Nissan’s X-Trail was the car that was sitting on my driveway when the Scottish Government put us into lockdown.
That meant what was supposed to be a one week loan turned into a 10-week road test.
Essentially, the X-Trail is a bigger version of Nissan’s huge-selling, game-changing Qashqai. It’s pitched against other large family SUVs, like the Skoda Kodiaq and Hyundai Santa Fe.
Nissan updated the X-Trail last year and there’s the choice of a 1.3 litre petrol or 1.7 litre diesel engine. Diesels may be falling out of fashion but they are cleaner than they’ve ever been and their low down power makes them much more suitable than petrol power for hauling a boxy SUV around. Petrol models are front-wheel drive only, so if you want something surefooted for winter snow and summer camping trips the diesel is your best bet.
Prices start at a little under £26,000 and I drove the diesel in high spec Tekna trim, which cost £33,595. My car came with the seven-seat option, which adds two extra seats that fold flat into the boot floor when not in use. Not everyone will need it and the rearmost seats are no use for adults but it’s well worth an extra £660 if you regularly cart lots of children hither and thither.
Despite having the car for 10 weeks, my lockdown mileage was limited, although when restrictions were eased I was able to get a little further afield.
The X-Trail is a capable cruiser that sits quietly at motorway speeds. It handles well for a big car as well and was perfectly suited to the Carse of Gowrie back roads I explored in it.
The interior is extremely spacious with plenty of room for five and a big boot. Nissan has prepped the X-Trail for self-driving technology that will be rolled out in coming years.
The diesel isn’t terrible fast – though economy is good – and the infotainment system is a bit fiddly to use. Those niggles aside, though, there’s not a lot to pick fault with. It’s a great all round family car.