Nissan X-Trail
The 2018 Nissan X-Trail

Caroline reviews the Nissan X-Trail SUV.

Nissan has become something of an SUV specialist over the years with the Nissan Qashqai being one of the defining and most popular compact crossover of its era. Let’s not forget the larger Nissan X-Trail too. In its current generation it’s a rugged and stylish large SUV, offering more space and utility to buyers who outgrow their Qashqai.

It’s also in my opinion a wildly different beast to the Qashqai. Longer and higher, the 2018 refreshed Nissan X-Trail has the presence of a larger vehicle. While the Qashqai retains a lot of hatchback-like driving character, the Nissan X-Trail feels like a more authentic off-roader behind the wheel and on the road.

In Ireland the Nissan X-Trail range kicks off at €32,150 for a 2WD five seat model with a 1.6-litre diesel engine with 130hp or a 1.6-litre petrol engine with 163hp. Seven seaters start from €33,250. Four wheel drive models are available from €38,000. There is also a larger 2.0-litre diesel with more power (177hp) with 4WD and a CVT automatic gearbox priced from €41,850.

Nissan X-Trail
The interior of the Nissan X-Trail

In Ireland, the new Nissan X-Trail SUV is available in XE, SV, SVE and a new SV Premium trim. Standard equipment includes cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth connectivity, manual air-conditioning, electric folding/heated door mirrors and alloy wheels.

Depending on the grade chosen, other features include an opening panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, privacy glass, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning and roof rails.

The car I was driving was a Nissan X-Trail 2.0 SVE 4X4 CVT with seven seats priced from €52,700. It was fully loaded with equipment including 19” alloys, LED headlamps, leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheel, electric adjustable seats with lumbar support for driver and BOSE stereo with 8 speakers.

Safety equipment included Intelligent Emergency Braking, Driver Attention Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, High-Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

Inside the Nissan X-Trail is a comfortable and spacious family car. The interior has a good mix of materials, and all look strong and hardwearing. There’s a new D-shaped steering wheel and some new trims. All but the base model have a 7-inch Nissan Connect touchscreen infotainment system, which includes DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming.

Nissan X-Trail
The Nissan X-Trail range is extensive and there is plenty of value to be had

The five seat X-Trail has a boot capacity of 565 litres, while in five seat mode the seven seat version has 445 litres. When the third row of seats is upright, there is just 135 litres available.

The rear bench can be slid back and forth, which will be necessary to free up space for the two seats in the third row, which are more suitable for children than adults.

You sit high in the Nissan X-Trail and though it’s not the most refined of the large SUVs, it feels like one of the more authentic 4x4s of its ilk. Noise from the 2.0-litre diesel is audible in the cabin, though on a cruise it settles down to the background. The driving dynamics are fine for a large family vehicle. The steering is light, which makes it easy to manoeuvre in tight situations. The CVT automatic can be a bit frustrating at times, and lacks the smooth intuitive gear changes of a dual clutch auto. It’s not the softest riding large family car, but it’s not uncomfortable either.

My top of the range model with 2.0-litre diesel, 4WD and a CVT gearbox has quite a hefty motor tax bill of €570 per year, but some models in the range have emissions as low as 129g CO2 (€270 per year).

Nissan X-Trail
The Nissan X-Trail feels very spacious inside, while there is the option of adding two extra seats

For anyone looking for a strong towing vehicle the 2.0-litre X-Trail diesel manual has a towing capacity of 2 tonnes, while the automatic has a towing capacity of 1.65 tonnes.

The Nissan X-Trail is appealingly stylish and rugged on the outside, while being practical, spacious and comfortable on the inside. The Nissan X-Trail is by no means the most refined large family SUV of its type but therein lies its appeal: in a world of pseudo 4x4s you get the feeling the X-Trail is the real deal and wouldn’t let you down off road should the need arise!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Nissan X-Trail 2.0 SVE 4X4 CVT 7 seats
€52,700 (Range from €32,150)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 380Nm
9.4 seconds
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€570 per year

If you are looking for a large, seven seat SUV, you might also like this review of the Skoda Kodiaq.

For more information on the Nissan X-Trail, visit