The Nissan X-Trail is a big practical family SUV that’s available with seven seats. Its interior is pretty boring, however, and it’s not fun to drive
The Nissan X-Trail is a large family car that can come with either five or seven seats. It was introduced in 2013 and updated in 2017 with different bumpers and new LED headlights. Its slightly remodelled interior is now a touch roomier, too.
Inside, everything is still sensibly laid out and easy to use. The X-Trail’s controls feel solid and sturdy and most of its plastics are soft and forgiving. A few brittle materials let the side down slightly but they’re mostly confined to the back seats and doors. Only top-spec Tekna versions come with leather seats as standard.
N-Vision models and above get a slick seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation as standard. It comes with handy shortcut buttons that help make it easy to use on the move but it still lacks any modern smartphone mirroring systems.
It’s easy to get comfy in the front whichever model you pick, thanks to the standard seat height adjustment and loads of headroom – although the panoramic glass roof you get with Acenta, N-Vision and Tekna models does reduce headroom slightly. There’s enough room for tall adults to get comfy in the sliding middle row of seats, too – although carrying three abreast is a tighter squeeze than in a Skoda Kodiaq.
If you need space for more passengers, you can get two extra seats as a £1,000 option, turning the X-Trail into a seven seater – but this rear row is only really big enough for kids and eats considerably into the available boot space.
With just five seats in place there’s more than enough room for a baby stroller and some large soft bags. With the back seats folded in a handy two-way (60:40) split there’s space for a few bikes, too – you don’t even have to remove their wheels.
Driving The X-Trail’s not exactly fun – but does that really matter when it’s as big as a removals van and has space for seven?
You can get the X-Trail with one petrol and two diesel engines. The 1.6-litre petrol – that’ll return 35mpg in normal driving compared to Nissan’s claimed 45mpg – is best for pottering around town while the slightly noisier 1.6-litre diesel will be more suitable if you do lots of long journeys. It’ll return around 45mpg in real-world conditions, but feels quite lethargic.
Avoid four-wheel drive versions if you want to maximise fuel economy – it’s only worth going for if you often drive on slippery roads or tow a trailer. It also best to give the optional CVT automatic gearbox a miss because it holds the engine at high revs when you accelerate hard and feels a little dim-witted around town.
As a family car, though, there’s not much else to put you off X-Trail ownership. Euro NCAP awarded it a five-star safety rating in 2014, which is impressive even though tests have become stricter since. Acenta models and above come with bundles of extra safety kit including automatic emergency braking that can stop the car if a collision is imminent.