Nissan X-Trail 2017 review
The comprehensive Nissan X-Trail review
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What's in this guide?
- Critic reviews
- Get a better deal on a Nissan X-Trail
- How does the Nissan X-Trail compare with its peers?
- Nissan X-Trail pricing and overview
- Engine and performance
- Drivetrain options
- Interior and other features
- Price and value for money
- Compare some options to finance a Nissan X-Trail
- Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes
|Cars Guide||69%||"It might not be an X-Trail blazer, but this nip-and-tuck has added some critical technology and safety extras to an already competent package."||Read more|
|Motoring||76%||"Undercutting its main rivals at the entry level, the X-TRAIL starts with value on its side, but things level as you progress through the model grades."||Read more|
|WhichCar||80%||"Nissan has made auto-braking standard on the popular X-Trail, while freshening its roomy cabin and retaining the option of seven seats."||Read more|
|CarAdvice||80%||"As an overall package, the X-Trail retains the attributes that make it a favourite amongst family buyers – it's comfortable, affordable, and spacious to boot..."||Read more|
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How does the Nissan X-Trail compare with its peers?
The complete Nissan X-Trail review
Nissan X-Trail pricing and overview
Is this car for you?
Nissan refers to its X-Trail as the "Swiss Army knife of our range – the one-size-fits-all, family-proof car".
When you look at the features and options, you can see why.
One of the most notable features for 2017 is the option for 7 seats at a very attractive price point. If that’s one of your must-haves, then the X-Trail almost certainly belongs on your shortlist.
Nissan X-Trail 2017 variants
Prices indicate the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).
Click on the price of the model you are interested in to compare monthly repayments across a range of car loan products.
|ST||$27,990 - $33,980|
|TS (diesel)||$35,380 - $35,680|
|ST-L||$36,590 - $39,490|
|Ti||$44,290 - $45,190|
|TL (diesel)||$46,280 - $47,290|
The range is divided neatly into two price groups. Within each, you can choose from a variety of engine and drivetrain options. For the most part, there’s little difference in actual driving performance between the ST/TS/ST-L and the Ti/TL.
The X-Trail was upgraded in 2017
Like other family-friendly SUVs, the X-Trail been largely geared towards city driving and light off-road duties. This popular range saw an upgrade in 2017, with a general freshening up of appearance, the addition of several useful technology features, and a diesel variant.
Prices for the 2017 version are the same across the board as previous models, or lower.
Engine and performance
|Model||2L petrol engine, 2WD, 6 speed manual transmission||2.5L petrol engine 2WD||2.5L petrol engine 4WD||2L turbo-diesel engine|
|Power||106 kW at 6,000 rpm||126 kW at 6,000 rpm||126 kW at 6,000 rpm||130 kW at 3,750 rpm|
|Torque||200 Nm at 4,400 rpm||226 Nm at 4,400 rpm||226 Nm at 4,400 rpm||380 Nm at 2,000 rpm|
- 2L petrol engine 2WD with 6-speed manual transmission: It’s hard to imagine this being a good choice. Available only with the ST, selecting these options knocks about $3,000 off the price but locks you into a weaker engine, 2WD drive and manual transmission.
- 2.5L petrol engine 2WD: The standard, well-regarded choice of petrol engine. This is the only engine type available with 7-seater variants.
- 2L turbo-diesel engine: The only diesel engine option
Nissan’s Xtronic CVT comes as standard with all versions, except the 2L petrol.
What’s a CVT – and do I really need to know what it is?
CVT stands for continuously variable transmission. You don’t really need to know what it is. You’ll be able to feel it in the test drive even without giving it a name.
Some reviewers found the X-Trail’s CVT to be oversensitive, resulting in a somewhat jerky and uneven drive. Others characterised it as responsive, offering the car a light and “peppy” feeling.
If you notice either of those on the test drive, that’s probably the CVT in action.
If an automatic transmission is the next step up from manual, then a CVT is the next step beyond that. It switches gears on the fly quicker than a non-CVT transmission.
It’s helpful because it offers improved fuel efficiency and a nimbler drive.
Some enthusiasts aren’t keen on it, just as some people simply prefer driving manual rather than automatic.
Expected fuel economy
Fuel consumption on the petrol engines is about on par with most other medium SUVs.
- 2L petrol – Rated at 8.2L/100km
- 2.5L petrol 2WD – Rated at 7.9 to 8.1L/100km, for the 5- and 7-seat versions.
- 2.5L petrol 4WD – Rated at 8.3L/100km
- 2L diesel – Rated at 6L and 6.1L/100km for the TS and the TL respectively
Fuel consumption and emissions are helped by a range of onboard systems, but there are two in particular you might notice, both of which are becoming relatively common across SUV models. You can turn either of them on or off at the press of a button:
- Eco mode. Found in all CVT models (everything except the ST 2L petrol), this mode lets you improve fuel efficiency, but at the cost of performance. The main difference is that it smooths out and slows your acceleration so you’ll get more efficiency, but less responsiveness from the accelerator.
- Idling stop. Found with the newer diesel variant only. With this mode on, your engine switches off after you’ve been stopped for about a second, and flicks back on in under half a second when you take off again. It only functions when the engine’s warmed up and you’ve been travelling at over 20km/h. It shouldn’t happen when you’re gradually moving through traffic or performing parking maneuvers.
Overall, reviewers found the X-Trail to be an especially lightweight and dynamic drive for its size, and some pointed out that the steering also seemed unusually light.
Combined with independent suspension that irons out all but the worst road bumps and an engine that delivers a constant stream of power (in the case of the 2.5L petrol at least), you’re looking at a very smooth ride and effortless drive, although the CVT might occasionally make itself felt.
As one reviewer noted, the car’s still willing to rev hard enough for “emphatic overtaking”, despite the light feeling. This is probably the case for all variants, except the manual 2L petrol 2WD.
The driving style might not be for everyone. Some reviewers found it a little too light, and thought it ended up on the wrong side of that fine line between peppy and finicky, with an oversensitive transmission.
When you take it for a test drive, it might also be worth paying attention to the cornering. Reviewers agree that it corners well, but the all-around zippy feeling of the drive might have you lurching around corners harder than you expect, until you get used to it.
On the higher-end Ti and TL models you’ll also find some features that can affect your driving experience. Most of these high-end-only features, such as auto-levelling headlights, will make for a better drive without you noticing them. Others might be more apparent.
How does the X-Trail do off-road?
The X-Trail is very suitable for light off-tarmac duties, such as snowy roads or dirt tracks, and will most likely handle about as reliably as you’d expect, with its customary lightness.
The design suggests it’s not meant for rougher stuff though. The low front bumper, and long overhang between the front of the car and the front wheels, limits its function off-road compared to other SUVs in its class.
It also comes with a space-saver spare tyre rather than full sized. Without your own full-sized spare, a puncture may see you limping. That’s not something you want off the tarmac.
On the plus side, you can lock in an even power distribution between the front and gear axles at 40km/h. This is can help keep traction if you’re driving on slippery surfaces.
Other features include Nissan’s “intelligent ride control,” which might manifest as a smoother experience on undulating surfaces, and “intelligent trace control”, an important and now relatively standard feature that allows selective braking of individual wheels for improved traction.
The X-Trail is rated for a 1,500kg (braked) towing capacity with the 2.5L petrol engine, and 1,650kg with the diesel. This is probably slightly lighter than most other medium SUVs.
The ST gives you the most freedom to choose a cheaper option, with 2WD and 2L manual 6-speed transmission, but all variants also let you go higher-end with 4x4 and the CVT. This can let you cut costs on unwanted features, while still getting the driveability you want.
|Model||Front wheel drive||4x4||Manual transmission||Automatic Xtronic continuously variable transmission|
Interior and other features
Safety and technology features
For the most part, by 2017 standards, you’re getting a pretty basic technology package with the ST and TS, while the Ti and TL offer a lot more. The ST-L tends to sit in the middle.
- Nissan Around-View Monitor. Four cameras give a 360 degree view of the car’s surroundings and create a composite digital image. This lets you fully check all around the car at a glance.
- Intelligent emergency braking. All models have this. The onboard computer can detect imminent collisions, sound an audible warning and hit the brakes faster than you could react. It’s mostly for multi-vehicle collisions, but the Ti and TL can also detect pedestrians. Ideally you won’t get to experience this technology.
- Rear cross-traffic alerts. While reversing, this warns of vehicles approaching from within 20m on either side of the car.
- Blind spot warning. Audio warning of vehicles in your blind spot, diagonally behind the car.
- Intelligent cruise control. Cruise control that automatically adjusts speeds to help keep pace with traffic conditions.
- Lane departure warning. Audio warning if you’re drifting from your lane.
- Intelligent lane intervention. Automatic adjustments if you’re drifting from your lane.
|Intelligent emergency braking||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Rear cross-traffic alerts||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Blind spot warning||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Intelligent cruise control||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗|
|Lane departure warning||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Intelligent lane intervention||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗|
The interior design might be where the X-Trail comes to life as a Swiss Army knife for the whole family.
If you’re after a high-quality yet good value 7-seat people-mover, or want to carry a lot of cargo plus the driver and up to 4 passengers, then the X-Trail might be exactly what you’re looking for.
The standard is a 5-seat layout, while the ST and ST-L both offer a 7-seat configuration as well. The 7-seater variant is only available with the 2.5L petrol engine. Fortunately that’s probably the one you want, unless you have your heart set on diesel.
Being able to pack in 7 seats is probably one of the highlights of the range, and one of the reasons the X-Trail has sold as well as it has. This adds a third row of seating in the back, but at the cost of storage space.
The least expensive 7-seat option would be the 2WD ST, listed at $31,990. For many people, this makes it a very attractive combination of price, practicality and quality.
Your interior and storage space will naturally vary depending on the seating layout.
The 5-seater model offers up a spacious 565L of storage with the seats up, and a mid-standard 945L with the second row folded flat. With all three rows of seats up, the 7-seater leaves you with only 135L of storage, up to 825L with all three rows folded down.
Climb into the second row back seats and you might be struck by how nice and spacious it is, even if seated three across. The same can’t be said for the third row in the 7-seater model. This is definitely best reserved for kids. Having said that, there are no head-level rear airbags in the third row.
In a nice touch, the second row can also be shifted forwards or backwards for legroom, and it’s also a bit higher than the front seats for a good view. Taller passengers might be a bit low on headroom there though, especially if you’ve chosen to add a space-stealing sunroof to your Ti or TL.
Overall, as long as you have enough headroom, those second row back seats provide an all-around great ride for passengers, marred only very slightly by the lack of USB or power connections.
The X-Trail is well ventilated with rear seat air vents, although there’s no separate back seat climate control.
As you climb the price range, you start getting what you pay for in the interior. The touch-screen gets bigger, cheaper plastic starts giving way to leather and you get more variations in seat adjustment.
In all models, you might notice a handful of neat touches, like an easily-navigable touch-screen design, an oversized sun visor and broad, comfortable seats for long trips.
Other features might bother you, such as the easy-to-overlook parking brake that is operated with a left foot pedal, or not being able to access your phone through the car touch-screen.
Price and value for money
There’s no price penalty for new 2017 X-Trail models, and some are cheaper than previous versions.
Overall, the X-Trail sits in a similar price range to other SUVs in its class, with certain variations having a bit of an advantage.
In particular, you might find good value for money compared to other diesel SUVs, other 7-seat SUVs, or vehicles that offer a similar range of electronics and features.
|ST||$27,990 - $33,980|
|TS (diesel)||$35,380 - $35,680|
|ST-L||$36,590 - $39,490|
|Ti||$44,290 - $45,190|
|TL (diesel)||$46,280 - $47,290|
Compare some options to finance a Nissan X-Trail
Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes
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