Nissan X-Trail review

The new Nissan X-Trail features smart hybrid technology and a great interior.

Pros: spacious interior, seven-seat option, efficient hybrid tech

Cons: limited engine options, seven-seat option is costly

The Nissan X-Trail is the brand's flagship model in Ireland and for its fourth generation it gains a new look that echoes the design of the smaller Qashqai and Juke models while offering up to seven seats and an innovative hybrid powertrain.  

Nissan X-Trail Design  

With this latest X-Trail the overall silhouette hasn't changed a great deal from the model it replaces, though every piece of sheet metal is new, as is the platform that it is built on. It has a more angular look to the front, where the lights split into two sections on either side of the brand's signature 'V-motion' grille. On range-topping SVE models, the front bumper includes a metallic finish along its base to signify a more rugged and off-road capable appearance. 

Aside from the entry-level SV version, all other X-Trails feature a contrasting black roof design. There are 18-inch wheels fitted as standard, with SVE versions gaining larger 19-inch wheels. One of the more practical features of the X-Trail's design is the rear doors that can open to an accommodating 85-degree angle, making it far easier for parents to secure kids into their seats.

There is a powered tailgate on SVE versions, and the boot space is a useful 575 litres, an increase of 20 litres over its predecessor, while Nissan also claims the X-Trail has best-in-class floor length and width. 

Nissan X-Trail Interior 

Following in the same form as the Qashqai, the interior of the X-Trail demonstrably moves up a notch in quality. Particular attention has been paid to the look and feel of the switchgear, while the front seats offer plenty of adjustment for the occupants to get comfortable. There is a good amount of storage throughout the cabin, with a centre console storage area featuring a butterfly opening. 

Up to 35 inches of digital information is available, made up of a 10.8-inch colour head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument screen and another 12.3-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Android and Apple smartphone mirroring systems - though Nissan's native infotainment system is simple and easy to use. You can also have a 15-watt wireless charging pad and USB ports. 

There is a reasonable degree of head space and legroom for rear passengers, with the rear bench seat featuring reclining backrests; it can also slide forward and back across 220mm. Adding the third row of seats is an expensive option at €9,000 regardless of equipment grade. As is often the case with such setups, there are some limitations, with Nissan suggesting that only passengers below 1.60m should use the third row. It is ideal for an extra pair of seats for kids, but adults will find it a challenge to get in and out of them. It's also worth noting that boot space is severely restricted when the third row of seats is in use. 

Nissan X-Trail Performance & Drive 

Nissan will sell the X-Trail exclusively in Ireland with hybrid powertrains, offering both front- and all-wheel-drive versions, the latter referred to as e-4ORCE. Hybrids might be nothing new, but how the Nissan system works is different. The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine never directly drives the wheels; instead, it runs to generate electricity that, in turn, continuously charges a small battery that powers the car's electric motor(s). 

The result is a driving experience that is generally quiet in operation. Though the car initially pulls away using only battery power, the petrol engine quickly spins to life, but it tends to idle rather than rev to match the car's speed. This operation is key to making the X-Trail's drive seem more polished. Helping matters further, at least on SVE versions, is acoustic front glass to quieten things down.

Performance from the dual-motor setup makes the X-Trail feel reasonably brisk for its size, accelerating from 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds, but what's likely to be more important is that it can prove to at least match a diesel engine for fuel consumption. Official figures show that it uses 6.4 litres/100km and, depending on your driving style and routes, you could potentially see even better figures. 

One further benefit of the dual-motor version is that it can help alleviate some forward pitch when braking by recuperating energy back into the battery, resulting in a more comfortable ride. Nissan also equips the X-Trail with its e-Pedal function, which increases the energy recovery rate and mixes it with the conventional brakes to slow the car to almost a dead stop when you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal. This function mimics the sensation often experienced in fully electric vehicles. The steering is light, requiring little effort, and a suite of assistance systems adds a layer of safety and can also take the strain out of longer journeys and parking. 

Nissan X-Trail Pricing 

The Nissan X-Trail will be priced from €45,995 when it goes on sale, starting with the SV specification. Adding the third row of seats will add €9,000 to the price, regardless of model. The mid-level SV Premium will have a starting price of €48,995, while the range-topping SVE will cost from €52,950.

Carzone Verdict: 3.5/5 

In this all-new X-Trail, Nissan not only demonstrates its technical abilities with a refined driving experience and hybrid engine offering, but it has also taken a step forward in terms of design and interior quality.

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