Driveway Nissan on Trail of rivals
NISSAN’S base X-Trail, the ST, is currently $28,990 drive-away with a fiveyear/100,000km warranty and premium roadside assistance, making it one of the bargains of the midsize SUV segment.
The discount doesn’t extend to other versions of the X-Trail, which are still listed at full price online.
The next model up – the one we’re testing – is the ST-L (top-spec Ti pictured).
The Nissan website lists it at $40,700 drive-away, an $11,000 premium over the ST.
A recent facelift added standard equipment to the ST-L: push-button start, leather seats (heated fronts), digital speed display, rear privacy glass, dual zone airconditioning, 360-degree camera, built-in navigation and digital radio, but still no Apple Car Play/Android Auto.
The first four routine services covering 45,000km total $1264.
The X-Trail is just the right size: not too big and not too small.
The quality of the materials is impressive and the sporty flat-bottomed leather steering wheel is a deft touch.
There is ample oddment storage and plenty of charging ports.
The rear seats get air vents but no power points. The huge boot has a twotiered floor and stows a space-saver spare.
Autonomous emergency braking is now standard on the X-Trail, in addition to six airbags, blind-spot warning and rear crosstraffic alert.
It scores five stars for safety.
The 360-degree overhead camera view is milky during the day and so fuzzy at night you can’t tell what you’re looking at.
The ST’s 2.0-litre drives the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission, which unlike others of the genre feels perky. The ST-L gets a gutsier 2.5-litre.
The steering is direct and precise, the suspension is supple over bumps and the tyres have surefooted grip in corners.
The X-Trail is a pleasant surprise; it’s certainly closed the gap to the Mazda CX5 and Ford Escape, two of the benchmarks in the class. I prefer the way the XTrail drives over its peers. Verdict: I really like the X-Trail to drive but the asking price for the ST-L is high.