To say that the Nissan X-Trail and had a vigorous overhaul is an understatement, no more is upright styling and off-road bias of the old model and now replaced by a curvatious body and crossover-style performance and handling inspired by the slightly smaller Qashqai. As a result, there is a look of sophistication and has a far higher-quality cabin that can be crammed ‘like sardines in a can’ with technology, while the large body means it delivers decent space, too.
At a passing glance the Nissan X-Trail you might initially mistake it for its little brother, the Qashqai. However on further inspection, the X-Trail is a full 100mm longer, as well as being wider and taller, and while the corporate nose is largely the same as the Qashqai’s the rounded rear is significantly different.
The ‘Qashqai XL’ styling creates a clear link between the two, and is clearly aimed at pulling in buyers easily won over by a sharper new suit. Nissan’s given the car its own LED running light ‘signature’ at the front, while the bold wheelarches will hint at Nissan’s rugged 4x4 heritage.
Most owners of the old X-Trail won’t recognise the new one from the inside, but Qashqai owners will most definitely feel right at home. The layout is identical to the Qashqai’s, exhibiting quality soft-touch materials and excellent fit and finish. On the X-Trail Teknas model (the model that was test driven), the dashboard is dominated by a seven-inch touchscreen interface, called ‘NissanConnect’.
As well as controlling all the usual navigation and entertainment commands, it allows you to access your social media accounts on the move, and makes parking a doddle with the ‘Around View Monitor’ camera system. This uses cameras in the nose, tailgate and both door mirrors to create a birds-eye view of the X-Trail.
There are four trim levels available for the X-Trail and even the lowest offers a good amount of standard equipment.
The entry level is the five-seat, two-wheel drive Visia model which gets 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, hill-start assist and cruise control with a speed limiter.
Right at the top end of the range there is the Tekna trim, and that really does have all the bells and whistles. As well as the usual smorgasbord the highlights have include an automatic parking system and a host of safety systems such as blind spot warning, a fatigue detection system and Moving Object Detection.
Driving the X-Trail is no entertainer, but it’s so easy to drive for such a bulky mass, all thanks to light steering and unobtrusive six-speed manual gearbox.
On the road, the X-Trail gathers adequate pace, however given that this car hints at tough-terrain ability and can be offered as a seven-seater, I would certainly sacrifice a little of that fuel-sipping attitude for some more load-lugging grunt.
Anyone who does their research will note that the 1.6 dCi engine develops 320Nm of torque – exactly the same as the old X-Trail’s 2.0-litre diesel. Now as a result, it’s just as punchy, but thanks to the smaller capacity, stop-start and a 90kg weight saving, the new X-Trial is 20% more efficient, that should most definitely be a tick on anybody’s list who is looking at the Nissan X-Trail.
Now being a family man of a wife and 2 children the X-Trail makes a great case for itself as a family car. Thanks to an all-new platform co-developed with Renault, and a 76mm wheelbase stretch versus the outgoing version, the X-Trail has the most legroom in its class, and the rear doors open outward by more than 80 degrees.
The rows of seating are arranged in a tiered theatre-style system, where every row sits a little higher than the one in front, for better visibility. This doesn’t come at the expensive of headroom, though, as there’s plenty of space in the back seats.
Whether it’s for family, business or just for trekking up the hills the X-Trail is serious competition for its competitors’, and should be on the top of the list for anybody in the market.
For more information on the X-Trail or Nissan range contact Wellington Motors Nissan on 01823 667511 or visit www.wellington-nissan.co.uk
Test Drive Review by Andrew Thorne
Motor Field Sales Representative