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Used Nissan X-trail review: 2011-2012

Nissan X-Trail.
EXPERT RATING
7
Jackson Rowe is considering buying a two to three-year-old Nissan X-Trail. It would be the family's regular day-to-day car, but he also wants it to tow a medium-sized 'tinnie' and a small trailer of wood out of the bush. He asks if the X-Trail was up to it, and he's also concerned about reports of troubles with the

Jackson Rowe is considering buying a two to three-year-old Nissan X-Trail. It would be the family's regular day-to-day car, but he also wants it to tow a medium-sized 'tinnie' and a small trailer of wood out of the bush. He asks if the X-Trail was up to it, and he's also concerned about reports of troubles with the X-Trail's CVT transmission and diesel engine.

NEW

Cars today are required to perform a multitude of tasks, many more than the cars of old, and the SUV is perhaps the ultimate all-purpose vehicle. The SUV has to transport the family, cart the kids to their weekend sports, head to the country on weekends, and tow the trailer, boat or caravan when needed.

It's a tough call for any vehicle, and owners are always looking to match their needs with the capability of their car.

Carsguide reader Jackson Rowe is one such potential owner. He's keen on a second-hand Nissan X-Trail that he wants for family transport, but he also wants to tow small trailer or boat, and he's concerned about the X-Trail's capacity to handle his towing needs.

Jackson hasn't given us any indication of the weight of his trailer when loaded or his boat, but the four-wheel drive X-Trail is rated to tow up to 2000 kg braked and 750 kg unbraked, and the front-wheel drive model is rated at 1500 kg braked and 750 kg unbraked. Guessing that he is considering the 4WD model he should be fine to tow his trailer or boat.

The X-Trail fitted in between the soft-road models that appeared similar, but in fact were unsuited to anything more than a gravel road, and the more serious off-road pluggers that were equally at home in the bush or the 'burbs.

There was a front-wheel drive model for starters for anyone who simply wanted a wagon; the bulk of the range was made up of on-demand all-wheel drivers.

A dial on the dash that allowed the driver to switch between front-wheel drive, on-demand four-wheel drive, controlled the system and a more serious locked four-wheel drive, all with the twist of a knob.

There were choices of petrol and diesel engines. On the petrol side of the divide there was a 2.0-litre and a 2.5-litre to choose from, while on the diesel side there was a 2.0 turbo-diesel.

For transmissions there was a six-speed manual, with a CVT auto option on petrol models and a six-speed auto option on the diesel.

The petrol engines are fine if your range of operation is limited to the blacktop, but if you've got a hankering for open spaces then the diesel is the go.

On the road the X-Trail is safe and secure, it rides well ride and handles with assurance, while off-road the suspension soaks up rocky bush roads with ease.

NOW

Our reader Jackson was concerned about reports of troubles with the X-Trail's CVT transmission and the diesel engine.

Some owners are disappointed with the performance of the 2.0-litre petrol four, so it's best to test-drive one in as many different situations as possible to determine if it meets your needs. Others complain about the fuel economy of all engines.

There aren't too many issues buyers need to be aware of with the X-Trail, but there are one or two.

The clutches on cars with manual gearboxes are marginal and we get regular reports of failed clutches at very low kays. It's more of a problem if you're towing and it would be worth considering installing a heavy-duty clutch if you're going to be doing a lot of towing.

There have been reports of issues with the CVT transmission. A number of CVTs were replaced on early T31 X-Trails because of a failed bearing that was overloaded. Keep looking if you find one that shimmies and shakes or is noisy.

Another problem that has affected a number of diesel models is the failure of the DPF. They're expensive to replace if you need to.

The earlier T30 model X-Trail diesels had problems with the timing chain tensioner, which could fail causing serious engine damage, but we haven't heard of issues with the T31 engine.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $6,500 $16,280
2011 $5,900 $14,520

View all Nissan X-Trail pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$11,990
Based on 161 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,550
Highest Price
$16,988

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
ST (4X4) 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $7,900 – 12,210 2011 Nissan X-Trail 2011 ST (4X4) Pricing and Specs
ST (fwd) 2.0L, ULP, CVT AUTO $6,500 – 10,010 2011 Nissan X-Trail 2011 ST (fwd) Pricing and Specs
ST-L (4X4) 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $9,100 – 13,640 2011 Nissan X-Trail 2011 ST-L (4X4) Pricing and Specs
ST-L (fwd) 2.0L, ULP, CVT AUTO $7,200 – 11,220 2011 Nissan X-Trail 2011 ST-L (fwd) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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