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Nissan X-Trail 2021 review: Ti AWD

The Nissan X-Trail's design has held well over the last seven years.

We were going camping for the weekend and needed a car that would fit a tent, a marquee, inflatables, a giant Esky and loads more food bags. Would a mid-size SUV cut it? 

The Nissan X-Trail did. This one’s also an all-wheel drive which isn't the case as often as you might think in the mid-size category.

I test drove the X-Trail Ti which is the top-of-the-range and costs $44,500, before on road costs.

It competes with cars like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. I drove it over a week for this week’s family review. 

Read more about the Nissan X-Trail

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How does it look?

The X-trail looks deceptively small from the outside. There are curved angles, a large grille and the design still holds even though this model’s been around for seven years, and is about to be replaced by a new one. It’s tough looking, but feels sophisticated on the road. 

Inside also feels good. As it’s at the top of the range there are leather seats and a leather steering wheel with a slightly flat bottom, which instantly takes it into higher level territory, and it’s got a large sunroof to let light through the car. 

The X-trail looks deceptively small from the outside. The X-trail looks deceptively small from the outside.

High gloss accents adorn the centre console area, and while you couldn’t call the interior super flash, it suits the rugged feel of the car's design. 

There are a few more buttons than is ideal for functionality, making it feel slightly dated, and the 7.0-inch multimedia screen is smaller than some competitors - both are a giveaway that the car was designed a few years ago. Still, you feel good driving the X-Trail Ti on the road.

It’s tough looking, but feels sophisticated on the road.  It’s tough looking, but feels sophisticated on the road. 

What’s the tech like?

The 7.0-inch multimedia system, finally, as of 2021, has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is all you need for good technology.

It syncs instantly to the apps on your phone so you’ve got the world’s best tech for maps and streaming services, even if you still have to connect it with a cable.

You do get digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker Bose stereo, so turn the sound up.

The 7.0-inch multimedia system finally has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 7.0-inch multimedia system finally has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

How easy is it to use everyday?

The front seats are power adjustable, and both rows have heating. As does the steering wheel, which is great for cold mornings! The seats are comfortable to sit in over long distances. 

You’ll get two cupholders in the front, a spot for keys and a phone, but no wireless charger. You do get a large centre storage bin and bottle holders in each door. 

The steering wheel is heated, which is great for cold mornings! The steering wheel is heated, which is great for cold mornings!

There is a manual foot brake that Nissan seems to favour in its cars. It’s actually really convenient except when you’re wearing heels - watch out for your foot slipping off. 

Rear passengers get two cupholders and their own directional air vents. The tailgate is power operated with a button on the key to open it.

How spacious is it?

It’s spacious inside. Not huge, it’s still a mid-size SUV, but you will have plenty of leg and head space even for taller family members. And it’s wide enough that you don’t feel too close together in the front. 

My two children (aged seven and nine) fit really well in the back. For our camping trip, we had to pack most of the cabin with soft things like sleeping bags, pillows and their backpacks and they thought it was excellent.

I can fit back there at 161cm (5'3") and there’s enough room between my knees and the seats in front that taller people will be able to ride in the back comfortably. 

  • You will have plenty of leg and head space even for taller family members. You will have plenty of leg and head space even for taller family members.
  • You’ll also get three kids car seats across the back. You’ll also get three kids car seats across the back.
  • The boot is large for a mid-size SUV. The boot is large for a mid-size SUV.

You’ll also get three kids car seats across the back. It will require some squeezing and of course it depends on your car seats. I did it with two boosters and a baby capsule.

And the boot is large for a mid-size SUV. A volume of 565L means it’s at the bigger end of the class, and about the same as a Honda CR-V.

You’ll fit a double pram in, or large and medium suitcases and we stuffed in all of our camping necessities with everything strategically placed. 

How does it drive?

The X-Trail Ti has a 2.5L petrol engine which is super easy to drive around suburbia and it also does a good job on highways. The steering is easy, it’s speedy enough up hills and it handles nicely around corners. 

The weekend I went away it had flooded on the camping property and there were some very dodgy dirt and rocky roads that wound downhill and uphill, across minor water crossings that I was glad I had all-wheel drive to cover it.

The X-Trail boosted my confidence more than other mid-size SUVs I’ve driven. I think this is where it earns its value. 

The X-Trail Ti has a 2.5L petrol engine which is super easy to drive around suburbia. The X-Trail Ti has a 2.5L petrol engine which is super easy to drive around suburbia.

How safe is it?

For safety there are airbags that cover the driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that extend to the back.

The Nissan X-Trail scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was assessed in 2017. The Nissan X-Trail scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was assessed in 2017.

Advanced safety for the Ti grade includes rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, and front auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection and rear parking sensors. 

There are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for kids car seats across the back seat and the Nissan X-Trail scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was assessed in 2017.

How much does it cost to own?

The Nissan X-Trail costs $45,965, before on-road costs, and is covered by a five-year/unlimited km warranty, with 24-hour roadside assist included for that period.

Recommended service intervals are 12 months/20,000km (whichever comes first) and Nissan's capped price service rates are set for the 2.5L AWD X-Trail over the first five services, averaging $328 each.

The Nissan X-Trail costs $45,965, before on-road costs. The Nissan X-Trail costs $45,965, before on-road costs.

'Pre-paid Maintenance Plan' options are also available over three, four, or five services.

The official combined cycle fuel consumption figure is 7.7L/100km and I averaged 8.8L/100km driving on highways and through suburbia over the week.


The Wrap

I really enjoyed driving the Nissan X-Trail Ti. While the interior isn't as fancy as some in this category, it’s spacious for a mid-size SUV, with a large boot, and the feature that tipped it over for me - all-wheel drive. It's something plenty of the X-Trail's competitors don't have, and it means it’s safer on unstable surfaces. It makes you feel more secure while driving, and with a family, that’s invaluable. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.8 out of 10 and my kids gave it the same, they liked being able to do all the water crossings! 

Likes

AWD
Interior space
Boot space

Dislikes

Design getting dated
Small-ish multimedia screen
Foot-operated parking brake

Scores

Nedahl:

3.9

The Kids:

3.9

$45,965

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

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