When Nissan’s X-Trail first arrived on the scene in 2001, it quickly won over farming friends with its old-school SUV styling, robust, boxy looks and a meaty 2.2-litre and then 2-litre, turbo diesel. And now there is a new version. Geoff Ashcroft takes it for a test drive.
Moving with the times, the Japanese maker has replaced it with another ultra-modern version complete with more refinement, more kit and a downsized engine.
It’s fair to say that this latest X-Trail shares much with its Qashqai sibling, albeit in a slightly bigger package. And in addition to replacing the original X-Trail, this new version also fills a gap left by the Qashqai+2. As a result, it offers seven-seat capability – the two extra rear seats being a £200 option for our test model.
Replacing the old model’s 2.0-litre is a much more refined and fuel-efficient 1.6-litre, 130hp diesel engine. It can be mated to a six-speed manual box, offering two- and four-wheel drive, or a six-speed auto box – the latter in two-wheel drive only.
You do need to work the engine. It lacks torque at low revs, but get the turbo buzzing and there’s enough under the skin to handle the X-Trail’s bulk.
Our six-speed manual was light and easy to use, though the gear stick had more than enough throw.
If you’re careful, you should net 50mpg. But if you’re busy with the pedals, or making use of its two-tonne towing capacity, then there’s a price to pay with fuel economy.
Inside the cabin, X-Trail mimmicks the Qashqai. Though there is more room and the sliding and folding middle row of seats adds an extra dimension for the trade-off between passengers and luggage.
If you can live without that third row of seats, you’ll get much more load space at the back too – typically, 105 litres more. A useful multi-position luggage board helps you to divide space accordingly.
This top-spec Tekna version wanted for nothing, and had more attention and alert systems than a London safe deposit box. Rear view camera, intelligent key, around view monitor, parking assist, powered tailgate, emergency braking, lane departure warning and traffic signal recognition and some of the gadgets you’ll find on the Tekna grade.
But with a price tag starting on the wrong side of thirty grand, you’d rather hope so.