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Review: Nissan X-Trail

Best-selling SUV has been given a timely upgrade

The world loves its SUV at the moment, particularly here in the UK where SUVs make up more than one in three new car sales. The world’s best-selling model last year was this – the Nissan X-Trail, also known as the Nissan Rogue in some markets, but this booming sector is not standing still. So, three years after its launch, Nissan is rolling out a facelift.

You’ll easily spot the changes up front. The front end is more aggressive, with more chrome and sharp-looking LEDs in the headlights. The rear bumper has been tightened up too, and there are also new lights there.

Bigger changes have been reserved for the interior though, which is now much higher quality than before. Nissan has dropped in a sporty new steering wheel, compete with a flat-bottom section, and revised the centre console so it feels nicer and has more space for detritus. Surfaces are higher quality and there’s more onboard tech, such as a rear monitor that alerts you if there are cars about to drive past (or people about to walk out) as you reverse from a space.

Nissan X-Trail interior

Nissan X-Trail 2.0 DCI 177 Tekna Nissan X-Trail Price; ?35,960
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, diesel
Power: 174bhp
Torque: 280lb/ft
Gearbox: Six-speed manual
Kerb weight: 1625kg
Top speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 9.4sec
Economy: 50.4mpg (combined)
CO2, tax band: 149g/km, 30%

The revised X-Trail is even to get autonomous driver assist – in 2018, the Nissan ProPilot system will be added, which talks over steering, accelerating and braking within a single lane on a motorway.

It’s great for making driving on congested roads a bit easier, says Nissan. Nissan equipped us with the top-line 2.0-litre diesel engine with four-wheel drive and a manual gearbox; you can also get 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines, which take the price down to a starting point of ?23,000, rather than the ?34,000 of this Tekna. Although as nearly 50 per cent of people are predicted to choose this very version, perhaps there was logic to Nissan’s test allocation.

On the move, it proves amenable. It handles urban areas well but still looks ready to take on dusty trails; it’s light and simple to drive at speed but also deals with country roads with easy predictability. A spot-on driving position is complemented by a decent ride and, overall, agreeability is high.

Nissan X-Trail rear seats Pity about the noise made by the engine. The diesel engine was too loud before, and it remains gruff here.

Under acceleration, it’s too raucous and even when cruising, you can hear it. This is disappointing, particularly as there’s more noise at higher speeds with wind rustle from the A-pillars, and is in contrast to its much more refined Qashqai sister car. Families will still be drawn to it, because it’s very practical, looks even better than before, has plenty of space for seven people and now comes with the passenger-friendly option of heated seats for all three rows of chairs.

It’s easy to see why, globally, so many people like it. If only Nissan had continued the good work in the rest of this facelift to make it as refined on the move as its Qashqai sibling. Because of this, unless you really need seven seats, we’d encourage you go for that instead of this.

Nissan X-Trail

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