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Nissan X-Trail Ti 2017 review

EXPERT RATING
7.1
The X-Trail is one of Nissan's local success stories, first touching down in 2001 and almost immediately striking a chord with Australian buyers.

The X-Trail is one of Nissan's local success stories, first touching down in 2001 and almost immediately striking a chord with Australian buyers. In the years since, the medium SUV has truly embedded itself in this country's motoring landscape

This third-generation model might have arrived a few years ago, but it only recently underwent a minor refresh to help renew its appeal. Still, sales are off a bit over 2016's numbers, due largely to the arrival of new or updated rivals.

And so we took the high-spec Ti out for a week to see what's new, and whether it's enough to set it ahead of this hotly contested pack.

Nissan X-Trail 2017: Ti (4WD)
Safety rating
Engine Type2.5L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency8.3L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$30,982

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

The 2017 X-Trail doesn't look a whole lot different to the 2016 model, but that's no bad thing. Trainspotters will notice the new corporate grille, new tail-lights and new wheel designs, but the changes are minimal.

It's a fine-looking thing, though, just not in the way a Mazda CX-5 is. It's more functional than fashionable.

It's more functional than fashionable. (image credit: Peter Anderson) It's more functional than fashionable. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

How practical is the space inside?   8/10

Ha-yuge. Front-seat dwellers have a huge amount of space, an impression reinforced by the panoramic sunroof. You'll find a pair of cupholders crammed into a busy centre console, but they're too small to fit one of those massive 7-Eleven cups, which might not be a bad thing. Each of the four doors has a bottle holder.

  • Front-seat dwellers have a huge amount of space. (image credit: Peter Anderson) Front-seat dwellers have a huge amount of space. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
  • The system that lets you select two- or four-wheel drive on the fly. (image credit: Peter Anderson) The system that lets you select two- or four-wheel drive on the fly. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
  • Backseat passengers luxuriate in an extraordinary amount of space. (image credit: Peter Anderson) Backseat passengers luxuriate in an extraordinary amount of space. (image credit: Peter Anderson)
  • Backseat passengers also receive air vents. (image credit: Peter Anderson) Backseat passengers also receive air vents. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

Backseat passengers luxuriate in an extraordinary amount of space, with a huge amount of legroom, possibly shading the CR-V's backseat for space. The second row sits on sliders, too, so you can shift it forward or backward to prioritise room in the boot or the backseat.

The boot offers up a minimum 565 litres, though that number can rise to a suspiciously low 945 litres. It looks bigger than that to my eyes, though, and I suspect that number might be a little conservative.

The boot is a bit bigger than it may seem. (image credit: Peter Anderson) The boot is a bit bigger than it may seem. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   7/10

Sitting at the top of the petrol-powered range, the Ti ships with 19-inch alloys, an eight-speaker stereo with DAB+, USB and Bluetooth, sat nav, dual-zone climate control, around-view camera, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start, active cruise control, electric front seats, LED active headlights, electric tailgate, power everything, panoramic sunroof, tinted windows and space saver spare.

The new alloys are one of the few exterior features changed on the car. (image credit: Peter Anderson) The new alloys are one of the few exterior features changed on the car. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

It seems like everything is heated, from the front and rear seats to the steering wheel and mirrors. But certainly not hot is the software running the 7.0-inch touchscreen. The hardware is perfectly fine but the interface is decidedly amateurish, doubling down by going without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The only factory option is premium paint for $495, which you'll be asked to pay for four of the seven available colours. 

There is no Apple CarPlay here. (image credit: Peter Anderson) There is no Apple CarPlay here. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

The Ti is powered by Nissan's 2.5-litre, four-cylinder unit, which is a welcome step up from the 2.0-litre engine in the cheaper models. Power is rated at 126kW and 226Nm and is delivered to either the front wheels or to all four wheels (as in our test vehicle) via a CVT transmission. The figures don't look massive, but neither is the X-Trail's weight at 1562kg.

The 2.5-litre, 4 cylinder is a welcome step up from the 2.0-litre engine. (image credit: Peter Anderson) The 2.5-litre, 4 cylinder is a welcome step up from the 2.0-litre engine. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

As it's an all-wheel drive, you'll also get hill-descent control and what Nissan calls Intelligent 4x4, a system that lets you select two- or four-wheel drive on the fly, and there's a centre diff lock should you want to hit the loose stuff.

Unbraked the X-Trail can tow 750kg, and the petrol version will drag a 1500kg trailer with brakes (diesel-powered machines can tow an extra 150kg).

How much fuel does it consume?   6/10

The official combined cycle figure for our X-Trail is 8.3L/100km, but I couldn't better 12.3L/100km in mostly suburban driving - although I did notice a drop in consumption when I switched to two-wheel drive.

 

What's it like to drive?   7/10

Let's get the worst bit out of the way; that transmission. Nissan's CVT is shared across its SUV family and it seems more at home in the smaller Qashqai, which has a smaller engine delivering less torque.

The bigger X-Trail serves up a very different experience, though, and one in which the CVT flares and surges, is indecisive and isn't especially quiet. Cars this size and with a bit of torque tend to drive a lot smoother with a conventional automatic transmission.

Now I've got that off my chest, it's all good news from here. The X-Trail is an otherwise fine machine; quiet in the cruise, smooth, and powerful enough that you could cheerfully hit the road a five-person family and their gear without the car breaking a sweat.

It sits high on the road, which bodes well for the off-road capability (210mm if you're keen) while maintaining reasonable body control. The ride quality is excellent across most sealed surfaces, and the worst you'll get from a bad road is a light thunk over bigger bumps. 

It sits high on the road, which bodes well for the off-road capability. (image credit: Peter Anderson) It sits high on the road, which bodes well for the off-road capability. (image credit: Peter Anderson)

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / 100,000 km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

The five-star ANCAP safety rating comes from six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, forward collision warning with forward AEB, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

There are three top tethers and two ISOFIX points.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

The X-Trail is offered with a three-year/100,000km warranty and roadside assistance is included for the same period.

The Nissan demands a service every 12 months or 10,000km, and prices are capped for the first 12 services or 120,000km, maxing out at $429 each.

Verdict

The X-Trail is definitely aimed at those looking for a bit of comfort with a few luxury touches. It's got a bright and breezy cabin, meaning everyone gets a good view, and while there's nothing outstanding about its on-road manners, it does most things quite well.

If you can endure the transmission - and many can - the X-Trail will please with its relaxed demeanour. And compared to its Japanese and Korean competition, it will hit the muddy ruts with confidence.

Does the Nissan have enough X appeal for you? Does the mild refresh do enough to put it on your list?

Pricing Guides

$23,888
Based on 644 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$18,990
Highest Price
$53,920

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
ST (2WD) 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $19,490 – 25,999 2017 NISSAN X-TRAIL 2017 ST (2WD) Pricing and Specs
ST (4WD) 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $20,990 – 25,990 2017 NISSAN X-TRAIL 2017 ST (4WD) Pricing and Specs
ST (4x4) 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $21,990 – 24,996 2017 NISSAN X-TRAIL 2017 ST (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ST (FWD) 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $18,990 – 26,990 2017 NISSAN X-TRAIL 2017 ST (FWD) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.1
Design7
Practicality8
Price and features7
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption6
Driving7
Safety8
Ownership7
Peter Anderson
Contributing journalist

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