Nissan’s makeover of the X-Trail embellishes rather than revolutionises this well-proven mid-size SUV.
A new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine has been added to the range (replacing the 1.6-litre unit), while a minor facelift and interior
styling changes smarten up X-Trail’s appearance. The most significant improvements, however, can be found in its safety, particularly with the higher-spec models.
For advanced safety features, X-Trail is now among best in class. Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking are standard across the range. Mid-spec models also get rear cross-traffic alert, while the top-of-the-range models, which already had an impressive suite of safety features, add pedestrian detection, lane-departure intervention and active cruise control.
Even with this extra equipment, all 2017 petrol versions are priced the same or less than the equivalent previous models. X-Trail starts at a competitive $27,990 plus on-road costs for the five-seat front-wheel-drive ST 2.0-litre manual model. The biggest price reduction is $1490 for the four-wheel-drive, 2.5-litre automatic ST which is now $32,490. We tested the four-wheel-drive, 2.5-litre automatic Ti, which at $44,290 has dropped $900.
One of X-Trail’s best traits is its practical, versatile, well-laid-out cabin. Its standard accommodation is a two-row/five-seat configuration, but unlike most of its competitors Nissan also caters for larger families with the option of a two-seat third row for the two-wheel-drive automatic versions.
X-Trail’s wide-opening doors and convenient seat height make getting in and out easy. There’s a surprising amount of room, and some clever packaging creates a variety of flexible cargo options. The EZ Flex Rear Seating system has slide and recline functions with a 40/20/40 split-fold layout, while Nissan’s revised Divide-N-Hide cargo system provides height-adjustable boot space and a hidden storage compartment. And the Ti model’s new Motion-Activated Tailgate also adds to the convenience.
Well-shaped front seats offer good comfort and support, while the dash layout, with its logically positioned switches and large, clear dials featuring new audio/navigation graphics, is straightforward to use. The awkward foot-operated park-brake, however, is a reminder of X-Trail’s age. Optional tan leather-accented upholstery in our test car was eye-catching but will be a matter of personal taste.
The boxy body provides plenty of usable cabin space. There is a generous amount of front and rear legroom for a vehicle of its size, and even with the Ti model’s sunroof robbing a little space, headroom is good. Tether points for the outer two child seat positions are conveniently located on the rear of the second-row seat but unfortunately the centre mounting is still in the roof.