The X-Trail has been a winner for Nissan right from its release back in 2001. It is a crossover vehicle with options for either two wheel or all wheel drive, and an ideal size for family use and fun on weekends with its huge rear load space.
Not surprisingly, the wagon has gone from strength to strength since those early days. A second generation X-Trail was released in 2007 with some fairly evident changes, and then in August 2010 it was given a further face lift with an increase in size and design change. It is the 2010 model that now has the choice of three engines: a 2.0L and 2.5L petrol plus a 2.0L diesel, and a two wheel drive only version. The buyer has plenty of options, in fact, there are ten models to choose from, four diesels and six petrol derivatives.
These days the X-Trail sits high in the 21 vehicle compact SUV market segment, which includes popular models like the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi Outlander, Holden Captiva just to name a few.
The popular Ti AWD 2.5L petrol wagon is the subject of this review and Nissan have certainly packed the features into this almost top of the range five seat capacity vehicle.
The heart of this X-Trail Ti is the 2.5L four cylinder twin cam 16 valve DOHC fuel injected engine producing 125kW of power, 226Nm of torque, which sees it moving smartly off the mark.
It can maintain easy highway cruising speeds and has the ability to tow up to 2000kg of braked trailer. Mated to a smooth-as-silk CVT gearbox, with six gears available for manual over ride, the engine accelerates quite well from a standstill and matches the CVT set up admirably. For normal city or highway driving, D for drive is the ideal selector placement.
The X-Trail’s cabin is sound insulated with little intrusion from wind or tyre noise, although under hard acceleration some engine noise may be heard. The ride is extremely comfortable thanks to the McPherson struts up front, a multi-link rear suspension set up and the general feeling is that you’re in a much larger vehicle.
The driver will enjoy time behind the wheel of the X-Trail as it has a roomy and comfortable driving stance plus a spacious and well laid out dash with most controls within easy reach of the driver. Instrumentation is easily identified and monitored, with highlights of chrome and silver adding a touch of class. The Nissan Information Display is a useful item due to its modern functions, including SatNav with touch screen, reversing camera, Blue tooth, USB and other handy bits and pieces. The display I really liked was the fuel usage options that included current fuel consumption and the all-important Distance to Empty function – all cars should have one of these!
Within the X-Trail’s cabin most functions are electrically operated. The cruise and radio controls are steering wheel mounted and the heated leather trimmed seats for driver and front passenger at controlled with the touch of a button.
Even though the front leg and head room are expansive, the rear leg room is somewhat restrictive, especially if there are tall people sitting in the front. Storage is a big plus within the main cabin of the X-Trail and besides the numerous holders and compartments, there’s also an upper dash compartment with lid large enough to take wallets, phones and other small personal items.
The AWD wagon is quite responsive to driver input, with just a small amount of body roll in hard corners (same as most other SUV’s), and the steering is fairly sharp. It’s front wheel drive exhibits near neutral steering on bitumen and formed surfaces in normal two wheel drive mode and will take a lot of undulations and rough surface in its stride.
Ground clearance is around the 200mm mark, which means the X-Trail can venture well when off formed roads thanks to the on-demand all wheel drive system available via a knob on the centre console.
Options for All Wheel Drive are for Auto, which only sees four wheels in operation when they are needed (as detected via wheel sensors) or Lock mode where the drive is permanently fixed to a 50/50 front and rear ratio. Auto seems to be the way to go as the sensors pick up any slippage very quickly and get the additional drive going smartly.
The X-Trail Ti has a host of value for money features. Up top, a sun roof extends right back to the passenger’s compartment, with a wind deflector. Leather trimmed seating is standard throughout, as is climate controlled air conditioning, rear park assist, cooling or warming cup holders, chrome grille, 17” wheels and halogen headlights.
Safety wise, the X-Trail Ti offers quite a lot of features including Hill Descent Control using the ABS system to provide continuous braking; not usually offered on a vehicle at this price point. There’s also ABS with Electronic Brake force Distribution, and dual front air bags, dual side air bags and dual curtain air bags plus keyless entry.
The amount of rear cargo space, and the use it can be put to, are big pluses with the X-Trail. Laying the rear seats down – they split 20/40/20 – increases available area in the rear to a cargo hold 2m long. There are also some very clever storage drawers underneath it that can be totally removed for extra space.
Heavy duty plastic makes the whole rear floor area easily washable.
The 2.5L petrol Ti X-Trail has enough features to make it a very desirable mid-sized crossover vehicle. It drives well, returns reasonable fuel economy at around 10L per 100km (on my tests, factory claims are better) and combines practicality with levels of roominess and comfort that would suit most family buyers. And the all wheel drive is handy for bush tracks, and light off road work as well.
Price of the Ti X-Trail is around the $44,490 mark. For more information go to www.nissan.com.au.Reads: 10558