Nissan X-trail Ti
Still true to the original recipe but with added refinements observes, Cathy Parker.
The X-trail has definitely become more refined over its lifetime whilst still keeping some DNA from the original such as the two level load floor arrangement. We jumped into the X-trail straight from big brother Pathfinder – same colour, same Manufacturer and a similar shape even but they are quite different cars. The X-trail is obviously smaller and also feels a light lighter but as with Pathfinder it has good versatile load space helped by the second row of seats sliding back and forth to maximise leg room or load space as the driver requires. The 2.5 litre 126kw engine provides generous performance and reasonable economy and the CVT is generally unobtrusive with the CVT nature only becoming evident at higher engine speeds or hard acceleration. There is only the single petrol engine available in the range. Ride is good but the steering feels overly light with a lack of feedback even in normal driving and this compromises handling due to lack of road feel making the driver reluctant to push the vehicle too far. The Ti was a 4WD model with the ability to select 4WD or have automatic 4WD and you get hill start assist and hill decent control if you do want to adventure off-road a little. The seats are comfortable with good lateral support and are heated which is nice in winter, front legroom might be tight for very tall people as I only just fitted comfortably. The interior is attractive and the centre stack has a more modern feel than the Pathfinder and the Bluetooth and phone connectivity worked seamlessly. The Ti gets some additional safety systems over the lesser models with intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and moving object detection. There is a 7-inch touchscreen system for the electronics including a reversing camera which also gets the clever all round view system (essentially a compiled view of the vehicle and obstructions from overhead), audio, phone and navigation. In terms of other features you get a sunroof, smart key, automatic sensor operated power tailgate, rain sensing wipers, power driver and passenger seat and dual zone air conditioning. Missing even from the top of the range model is the now fairly ubiquitous AEB automated emergency braking. The load area is an interesting mix, as noted above the sliding rear seats add versatility and the double floor system (now called Drive N Hide) gives you a second covered load area under the floor with the top level being removable. There is a cargo blind which is great and something some SUV’S lack but it is mounted quite a way behind the rear seat which means there is a gap and that the cover can get in the way of loading larger items (It is removable). The Ti only has five seats but there are 2WD ST and ST-L seven-seat models available in the range. Overall the X-trail is an easy pleasant SUV to drive with good versatility for load carrying.