Nissan X-Trail (2014-2022) Review
The Nissan X-Trail is the Nissan Qashqai's bigger brother, with the option of seven seats
Strengths & weaknesses
- Lots of room inside
- Efficient diesel engine
- Cheaper than many other seven-seaters
- Cheap feeling interior
- Mediocre performance
- Seven seats optional, not standard
Nissan X-Trail prices from £10,495 Finance from £181.50 per month
The Nissan X-Trail is a bigger version of the Nissan Qashqai, offering the option of seven seats and more boot space than the best-selling Qashqai. It's an SUV aimed squarely at the Skoda Kodiaq, Seat Tarraco, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Land Rover Discovery Sport, all of which have three rows of seats.
Of all those, the X-Trail is one of the cheapest with prices starting just below £26,000 for a brand new one. To try and keep the car competitive, the Nissan received a minor update in 2018. These cars are easy to spot because they have a deeper front grille that runs all the way down to the number plate. They are also 50mm longer than previous versions.
If you are upgrading from the Qashqai, then the X-Trail will seem familiar - identical, almost - from the driver’s seat. The dashboard has the same straightforward layout and optional equipment. It doesn't have the high-tech digital design of the Peugeot 3008 but you can have a 360-degree camera that lets you see all around the car while parking. There's also an optional self-parking system where the X-Trail does most of the work. A facelift in 2017 also improved the X-Trail’s quality, introducing a sturdier flat-bottomed, multi-functional steering wheel, plus optional heated rear seats and two-tone leather.
The seven-seat layout is a £1000 option – only five seats come as standard – but all models are versatile (only 40% of buyers choose seven seats, which is useful to know when looking for a second-hand example). The rear seats are only big enough for children - and only really suitable for shortish journeys. The second row can slide forwards or backwards, allowing you to increase space behind at the expense of middle row legroom. The rear doors open extra-wide to help get to kids in the back but there are only two sets of Isofix mounting points for child seats, both of which are situated in the middle row.
With seven seats raised, there's minimal boot space, but the rear two fold flat into the floor, opening up around 450 litres of luggage space, which is a little larger than the Qashqai. Five-seat cars have a bigger 565-litre boot. All X-Trails come with a hidden compartment underneath the floor of the boot, plus Nissan’s Flexible Luggage Board system, that allows you to create compartments and shelves in the boot to separate luggage.
Admittedly, the X-Trail isn’t designed for nimbly darting down back roads, so a nice-sounding and playful engine would be wasted on it. The X-Trail is best-suited to a laid-back driving style, thanks to its soft suspension that’s effective at absorbing most of the impacts of driving on a rough road. If you do try to take a corner too quickly, then this comfort-focused set-up means that the X-Trail will lean noticeably. The Kodiaq is better in this respect: it’s just as comfortable but more stable in corners.
The X-Trail has received the top five-star rating from independent crash-tests at Euro NCAP, and safety can be boosted with optional technology, including a warning if you drift out of your lane.
|Warranty||Three years/60,000 miles|
|Boot size||565 litres|
|Tax (min to max)||£160-£500 in the first year, £140 thereafter|
Best Nissan X-Trail for...
Best for Economy – Nissan X-Trail 1.7 dCi Visia
Your choice of petrol or diesel, two- or four-wheel drive, and manual or automatic has a big impact on fuel economy. The most frugal combination is the front-wheel-drive manual, which returns an official 43.5 mpg (expect around 40ish mpg in real-world driving).
Best for Families – Nissan X-Trail 1.7 dCi Acenta [7 Seat]
Even if you don’t have five children, ticking the box for seven seats is a good idea when ordering your X-Trail, as it gives you the flexibility to bring extra friends or relatives along when you need to, while still preserving the X-Trail’s decent luggage space when you don’t.
Best for Performance – Nissan X-Trail 1.7dCi Acenta
The diesel engine is quicker than petrol, but it’s not good for business users as CO2 emissions rise. There’s also no disguising the fact that the X-Trail is a large, relatively heavy car, so you still need to take it easy going around corners.
- May 2014: Qashqai-based third-generation X-Trail goes on sale in UK
- July 2015 Engine range broadened with addition of 1.6-litre DIG-T petrol
- January 2017 2.0 dCi diesel engine added to range
- August 2017 Updated X-Trail, with exterior tweaks and new steering wheel goes on sale
- April 2019 Nissan ditches 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels, as well as 1.6-litre petrol. Replaced by 1.3-litre petrol and 1.7-litre diesel
Understanding Nissan X-Trail names
Engine 1.7 dCi
The size of the engines is given in litres (here it's 1.7). Diesel engines are badged dCi and petrol ones have the letters DIG-T.
Each trim level comes with different amounts of standard equipment. The entry-level is Visia, followed by Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna.
Manual or an Xtronic automatic gearbox is offered.
Nissan X-Trail Engines
Petrol: 1.3 DIG-T Diesel: 1.7 dCi
The earliest versions of the current Nissan X-Trail came with a sluggish 1.6-litre diesel, a slightly more peppy 2.0-litre diesel, and a 1.6-litre petrol. All three were replaced in 2019. These engines can be read about in the used section below.
The 1.3 DIG-T petrol engine only comes with two-wheel-drive and is noticeably slower to accelerate than the diesel. but it won’t make financial sense for many families. It's only a few hundred pounds cheaper than the equivalent two-wheel-drive diesel, but is less economical. It is your only option if you want an automatic though. And in day to day driving it's quieter and nicer to use than the gruff diesel.
The two-wheel-drive manual 1.7 dCi diesel X-Trail, will officially do 43.5mpg will be top of many lists. It’s also available with four-wheel drive, which does make it capable of driving on fairly rugged terrain. So if you live at the end of a narrow country lane or have to frequently with ice and snow, it’s worth considering, even though fuel economy drops by 2-3mpg.
Nissan X-Trail Trims
Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna
The basic Nissan X-Trail Visia (which is the choice of just 1% of X-Trail buyers, so they’re rare second-hand buys) comes with essential safety kit such as two Isofix child-seat points, six airbags, hill-start assistance and tyre-pressure monitoring. It also includes 17in alloy wheels, digital radio, USB port, a four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, electric windows all round, cruise control, heated mirrors, split-folding rear seats and air-conditioning.
Moving up to Acenta costs around £1,000 and many customers see it as good value, as it adds front foglights, a leather steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, plus two extra speakers for the stereo. Acenta is also the cheapest trim level that can be specified with four-wheel drive.
Up next is Acenta Premium. This adds sat-nav, and a 360 degree parking camera.
N-Connecta (previously called N-Tec and N-Vision) adds 18-inch alloys, roof rails and a powered tailgate, which has handsfree operation since the 2017 update. It also gets keyless start.
Topping the range is the Tekna, which comes with blind-sport warning, leather upholstery, brighter LED headlights, power-adjustable heated front seats and a self-parking system. As with every other model in the X-Trail range, the extra two seats in the boot are optional. Front and rear heated seats, and 19-inch alloy wheels complete the look.
Nissan X-Trail Reliability and warranty
Buyers tend to expect good reliability from Japanese brands like Nissan, but X-Trail owners who responded to Auto Express magazine’s 2017 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey appear were disappointed with how the car performed in this area. It was ranked 64th (out of 75 models) for overall satisfaction and 75th (last place) for reliability.
There isn’t much better news on the warranty front, either: the X-Trail gets a pretty bog-standard three years or 60,000 miles of cover, which less than what’s offered by its direct rivals the Kia Sorento (seven years/100,000 miles) and Hyundai Santa Fe (five years/unlimited miles).
Used Nissan X-Trail
The earliest versions of the Nissan X-Trail only came with a sluggish 1.6-litre diesel engine. The two-wheel-drive manual version had a real-world fuel economy of around 45mpg - although acceleration is best described as leisurely.
It was available as an automatic or with four-wheel drive, which does make it capable of driving on fairly rugged terrain. So if you live at the end of a narrow country lane or have to frequently with ice and snow, it’s worth considering, even though fuel economy drops by 2-3mpg.
There was also a 2-litre diesel on offer, which is considerably more powerfu than the 1.6. Its extra shove ensures that you don't have to jam your foot to the floor when you’re going up hills, as you would with the 1.6-litre car.
It was available with four-wheel drive and the automatic gearbox, which is known as a continuously variable transmission, or CVT. This doesn’t use fixed gears, and so accelerating can sound like a constant whine. Some CVT gearboxes can be jerky, but the X-Trail’s version is fairly smooth and a good choice if you spend a lot of time in stop-start city traffic.
The downside of this engine is the reduced fuel economy and CO2 emissions that can be as high as 162g/km, when the X-Trail is fitted with 19-inch wheels, making it an expensive choice as a company car.
There’s also a 1.6-litre petrol engine that was discontinued in 2019. It only came with two-wheel-drive and is noticeably faster to accelerate than the 1.6-litre diesel, but it won’t make financial sense for many families. In real-world driving, you can expect fuel economy of around 35mpg, according to figures from the Equa Index, which generates realistic fuel consumption estimates based on public road testing.
Demand for the Nissan X-Trail is high among both new and used buyers (this third-generation model has seen sales increase by 97% since its introduction in 2014, compared to the previous model), so the amounts of money that can be saved in either situation is comparatively modest for now. Indeed, it’s the relatively poorly equipped Visia trim level that attracts the biggest discounts – largely because buyers want better-equipped variants – so if you really want to save on an X-Trail, you’ll have to prepared to do without some desirable extras, plus it might be difficult to sell on.
A great deal of X-Trail buyers want the car specifically for the fact that is has seven seats, so bear this in mind – especially as only around 40% of cars have a third row. Whether you’re buying new or used, a five-seater example won’t hold its value as well on the second-hand market a couple of years down the line as its seven-seat counterpart will. Alternatively, if you're sure you only need five seats and plan to keep the car for a good while, you may benefit from greater discounts.
A series of changes in 2017, as part of a mid-life update, sharpened up the X-Trail’s looks and added a more modern-looking cabin with upgraded materials. Bear this in mind when comparing models from this year: most 67-plate cars will have this upgraded equipment.