A brilliant design concept, spoilt by mechanical unreliability
Inter-cooler leaking at 23,000 miles.
Sill kick plate broken 16,000 miles.
The X Trail is a very nice car to drive - roomy, comfortable, good performance for a vehicle of its type, and generally economical to run. All aspects of day to day use and functionality are first class.
Unfortunately as with other owners I now have the turbo and intercooler problem, with the dealer taking their time to get the vehicle booked in to sort this out. The broken sill plate mentioned is a minor issue, but does illustrate a certain flimsiness and fragility about the vehicle trim. Given the fact that this is a lightweight (and thus economical) 4x4 I'm prepared to accept the flimsy trim.
To judge by the frequency of other people's reported turbo problems, the original engineering creates an impression in my mind of wholesale inadequacy, and suggests to me that Nissan don't have any idea of how to permanently rectify the problem. I'd be prepared to forgive the original fault if I thought that Nissan and its dealers were able to come up with a permanent fix, but on the basis of the volume of repeat problems reported here I don't really have any confidence in them to do this - maybe I'll be lucky?
Nissan are trading on Japanese reliability credentials earned by other Japanese makers, and with the X Trail they are failing to deliver the expected level of reliability. This can only tarnish their own brand, ensuring low levels of recommendation and repeat custom. They could have made this problem a huge plus for the Nissan brand if they were prepared to admit it, establish a permanent fix, and then systematically fix the cars out there - but instead all I can see is another big, lazy car maker determined to do its own thing, and wholly disinterested in existing customers.
Anybody considering buying a Nissan Murano, Qashquai or 350Z should consider whether they are willing to buy what are relatively expensive cars from a company with this track record on reliability. As a footnote, the turbo charger was patented in 1905 - one hundred years of tecnological progress and Nissan still can't get them to work reliably on the X Trail.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 13th July, 2007