X-Trail with its own X fac­tor

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT ON SUNDAY -

SUVS come in all shapes and sizes these days with prices to suit all bud­gets but few look as ath­letic or stylish as the Nis­san X-Trail which is avail­able in two or four-wheel guise.

With space for seven, al­beit rather lim­ited in the rear two seats, the X-Trail is an at­ten­tion grab­ber es­pe­cially in range-top­ping Tekna trim with eye-catch­ing fea­tures in­clud­ing a mus­cu­lar, up­right stance, sweep­ing light clus­ters with LED sig­na­ture lights, satin sil­ver roof rails, a shark fin an­tenna, front fog lights, lots of chrome trim, a dis­tinc­tive black hon­ey­comb grille, a pow­ered panoramic sun­roof and 19-inch al­loys to com­plete the look.

Move in­side and the spa­cious in­te­rior is beau­ti­fully laid out. It is clut­ter-free and mod­ern in its ap­pear­ance with a wealth of techno treats to be dis­cov­ered.

Crea­ture com­forts in­clude the likes of leather up­hol­stery with heated front seats that are power ad­justable, heated rear seats (sec­ond row), a flat­bot­tomed steer­ing wheel that can be heated, a six-speaker sound sys­tem, DAB dig­i­tal ra­dio, a nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, a seven-inch touch­screen, Blue­tooth, dual zone air con­di­tion­ing and plenty more be­sides.

Our model was pow­ered by a 163ps 1.6-litre petrol en­gine mated to a six-speed man­ual gear­box.

This Tekna grade X-Trail was priced at £32,095 al­though the ad­di­tional two rear seats added £660 to the cost.

The ve­hi­cle could com­plete the 0-62mph dash in 9.7 sec­onds, topped out at 124mph and, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures, can de­liver com­bined fuel econ­omy of 44.1mpg with car­bon emis­sions of 149g/km.

With its up­right and el­e­vated seat­ing po­si­tion, the driver ben­e­fits from ex­cel­lent all-round vis­i­bil­ity and the large win­dows mean pas­sen­gers in the sec­ond row have a good view of their sur­round­ings too.

The pair of third row seats are easy to ac­cess once the mid­dle seat has been moved for­ward and tilted, but leg room is min­i­mal. In re­al­ity, they are okay for young­sters over fairly short jour­neys.

The X-Trail has a solid feel to it and it copes well when put through its paces on the open road. There is plenty of power from the petrol en­gine which helps make light work of over­tak­ing and the ac­cel­er­a­tion through the gear­box im­presses too.

There is a lit­tle wind noise at higher speeds due to the shape of the car, but gen­er­ally the cabin is well in­su­lated against en­gine and road sur­face sounds. In town cen­tres, the ex­cel­lent all-round view is a real plus fac­tor.

The road-hold­ing is ul­tra-grippy with only a lit­tle body sway if pushed too hard into bends and the highly ef­fec­tive sus­pen­sion sys­tem irons out all but the most se­vere dips and bumps in the road. It’s also a re­ally com­fort­able car to travel in. We clocked up 180 miles in a sin­gle trip and still got out of the car feel­ing quite re­freshed.

There is am­ple leg room in the mid­dle row so even six foot­ers won’t com­plain about the space and the stor­age op­tions are good, too.

The boot has a ca­pac­ity of 565 litres that is in­creased to 1,996 litres with the sec­ond and third row seats folded flat and there are plenty of con­ve­nient stor­age spa­ces through­out the car, in­clud­ing a deep cen­tral bin, prac­ti­cally-sized door pock­ets with a groove to hold a bot­tle, a glove­box, cup hold­ers and a sun­glasses com­part­ment.

Safety sys­tems are com­pre­hen­sive on the ve­hi­cle and it scored a max­i­mum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rat­ing.

Fea­tures in­clude blind spot warn­ing, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, mov­ing ob­ject de­tec­tion, traf­fic sig­nal recog­ni­tion, in­tel­li­gent for­ward emer­gency brak­ing with pedes­trian recog­ni­tion, tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, six airbags and lots more. There is also a Thatcham alarm sys­tem to keep in­trud­ers at bay.

All in all, in a world where ev­ery other car seems to be an SUV, mod­els need to have a wow fac­tor. The X-Trail cer­tainly has its very own X fac­tor – it looks great, drives beau­ti­fully, it’s ver­sa­tile, prac­ti­cal and won’t break the bank with its ask­ing price or run­ning costs.

There’s plenty of power in the Nis­san X-Trail

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