the second row the space is impressive — legroom is particularly good and the seats can slide forwards or backwards to suit your needs. The third row folds into place easily and, it’s ideal for children.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
Another important feature on the X-Trail is a new 1.6-litre diesel engine that is likely to be the most popular engine choice. Despite its relatively small capacity, it offers the same torque as the outgoing 2.0-litre diesel unit but with far superior emissions and economy figures. It doesn’t feel underpowered either; it’s not fast but it’s quick enough with 0-62mph taking 10.5 seconds. The X-Trail’s transformation is completed by the ride quality and all-round refinement. It is composed over poor surfaces and is easy to drive with accurate steering and slick controls. It’s not really a car to be hurled through bends but it is safe and faithful should you choose to do so.
VALUE FOR MONEY
All versions of the X-Trail are packed with equipment. The entry-level Visia model comes with air conditioning, six airbags, LED daytime running lights and Bluetooth connectivity as standard, as well as those all-important seven seats. Move up the range and you’ll find large, machined alloy wheels, a powered tailgate and luxurious leather trim, but the mid-range models have everything you need and more.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE
The X-Trail has the kind of flexibility and appeal to suit a broad range of customers. Families will love its ability to swallow children and luggage with ease and the fact they can bring their mates along too will be well received. On the other hand if you’re one of those ‘active lifestyle’ people you can jam it full of bicycles and surfboards, and in four-wheel drive guise it would make a good towing car too. This car summed up in a single word: Relaxed.