X marks sweet spot

The Advertiser - Motoring - - USED CAR -

chang­ing use of SUVs, Nis­san added front-wheel drive ver­sions with a 2.0-litre four­cylin­der petrol en­gine and man­ual or CVT.

The range con­sisted of (in as­cend­ing or­der of trim level) the petrol pow­ered ST, ST-L and Ti and the diesel TS and TL. The ST and ST-L had the front­drive op­tion.

In­side, the X-Trail had plenty of stan­dard fea­tures, the seats were com­fort­able, there was am­ple room for all pas­sen­gers and the gen­er­ous load space swal­lowed most of the things needed on a trip.

NOW

Own­ers we sur­veyed were gen­er­ally con­tent with their cars. A cou­ple of the com­plaints re­flected what me­chan­ics also re­ported.

One com­plained of it be­ing dif­fi­cult to se­lect first gear in the man­ual, sug­gest­ing a clutch that’s need­ing to be re­placed, an ex­pen­sive process.

Most man­ual own­ers find they need to re­place the dual­mass fly­wheel at the same time to get bet­ter life from the re­place­ment clutch. Cost is $2500-$3000.

The CVTs fit­ted to the ma­jor­ity of X-Trails present prob­lems of their own. They’re an odd trans­mis­sion to drive, so take the time to fa­mil­iarise your­self with the op­er­a­tion be­fore buy­ing one.

When test-driv­ing a CVT, pay at­ten­tion to any hes­i­ta­tion or shud­der­ing at take­off or un­der ac­cel­er­a­tion. It’s best to walk away if any­thing seems un­to­ward.

Diesel mod­els that are only driven on short trips are prone to block­ing of the par­tic­u­late fil­ter, which can be ex­pen­sive to have cleaned. If you’re look­ing for a car to drop the kids off at school and run to the shops, it’s prob­a­bly bet­ter to opt for a petrol model.

If you reg­u­larly drive the diesel on the open road, it’s not a prob­lem as the fil­ter will au­to­mat­i­cally clean it­self.

The ear­li­est ex­am­ples will be clos­ing in on 250,000km on av­er­age, the lat­est less than 100,000km.

If you’re check­ing an early car, look for the tell­tale signs of wear and tear, oil leaks, smoke from the tailpipe, odd me­chan­i­cal noises, clunks and bangs from the sus­pen­sion etc.

Check for a cred­itable ser­vice record show­ing a Barry Smith My 2010 X-Trail has done 137,000km and hasn’t missed a beat. My only com­plaint is that around town it is worse than a V8 on fuel and Nis­san’s up­hol­stery leaves a lot to be de­sired when try­ing to keep clean. Frank Meek My 2008 X-Trail has done 140,000km. It has been a com­fort­able, reli­able and very use­ful fam­ily car. Lorenc Olli I bought a 2008 X-Trail diesel man­ual three years ago and over­all I am happy with it. The man­ual isn’t good for ur­ban driv­ing and it’s some­times very hard to use first gear. The diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter got blocked last year and cost $1600 to fix. David and Ruth Clark We owned a 2007 X-Trail that cov­ered 115,000km. We used it daily around the sub­urbs and towed a 1200kg car­a­van. It was very com­fort­able and prac­ti­cal and gave us ex­cel­lent ser­vice. We usu­ally got a re­turn of about 9-10L/100km and 12-13L when tow­ing.

SMITHY SAYS

A gen­er­ally sound SUV with vari­ants that are at home in town and off-road.

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