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The Top Gear car review:Nissan X-Trail
For:Practical and good value for money, decent to drive
Against:Not all that glamorous, we guess...
What is it?
Previously a boxy, quite serious off-roader, the Nissan X-Trail is now essentially a beefed-up Qashqai, and not just because it bears a strong family resemblance to Nissan’s runaway breadwinner.
No, both cars share the same platform. So the similarities are more than skin deep, though the X-Trail’s skin is stretched a bit further. It’s noticeably higher and longer, with an optional row of third seats. This means it replaces the Qashqai+2 as Nissan’s seven-seat SUV. Add to that the option of four-wheel-drive and what you get is a full-size, family-orientated SUV that’s happy to get its shoes muddy if the need arises.
The results of the X-Trail’s transformation are huge, taking it from around 1,500 to 20,000 annual sales. That’s despite Nissan not offering a high-powered diesel version. Until now, anyway.
Joining the 128bhp 1.6-litre dCi diesel (and the less relevant 161bhp 1.6-litre DIG-T petrol) is a new 175bhp 2.0-litre dCi, which automatically becomes pick of the range. It’s available with two- or four-wheel drive and manual or CVT automatic transmissions. Which means, for the first time, you can have a 4WD auto X-Trail. Rejoice, caravan- and horse-towers.
Nissan prides itself on tech, and the X-Trail is available with the company’s full suite of safety stuff: traffic sign recognition, driver drowsiness alerts, blind spot and lane departure warnings and emergency braking assist all feature.
And while the X-Trail is a car bestowed with pretty good visibility for a modern SUV, you can also have a multitude of cameras and parking assist systems, too. If you want an SUV for its height and space but feel intimidated by its potentially large size, here’s one which takes much of the worry out of steering something big around.
Oh, and if you have dogs, the X-Trail is very good for housing those in comfort too. But you’re not a dog, you’re a human. So what’s the X-Trail like to drive, sit in and run? Keep clicking to read on…