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Nissan X-Trail 4×4 (2007 – 2014) expert review

By Adrian Higgins, 1st March 2007

The verdict

The Nissan X-Trail delivers everything you’d expect of an 4x4 without the stereotypical gas guzzling running costs.

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Expert rating:



  • Comfortable ride
  • Low running costs
  • Impressive practicality


  • Poor handling
  • Unusual display layout
  • Limited engine range

Full Review

1. Exterior

The Nissan X-Trail looks substantial, chunky and capable. The entry-level SE model comes with plenty of goodies including body-colour bumpers, roof runners and 16 inch alloy wheels. Choose the mid-range Columbia model we drove and you get rear privacy glass, 17-inch alloys, roof spoiler, sunroof and fog lamps. The range-topping Aventura adds xenon headlamps with washers while roof-mounted ’safari’ spot lamps are an option exclusive to this trim.
Our rating: 4

2. Interior

The X-Trail is both functional-looking with a simple layout and robustly family-friendly. The dials are located within the central console above the optional sat-nav, stereo and temperature controls, creating an uncluttered appearance. Drivers used to the information display being visible beyond the steering wheel will need a few journeys to adjust. SE trim includes a leather-trimmed gear knob, hand brake and steering wheel with integrated audio controls and a pair of cooled can holders. The Columbia benefits from aluminium pedals and an attractive two-tone material for the seats. The Aventura trim comes with leather upholstery.
Our rating: 4

3. Practicality

X-Trails are available with or without 4×4 capability. Either is very practical. Depending on whether you are using the rear seats, the storage capability ranges from 410 litres (350 below the cover) to 1,841 litres. The boot floor is covered in a resin material making it easy to clean while a cargo net is available to keep your possessions from sliding about. The hatch-style boot opening makes for easy loading and unloading.
Our rating: 4

4. Ride and handling

As you would expect, the X-Trail soaks up bumps with ease. The flipside, due to its size and height is that it wallows a little in corners. However, it handles well considering its size. The 4×4 system also helps you out of tricky situations by delivering the appropriate pulling power to each wheel – especially handy in slippery conditions.
Our rating: 3

5. Performance

We drove the more economical 136bhp 2.2-litre diesel model with a 0-62mph time of 11.5 seconds and maximum speed of 112 mph. The six speed manual gearbox and a very respectable 232Ib/ft of pulling power give a smooth and powerful performance.
Our rating: 3

6. Running costs

Gas-guzzling SUV? Not at all. We drove the diesel model boasting average fuel consumption of 41.5mpg. Insurance Group 10 won’t hurt too much. Own it more than four years and the X-Trail will still retain more than a third of its value.
Our rating: 4

7. Reliability

Nissans are well-built reliable cars and should help give buyers confidence. The car itself feels very well constructed and not at all flimsy.
Our rating: 4

8. Safety

The X-Trail has been awarded four stars in the EuroNCAP crash tests. Safety features electronic stability programme and electronic brake force distribution comes as standard, as does traction control. Go for 4×4 capability and this will help you out when encountering slippery conditions. Steering wheel-mounted stereo controls help keep your hands where they should be.
Our rating: 4

9. Equipment

The entry level SE model boasts a generous level of equipment including body-coloured bumpers, leather trimmed gear-knob, hand-brake and steering wheel plus 16-inch alloy wheels and CD player. Columbia and Aventura trims provide nice upgrades including sunroof, leather upholstery and sat-nav.
Our rating: 4

10. Why buy?

The X-Trail is fun to drive and immensely practical, it’s a great SUV/family car combo. Lazy people would call it a gas-guzzler, and that is reflected in the tax bill. We call it great value.
Our rating: 4

Expert review 3.4stars

  • Exterior4
  • Interior4
  • Practicality4
  • Ride and handling3
  • Performance3
  • Running costs4
  • Reliability4
  • Safety4
  • Equipment4
  • Why buy?4

Our recommendations

Best on a budget:
X-Trail 2.0 dCi 150 Tekna Auto
Automatic X-Trail is the most affordable
X-Trial 2.0 dCi 173 Acenta
More powerful X-Trail is most popular
Blow the budget:
X-Trail 2.0 dCi 173 Tekna
Top of the range Tekna enjoys sunroof and sat-nav

The X-Trail is fun to drive and immensely practical