The Nissan X-Trail is a family favourite mid-sized SUV and the N-Trek is a limited edition run of just 500 vehicles.
So, what makes the N-Trek different from a regular X-Trail? Does it look any different, or come with any extra features? How much more does it cost and is worth the money?
The Nissan X-Trail N-Trek came to live with my family for a week and we discovered the answers to these questions along with what this popular SUV is like to drive, how practical it is and how much fuel it uses.
Is there anything interesting about its design? 7/10
The X-Trail lost its boxy looks when this new-generation model arrived in 2014 with its curvy exterior, and even six years on its design has aged well and is still pleasing.
The exterior styling of the X-Trail has stood the test of time superbly.
The N-Trek adds accessories such as larger wheels, the bonnet protector and the weather shields but these are the only outward signs that this is a special edition, apart from the N-Trek badge on the tailgate, that is.
The X-Trail lost its boxy look when this new-generation model arrived in 2014 with its curvy exterior, six years on its design has aged well.
While the exterior styling has stood the test of time superbly, the X-Trail’s interior is showing its age with the 7.0-inch touchscreen looking a tad small now and the dash is busy with buttons as opposed to the cleaner designs we’re seeing in newer models.
That said, the fit and finish appears excellent and the standard leather upholstery lifts the quality to a premium feel.
The fit and finish of the interior appears excellent and the standard leather upholstery lifts the quality to a premium feel.
Inside, the N-Trek edition kit includes door sill scuff plates and luxurious-feeling floor mats.
If you were to get a group of parents of young children together to build an SUV the X-Trail is probably what they’d come up with. That’s because family practicality seems to have been at the top of the priority list.
The boot is 565L and has under floor storage.
There are the rear doors that open tall and wide at almost at 90 degrees, large cupholders in the front and back (four in total), giant door pockets, a theatre-style second row that seats the kids high so they can see out, dark-tinted rear windows so you don’t need a shade cloth, directional air vents in the back, plus a big boot (565L) that has under floor storage and a low load lip.
The seats up front are wide, and shoulder and elbow room is great.
If you’re tall or large you’ll be happy with the space up front – the seats are wide, while shoulder and elbow room is great. Those in the second row will be pleased with the X-Trail’s roominess, too. I’m 191cm tall and can sit behind my driving position with about 30mm to spare.
Those in the second row will be pleased with the X-Trail’s roominess.
The N-Trek is only available with a five-seat configuration. If you’re looking for a third row of seating the ST-L seven-seater X-Trail will do the job nicely.
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 7/10
The Nissan X-Trail N-Trek special edition lists for $38,700, which is a grand more than the mid-spec ST-L grade it’s based on.
What do you get on the N-Trek that you don’t on an ST-L? There’s the larger 19-inch alloys wheels, an eight-speaker Bose stereo, bonnet protector, weather shields for the front and rear side windows, kick plates for the door sills and carpet mats.
The N-Trek comes with larger 19-inch alloys wheels.
That’s on top of all the standard equipment which the ST-L brings such as a 7.0-inch screen with sat nav, digital radio, heated front seats, leather upholstery and dual-zone climate control.
Is it good value? Well the Bose system is good, and the larger wheels look great, but rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 are offering more equipment and newer tech such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for less money.
The RAV4 GXL 4x2 for example is $35,640. Be sure to check out the front-wheel drive versions of the Renault Koleos Zen X-Tronic and Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport, which are also more affordable.
What are the key stats for the engine and transmission? 7/10
The X-Trail N-Trek has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine making 126kW/226Nm. You won’t be able to have it with a manual gearbox as only a continuously variable automatic is available with this grade. I’m not a fan of CVTs because they seem to make the engine’s torque disappear, resulting in lackluster acceleration.
The X-Trail N-Trek has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine making 126kW/226Nm.
How much fuel does it consume? 7/10
Nissan says the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and CVT auto in the front-wheel drive X-Trail N-Trek should use 7.9L/100km after a combination of open and urban roads.
I drove exactly 100km of open and urban roads and used 13.8L, measured at the bowser. In the X-Trail’s defence there were only 500km on the odometer, and vehicles generally use more fuel when they have less than a couple of thousand kilometres on the clock.
What's it like to drive? 7/10
The driving experience of the X-Trail N-Trek in a single word is, easy. Easy around carparks with its light steering, easy to see out of with the ride height and big windows with thin pillars, and easy in terms of the placement of controls and configuration of the seating position.
The driving experience of the X-Trail N-Trek in a single word is, easy.
It’s not perfect though. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a driver in the sporty sense, the CVT and lackluster acceleration won’t impress you. And if you’re looking for a super comfortable experience then the jiggly ride on less-than-great roads will leave you a bit disappointed.
Warranty & Safety Rating
5 years / unlimited km
ANCAP Safety Rating
What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating? 7/10
The Nissan X-Trail was given the maximum five-star ANCAP rating when it was tested in 2017 and the N-Trek comes with the same standard safety features as the ST-L. There’s AEB, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot warning.
Along with the advanced tech there’s ABS, traction and stability controls and a hill hold function.
You’ll find two ISOFIX mounts across the second row along with three top tether points for child seats.
Under the boot floor is a space saver spare wheel.
What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered? 8/10
The Nissan X-Trail N-Trek is covered by Nissan’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.
Nissan provides a servicing price guide on its website which covers the first six services. Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 10,000km and you can expect to pay $234 for the first, then in subsequent years, $348, $244, $459, $254 and $377.
The Nissan X-Trail N-Trek costs a grand more than the ST-L it’s based on but you’re getting a premium stereo, larger wheels, floor mats and the weather shields which does provide better value. Don’t expect that to pay off when it comes time to sell again, however, because research shows special editions don’t command any more money than the models they’re based on when sold second hand. You’re best off enjoying the extra value now and the great practicality this family favourite offers.