2003 Nissan X-Trail Luxe 2.2 turbo diesel from France


Even better than I thought it would be


Nothing at all. Typical Japanese build quality - irreproachable.

A piece of trim needed changing in the boot when a ham-fisted mechanic split it during replacement after mounting the tow bar.

General Comments:

I am extremely pleased with the car. It's comfortable, well-equipped and has plenty of room both in the back seats and in the boot.

At 115 hp the engine is very conservatively rated, but it delivers more torque than a locomotive - it will pull away in 6th gear from 60km/h.

Up till now, it's used 6.5l/100km, and that's during the long hot summer of 2003 with the air con on flat out the whole time. That's pretty good for a vehicle weighing 1600kg.

The tyres (Dunlop) are very noisy and produce an irritating buzz at 80-100 km/h. Experimenting with the pressures hasn't made any difference (yet?)

Although it's not the sort of vehicle anyone would buy for its performance, the handling is pretty good.

While it doesn't have the off-road capacity of my previous vehicle, it's quite capable off the road, BUT

1 - it's fitted with road tyres (although you wouldn't believe it from the noise mine make) that would need changing to cope with mud, etc

2 - the rear silencer is very vulnerable to damage, and would need protecting with a ski. Since Nissan have thoughtfully provided no mounting points, you either take the risk of leaving the silencer behind or weld brackets to the body shell and invalidate the guarantee.

The drink coolers in the dash work very well - 10/15 minutes is enough to get a 33cl can of drink very cool.

Minor gripes: the plastics used on the dash seem (as said elsewhere) very vulnerable to marking and the LCD panel with the heating/air con settings is set too low and reflects badly, making it difficult to read.

Note to Nissan: why can't I have an automatic gearbox with a diesel?

Final remark: Unless you own a car wash, avoid the black paint. With the tinted windows and the fat alloy wheels, it looks good, but it's impossible to keep clean. You either have to wash it every day or put up with people assuming you're just a scruffy bugger.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2003

2nd Oct 2003, 05:40

I'm wondering why Nissan doesn't yet offer the X-Trail with the 138hp 2.2 Dci engine as found in the Primera? Or does it? Is it true a facelift is imminent?

4th May 2004, 22:18

The X-Trail is so far the best SUV I have driven, it provides the comfort of a luxury sedan in an off-road body. I love its interior especially the two chillers on the dashboard which its competitors like the Honda CRV and the Toyota Rav4 don't have.