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