Safe and spa­cious

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Short Cut -

VALUE The X-Trail is Nissan’s best­selling ve­hi­cle and this up­date re­flects that, with prices un­changed or slightly down across the range de­spite more stan­dard equip­ment. Put that down to the qual­ity of the op­po­si­tion in this class. Our test Ti ver­sion sits at the top of the petrol-pow­ered range and un­til the end of the month it is sell­ing for $49,145 drive-away (less in some states). The midlife makeover en­dows the all­wheel-drive SUV with ac­tive driv­ing aids across the line-up. Warranty is three-years/ 100,000km and ser­vic­ing is ev­ery 10,000km, with the first four trips cost­ing $1232. COM­FORT The seats are sat­is­fy­ingly well­padded for long hauls and have enough bol­ster­ing to stop oc­cu­pants slid­ing around in cor­ner­ing. All seats and the steer­ing wheel are heated in the Ti and the el­e­vated sec­ond row lets pas­sen­gers see the road ahead — they can ad­just those pews for reach and re­cline too. An­droid/Ap­ple mir­ror­ing isn’t on the spec sheet but there is a seven-inch in­fo­tain­ment dis­play with sat­nav and dig­i­tal ra­dio. The tail­gate opens with a swish of a foot un­der the bumper. SAFETY Ac­tive driv­ing aids are the bigticket item for the re­vamped X-Trail and in­clude au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, blind spot alert and lane de­par­ture warn­ings, rear cross traf­fic alert, adap­tive cruise con­trol and a 360-de­gree cam­era. Six airbags and a ro­bust body con­trib­uted to a five-star ANCAP rat­ing when the X-Trail was tested in 2014; the soft­ware up­dates should re­in­force that rat­ing. DRIV­ING The X-Trail is one of the bet­ter­man­nered mid-size SUVs on the dirt, even with the low­pro­file 19-inch rub­ber fit­ted to the Ti vari­ant. Its abil­ity to soak up the im­pact of big off-road pot­holes is im­pres­sive but also means it isn’t as nice to drive as more road-ori­ented ve­hi­cles such as the Volk­swa­gen Tiguan. The en­gine and con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion also lack the re­fine­ment of more re­cent ad­di­tions to the seg­ment. AL­TER­NA­TIVES A more pow­er­ful en­gine, sixspeed auto and tighter sus­pen­sion give the Mazda bet­ter han­dling and per­for­mance. As with the Nissan, there’s no An­droid/ Ap­ple mir­ror­ing and some tyre roar on rough sur­faces. The Mazda also cedes ground in rear legroom and boot space. A smart mix of sub­stance and style has made the Tuc­son the best-sell­ing SUV in the class. It doesn’t stand out in any spe­cific cat­e­gory but is com­pe­tent in all of them and has the fur­ther re­as­sur­ance of a five-year warranty. VER­DICT The up­dates do enough to make the X-Trail a safe bet with­out trou­bling the class lead­ers. If space is im­por­tant then it should be on your short list.

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