2020 Nissan X-Trail Ti 4X4 Reviewed

X-Trail continues to be a good seller for Nissan. Although this generation has been with us for a while, updates have kept it reasonably up-to-date with safety and infotainment.

Looks and cabin design are a matter of personal taste, so has it kept up to date with fashion?

The Outside:

Does X-Trail look good?

X-Trail’s looks are distinctly Nissan. The front end is rounded off, and the rear end has tail lights set at jaunty angles. If you squint, the rear end looks like a slightly angry face. The over all look is very Japanese. For my tastes, it is falling behind the likes of Kia an Hyundai.

A line up and over the front wheels, continues up to the rear door handle. As I point out in the video, I can’t put my finger on it, but it looks slightly awkward.

X-Trail has 17” alloys on ST, TS, and ST-L, or 19” Ti.

Tyres are general use, all-season for decent road use fun. You’re not going too far off road because like the rest of her ilk, X-Trail happiest on the tarmac.

The Cabin:

There is a feel of Nissan-ness. The dash gently curves along the front of driver and passenger.

The centre stack and console are well laid out, but looks slightly old fashioned. Cup holders have a centre divider that controls flow from the air conditioning to cool cans of drink. You shut this off for hot coffee.

The infotainment is easy to use. Sound is decent for a car in this price range.

Front seats are heated. The control switches on the console also manage the rear seat heating. This switch really needs moving to the rear so those passengers can decide for themselves when they want heating or not.

X-Trail is up against RAV4 and Sportage, both of whom are better equipped.

My only gripe is the space saver spare tyre is under several layers of deck. The first adjusts to give a flat floor, or can be lowered to allow extra room. It is completely unnecessary, but Japanese car makers are potty about flat floors in the cargo hold.

The Drivetrains:

Nissan X-trail has many choices depending on model choice:

There are 3 engines, in 2WD or 4WD. Transmissions are 6-speed manual or CVT automatic, and depend on engine choice. The options depend on which box you finally tick. The 2.0L 106kw/200Nm petrol 4 cylinder comes with a 6-speed manual in the base model ST only. All other models are CVT automatics.

The 130kw/380 2.0L Turbo diesel comes only in 4WD in TS and TL, and the 2.5L with 126kw/226Nm comes in either 2WD or 4WD. Our test car came with the 2.5L, but could have used a tiny turbo to add some interest.

If you want 7 seats, only the ST and ST-L are available, and it too has the 2.5L petrol 4 cylinder. Our Ti is the 2.5L model.

Engines:

5-seat SUV

2.0L petrol engine 2WD with 6-speed manual transmission

2.5L petrol engine 2WD with Xtronic CVT

2.5L petrol engine 4WD with Xtronic CVT

2.0L turbo-diesel engine 4WD with Xtronic CVT

7-seat SUV

2.5L petrol engine 2WD with Xtronic CVT

2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cyl. petrol engine (manual only)

Power – 106 kW @ 6,000 rpm

Torque – 200 Nm @ 4,400 rpm

2.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cyl. petrol engine (Xtronic CVT only)

Power – 126 kW @ 6,000 rpm

Torque – 226 Nm @ 4,400 rpm

2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cyl. turbo-diesel engine

Power – 130 kW @ 3,750 rpm

Torque – 380 Nm @ 2,000 rpm

2018 COTY Nissan X Trail STL side

The drive:

There is a reasonably sophisticated suspension set-up. Ride is firm-ish and steering has a decent amount of resistance.

Handling is adequate, with steering that has simulated feel based on electric motor calibration. Buyers are going to drive several different brands, and may find lighter feeling to their taste.

Directional changes find a small amount of body roll coming on mid corner. Things stay controlled but mid-corner bumps make X-Trail do a little sideways skip.

X-Trail lacks the active steering safety gizmos like lane centering and active blind spot, but there is AEB and active cruise control.

Sticking the boot in makes the engine scream for mercy. CVT automatics don’t have traditional gears, and it has the effect of the engine power being robbed. It does the job, but feel strange under foot. You might want to allow extra time for overtaking. Both petrol engines need more power.

Downhill assist comes with CVT models. There are no other off-road systems, nor any on-road drive modes.

X-Trail is more of a mum’s taxi than serious off-roader, but a little light camping might be fun. Activity vehicles are geared towards shopping and school runs during the week, and camping on the weekends.

2018 COTY Nissan X Trail STL side

Conclusion

X-Trail does nothing wrong. It is priced competitively, but has fallen behind slightly, especially in the safety arena. There is a 7-seat option, but the 3rd row would feel very cramped for anyone other than very small humans.

Front and rear stabiliser bars make ride good on well-sorted surfaces, but you’ll feel the bumps around town and on dirt roads.

I might buy, but it would have to be a very special deal.

X-Trail Pricing MLP*

X-TRAIL 2WD

PETROL

2.0 ST Manual

5 Seat                                  $30,040

2.5 ST CVT Auto

5 Seat                                  $32,040

7 Seat                                  $33,640

2.5 ST-L CVT Auto

5 Seat                                  $37,850

7 Seat                                  $39,450

2.5 N-TREK CVT AUTO

5 Seat                                  $38,700

 

X-TRAIL 4WD

PETROL

2.5 ST CVT Auto

5 Seat                                  $34,040

2.5 ST-L CVT Auto

5 Seat                                  $39,850

2.5 Ti CVT Auto

5 Seat                                  $45,490

2.5 N-TREK CVT AUTO

5 Seat                                  $40,700

 

DIESEL

2.0 TS CVT Auto

5 Seat                                  $36,840

2.0 TL CVT Auto

5 Seat                                  $48,490

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Nissan X-Trail Ti 4X4
  • Rating
3.7

Summary

X-Trail does nothing wrong. It is priced competitively, but has fallen behind slightly, especially in the safety arena. There is a 7-seat option, but the 3rd row would feel very cramped for anyone other than very small humans.

Front and rear stabiliser bars make ride good on well-sorted surfaces, but you’ll feel the bumps around town and on dirt roads.

I might buy, but it would have to be a very special deal.

About Alan Zurvas 87 Articles
Alan’s interest in cars began in his early teens and has been a member of several car clubs having owned a number of classic cars himself. He has a background in the corporate sector and has reviewed everything from restaurants to theatre and accommodation before settling on motoring. Alan is the founder of Gay Car Boys and is a contributor to AnyAuto