The X-Trail is now Nissan’s longest-serving SUV in Europe and the most practical too. Sitting above the Juke and Qashqai in the brand’s crossover-dominated line-up, the X-Trail has evolved from being a rugged 4×4 into more of a family-friendly option in recent years. Over its 20-year history, Nissan has also produced more than seven million.
Nissan is now returning with a new fourth generation of its X-Trail, which takes inspiration from the latest Qashqai with a bolder design than its predecessor, as well as shared hybrid powertrains and technology that come from its CMF-C platform.
Like before, the X-Trail is also available as a seven-seater, expanding its appeal to larger families, and giving it a unique selling point over the Qashqai. Let’s find out what it’s like.
There are two powertrain options available on the X-Trail – a mild-hybrid and e-Power full hybrid model.
Beginning with the mild-hybrid, which is a 157bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol that can accelerate the X-Trail from 0-60mph in 9.4 seconds, with Nissan claiming 40mph and 164g/km CO2 emissions. The mild-hybrid uses an Xtronic automatic gearbox and is front-wheel-drive, too.
The new e-Power is expected to be the more popular choice, and pairs that same 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor on the front wheels. Unlike a regular hybrid, however, the engine primarily serves as a generator. It produces 201bhp in all, allowing for a 0-60mph time of 7.8 seconds, and a fuel economy figure of 48.4mpg. CO2 emissions are pretty low at 132g/km as well.
This e-Power model is also available with a four-wheel-drive system called ‘e-4orce’, which gets a second electric motor on the rear wheels. Despite being only marginally more powerful on paper (210bhp), the 0-60mph time drops to seven seconds, with Nissan claiming 44.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 143g/km.
Ride and handling
Because of the way the X-Trail’s e-Power setup has been delivered, for the majority of the time, the engine is just unnoticeably in the background, and is only vocal under hard acceleration. That continues throughout the majority of driving, even on the motorway.
Despite being a large car, it’s decent through the bends and doesn’t roll around much. If you’re wanting to have that greater capability, the e-4orce all-wheel-drive system offers plenty of traction off the tarmac. The ride of the X-Trail is a bit firm at times, though this is a problem faced by most rivals in this class.
Nissan’s been improving its interiors dramatically in recent years, and the X-Trail is another big leap forward. There’s plenty of technology on display, and the fit and finish is excellent, and significantly better than the old car.
There’s the choice of five and seven-seat versions, with the latter being quite a rarity, particularly for a hybrid model at this price. The rearmost seats are very handy to have, though they’re quite small and only really suitable for children. With five seats in place, the X-Trail’s boot has 575 litres of space, which isn’t bad but is down on the 720 litres you get from a Skoda Kodiaq.
There are five trim levels available on the X-Trail, though the standard Visia trim still gets a decent amount of kit, including 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, LED lights and rear parking sensors.
Acenta Premium brings an eight-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, a reversing camera and keyless entry. The N-Connecta would be our pick of the line-up, as it brings the full-size 12.3-inch touchscreen and digital dial display of the same size, whale high-spec Tekna models get 19-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, an electric boot, glass roof and head-up display.
Right at the top of the line-up, the Tekna+ features 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, a 10-speaker Bose sound system and quilted leather upholstery.
Prices for the X-Trail kick off from £32,030 for a mild-hybrid car in Visia trim, with this bringing a rough £5,000 premium on top of a Qashqai.
You’ll need to upgrade to the Acenta Premium for the e-Power system, which starts from £36,140, though having seven seats will cost you £1,000 on top of that.
The X-Trail makes the most sense at the more affordable end of the spectrum, as top-spec seven-seater versions cost close to £50,000.
In a popular class, the Nissan X-Trail feels a fresh welcome to the pack. It’s a big step up on the old car, with its e-Power hybrid setup and interior overhaul helping this SUV to progress.
It’s practical, and though the space in the rearmost seats is compromised, they’re useful to have nonetheless. Be sensible with your trim and options and it’s decent value for money as well.