It’s a challenge to find the difference if you equate the new Nissan XTrail to its lighter Qashqai sibling. The two vehicles have a great deal in common, because rather than being a completely stand-alone model as it once was, the X-Trail is essentially an expanded Qashqai with seven seats.
Not that this is a bad thing, because the X-Trail has a lot to give drivers to explore options at the wide end of the SUV class.
It is by no means the largest in the seven-seater SUV class, which some can see as an advantage, and although this applies similarly to the rear seats, they are good for the limited use that most families would expect of them. Overall, the X-Trail is a spacious car with plenty of parking.
Engines, performance and drive
The Nissan x-Trail is not a performer, but it’s nice to manoeuvre for such a bulky vehicle. This is thanks to quick steering, a simple six-speed manual gearbox and a raft of safety equipment.
The flexible SUV contains Nissan’s ‘Intelligent Trace Control’ which continuously tracks your pace and steering feedback, changing your line via the corner if the car thinks you’re going to be running wide, rather than tweaking the wheel when the car has lost grip.
Nissan no more sells either 2.0-liter or 1.6-liter diesel, and the 1.6 DiG-T petrol unit is almost off the price chart. In search of better efficiency and lower carbon emission, the selection now contains a standard 1.7-litre diesel with 148bhp and 340Nm of torque, including a 1.3-litre petrol with 158bhp and 270Nm. Each of these engines are tested and tried elsewhere in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar.
Interior, design and technology
Take a quick look at the Nissan XTrail, and then you might momentarily mistake it for the younger brother, the Qashqai. However, although the company nose is largely the same as the Qashqai’s, the X-Trail rounded rear is substantially different.
The 2017 updates are identifiable by a new, wider front grid, improvements to the front and rear bumpers, chrome exterior mouldings, and a daytime LED light signature that throws a distinct pattern from the Qashqai-easier it is to see the distinction between the two when the lights are on. There are also a few new colour shades and alloy wheel styles. It’s not a drastic redesign, and if you’ve been admirer of the pre-facelift design, chances are you won’t even notice the changes.
Reliability and safety
The X-Trail is a brand of its own, but the design, engines and technologies have been used by the Renault-Nissan Alliance for some time. As a consequence, reliability seems to be a positive thing.
However, on the plus side, the X-Trail has plenty of protective technology in its arsenal, such as the liberal use of high-strength steel in the chassis, plus the Nissan ‘Safety Shield,’ which involves warning lane deviations and blind spot detection.
All of this meant a solid Euro NCAP five-star ranking in 2014, with the X-Trail earning 86% for adult occupant safety, 83% for child passenger security and 75% for both pedestrian safety and safety assistance equipment.