Tested for Parkers.co.uk – check out the full review of the Nissan X-Trail by heading to the link below:
Source: Nissan X-Trail 4×4 (2014 – ) | Parkers
If the performance of the 1.6-litre diesel seems a little lacking in a car of this size, this 2.0-litre model might be a little more fitting. This could be the better option for those who regularly tow or make full use of the seven-seat capacity, but does it make for the best all-round package?
Available with two- or four-wheel drive when mated to the CVT automatic gearbox, the manual version we’re testing here is available in four-wheel drive form only.
The stats do look more convincing to begin with: producing 177hp and 380Nm of torque, this is the most powerful X-Trail in the range.
Requiring 9.4 seconds to complete the 0-62mph run, there’s plenty of muscle for effortless overtaking in top gear on the motorway, but there’s not much of a performance gain elsewhere.
This larger 2.0-litre engine certainly won’t need to be worked as hard as the smaller diesel to shift a car of this size, but the old-fashioned power delivery doesn’t necessarily equate to a refined experience either.
The power band is narrow. With full pulling power only accessible above 1,750rpm, the driver still needs to select the right gear at the right time to access all the performance available.
If you are caught off guard below this engine speed, you can be left floundering at roundabouts or motorway slip roads when trying to keep up with the flow of traffic.
It’s not the smoothest engine but it remains largely muted most of the time, distantly humming away in the background. It can become vocal when worked hard though, which might be more often than some would like.
Despite the optional seven-seat versatility, the Nissan X-Trail remains a slightly unconvincing package. The soft, comfort-biased ride is fine for long-distance motorway comfort but the suspension lacks the finesse of its newer rivals, struggling to contain bodyroll through the bends.
The £1,000 seven-seat option will strictly be for occasional use, too, as these seats require middle row passengers to compromise on legroom in order to accommodate any small occupants in the third row.