2018 Nissan X-Trail ST-L Review

2018 Nissan X-Trail ST-L Road Test, Review

I recently drove the Nissan X-Trail ST-L and the Honda CR-V VTi-L and I thought it was worth taking a look at these two mid-size SUVs with seven seats.

This version of the X-Trail is but is the highest grade for a seven-seat option which is priced from $39,090 with an entry level ST starting at $31k.

These prices are comparable with the equivalent Honda CR-V however, with a few less features.

For more on the Nissan X-Trail ST-L itself, read Joel’s review here.


Modelling the same platform as the Renault Koleos reviewed recently, the X-Trail has the identical outward profile as the European make.

With only some minor differences in trims, the roof rails, taillights and the v-shaped grille with protruding plastic bumper, the X-Trail still looks different enough.

Keeping it moving are plain looking 17” aluminium alloy wheels.

Nissan X-Trail ST-LInterior

The interior is simple without being too basic or too flash or refined.

There’s plenty of leather all round from the seats to the steering wheel and from the gear shifter to the console bin.

The touchscreen is surrounded by buttons which looks cluttered but provides quick access to functions including sat-nav, digital radio but unfortunately no Apple CarPlay/Andriod Auto.

The colour driver info display is a vast improvement on the one found in the CR-V with better graphics that are brilliant, crisp and provide a lot of info.

Buttons on the steering wheel controls are a bit hard to press and aren’t so effortless as in other cars but are well defined.

Nissan have located the push button ignition higher on the dash which is great, meaning it’s easy to see and I don’t always have to go feeling behind steering wheel.

The middle row is a standard affair, with smooth leather and seats that slide forward to allow the little ones to climb into the back.

Nissan X-Trail ST-L

Uniquely, the middle section folds down completely instead of housing an armrest, to reveal cup holders and allow access to the rear.

The last row of seats are rudimentary and really only for extra or unexpected passengers.

Seats backs and small and square (as they can only be in a medium SUV) but the legroom is where it really lacks with no assign foot well unlike in the CR-V.


The 7-seater ST-L has a satisfactory list of features including a 360° top down camera view is always a godsend and makes manoeuvring in tight spaces a breeze.

But you can’t help but compare with the CR-V and in that case the X-Trail is found wanting.

Not that certain advanced features aren’t available in the range – just not for a 7-seater at this spec level.

What it does come with is dual climate control, push button start, a foot operated parking brake, heated electric seats wrapped in soft leather though, once again, not as plush as in the Honda.

Nissan X-Trail ST-LDrive and Engine

On the road performance is pretty standard for the current breed of SUV of this size and calibre.

It’s easy enough to control and quiet from inside the cabin.

The 2.5L naturally aspirated petrol engine has decent power with a single drive mode, doesn’t display any lethargy off the mark and doesn’t sound like it’s straining to get going.

However, it could do with a bit more power and torque from a turbocharger, with stats lower than the afore mentioned CR-V VTi-L.

Coincidentally it registered the same average fuel economy as the Honda CR-V of 10.5L/100km after a week of driving.

Steering was looser than the CR-V but this offers ease of handling of a vehicle this size.

While the ride was acceptable but clearly harsher than in the quiet comfort of a Honda.


The mid-spec Nissan X-Trail has a comprehensive array of safety features such as blind spot warning, lane departure, rear cross traffic alert, AEB and forward collision warning.

The blind spot warning give off an alert via an orange light on the inside of the door/mirror, rather than on the mirror surface itself, which makes it easier to notice as it’s closer and not lost in the reflection.

For parents, there are ISOFIX anchors but, as mentioned, because of the fold-down middle section, only two tether points.

Nissan X-Trail ST-LGood Bits

  • Overall simplicity
  • Safety features
  • Blind spot warning light
  • Driver info display
  • 360° camera view

Not so good bits

  • Lack of extra features
  • Refinement
  • Last row legroom


Side by side, the Honda CR-V VTi-L seems like the better value option though the X-Trail is still a satisfactory vehicle.

It has most of the necessary features, drives competently, is occupant friendly and of course, has the added capacity.

The Nissan X-Trail still is the preferred option amongst buyers outselling the Honda CR-V 2 to 1 in 2017. Though in the case of the seven seat model, the CR-V pips it.

Nissan X-Trail ST-L

Facts and Figures: 2018 Nissan X-Trail ST-L

  • Engine: 2.5L four-cylinder petrol 126kW/226Nm
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Warranty: 3 Yrs/100,000km
  • Safety: Five Stars
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: From $39,090
2018 Nissan X-Trail ST-L
  • Overall Rating

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