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Nissan X-Trail TL Diesel 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the Nissan X-Trail TL diesel with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Nissan has added a diesel to its X-Trail range, but working out what model to get and what you get for your money is a minefield.

The pricing structure forces the buyer to make some hard choices between two-wheel and all-wheel drive, manual or CVT and five or seven seats. But it's not as straight forward as just picking your preferred combination - for instance you can’t get a diesel with seven seats.

Be sure to read the fine print.

VALUE

Prices for X-Trail start from $27,990 for the two-wheel drive ST petrol model with a manual transmission. 

It’s all up from here with the range topping out at $46,580 for the all-wheel drive TL diesel, and that does not include an auto, nor does it come with seven seats. If you want an auto then you need to drop back to two-wheel drive.

Our test vehicle, the two-wheel drive TL with a CVT is $46,280 plus on-roads.

SEVEN SEATS?

Here’s where it gets tricky. 

There’s 12 models from which to chose, but if you want seven seats then you’re restricted to two wheel drive with a petrol engine, either the ST or ST-L at $31,580 and $37,590 respectively.

This goes a long way to explaining the $300 difference in the price of the two-wheel and all-wheel drive diesels.

EQUIPMENT

Leather, climate air, push button start, heated front seats, power adjust driver and front passenger seat, warmed and cooled front cup holders - there's a lot to like.

Then there’s cruise control, auto lights and wipers, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth phone and audio, rear view camera and around view monitor, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, an electric sunroof, satellite navigation and a power operated tailgate.

The satnav system provides a visual warning of the current speed limit but does not warn of approaching school zones or speed cameras. There does appear to be a facility for downloading and installing your own camera database, however.

All models come with six airbags and a full five-star safety rating.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

It’s a smallish 1.6-litre turbodiesel that delivers 96kW and 320Nm, the latter from a low 1750 revs.

It gets tricky again because if you want all-wheel drive, then you can only have it with a manual. The two-wheel drive model is available with a CVT automatic.

Both the manual and the CVT come with auto stop-start, that shuts down the engine at traffic lights to save fuel.

Our test vehicle, the two wheel drive TL diesel, is rated at 5.3 litres/100km. With a 60-litre tank that gives it a theoretical range of 1132km.

However, we were getting 6.4L/100km after about 400km of driving.

DRIVING

It’s a totally different car to the previous model which was chunkier and more of a 4WD. The new one is targeted at urban dwellers.

Apart from the more rounded shape the interior is a huge step up in terms of quality and functionality, although we do miss the hose out luggage area from the old one.

There’s no question the diesel is a better thing in terms of performance, but the CVT has some issues.

It’s slow to respond to the throttle and can be downright reticent to launch unless you put the boot in. Or so we discovered while waiting for our turn at a roundabout.

Our window of opportunity arrived, we pressed the accelerator but the car didn't move forward for a full two seconds, maybe even three heartbeats - narrowly avoiding the car entering on our right. Talk about nerve-wracking...

Flicking the gear lever across to sport mode sharpens the response, but still does not overcome the initial lag.

Mid-range response however is good and the car sits securely and performs strongly on back roads, lapping up the kilometres without fuss.

Having said that we did encounter some problems with cruise control. At 108km/h on the motorway the car kept surging forward every few minutes, although hunting for the right gear - although as a CVT it doesn't have any gears.

The indicator stalk in our test vehicle was also a little difficult to operate, requiring firm pressure that made one touch control difficult for merging. 

Other than that if you have the wanders the continual beeping of the lane departure warning system will quickly wear out its welcome.

Pricing guides

$18,973
Based on 213 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$13,800
Highest Price
$27,985

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Adventure Edition (4x4) 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $13,100 – 18,920 2014 Nissan X-Trail 2014 Adventure Edition (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Adventure S.E. (4x4) 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $13,100 – 18,920 2014 Nissan X-Trail 2014 Adventure S.E. (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ST (4X4) 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $10,600 – 15,620 2014 Nissan X-Trail 2014 ST (4X4) Pricing and Specs
ST (fwd) 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $9,000 – 13,530 2014 Nissan X-Trail 2014 ST (fwd) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7