2008 Nissan X-Trail

By NRMA Motoring on 21 February 2008
2008 Nissan X-Trail

Engine
Transmission
Fuel Economy
16.4 L/ 100km
Output
ANCAP rating

Not Tested

The Nissan X-Trail Ti was a deserving winner of the Australia's Best Cars Recreational 4WD award. It has improved in many areas, including the dash moving back in front of the driver and Electronic Stability Control now standard across the range.

Value for money

Pricing

Despite its long list of features the price has remained unchanged from the previous model. The mid spec ST-L is priced from $35,990 (manual) and $37,990 (CVT auto). The top of the range Ti is priced from $38,990 (manual) and $40,990 (CVT auto).

Standard features

The new X-Trail has six cup holders (four are cooled or heated), power windows, double luggage floor including drawer system, in-dash six stack CD player with MPS compatibility and AM/FM radio on ST-L and Ti models, air conditioning with rear, centre console, air vents, cruise control, keyless entry integrated into the key and drive computer with average speed, average fuel consumption and distance to empty.

Design and function

Space and practicality

The new rear 40/20/40 seat system provides great flexibility including being able to seat two passengers in the rear while folding down the centre seat for long objects like skis. The rear drawers allow storage of valuable items, such as a lap-top computer, out of sight. The drawers are also removable, providing extra storage.

Comfort

The front seats are well padded and we found them very comfortable during extended testing. However the rear seat back was hard, due to the fold down arm rest.

Ergonomics

Big improvements have been made here. The centre mounted dash display is back behind the steering wheel and buttons and switches are within easy reach of the driver. Nissan has listened to its customers and improvements, particularly to the interior, are welcome.

Safety

Nissan has taken safety seriously on the X-Trail and now includes, as standard across the range, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) including Stability and Traction Control with Active Brake, Limited Slip differential, hill descent control and hill-start assist. Hill-start assist and descent control are part of the electronically controlled, intelligent, ALL MODE 4x4-i four-wheel-drive system that improves the X-Trail's off- road capabilities.

Added to this are driver and passenger front air bags, full length curtain head protecting air bags, height adjustable front seat belts with pretensioners, Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and front active head rests. However seat-belt reminders, standard on the European model, are not fitted to the Australian model.

Build quality and finish

The build quality of the X-Trail just gets better with solid, tight construction. Interior trim is better quality and the exterior has cleaner styling front and rear plus a new look rear quarter window. The familiar X-Trail shape and style remains, but with cleaner lines Nissan Australia is hoping the new, slightly larger X-Trail, will appeal to a wider market.

Security

Remote control keyless entry integrated into the key, keyless entry for the fuel filler release flap and engine immobiliser are standard across the range.

On the road

Fuel

The 2.5 litre 125Kw engine achieved an average combined fuel consumption figure of 10.27 litres per 100km for the CVT auto. We recorded figures of 9.69 l/100km on the highway and 10.85 l/100km in the city. 

Performance

The all-aluminium engine produces 125Kw of power with 226NM of torque giving the X-Trail a reasonable amount of power on open sealed roads or challenging four-wheel-drive tracks. A valuable feature, that got a work-out during testing, was the hill descent control mode. This standard feature, normally only found on prestige, upper market models, uses the Anti Lock Braking System (ABS) to apply braking pressure to keep all wheels at a manageable 8km/h, helping you maintain control of your vehicle during steep descents. 

Ride

Nissan's engineers have also improved the ride of the vehicle. It has a new chassis based on the Alliance C-Platform (Renault and Nissan shared platforms). This contributes to its enhanced on- and off-road driveability and was most noticeable during testing on long, corrugated, outback roads.

Handling and steering

The X-Trail is fitted with McPherson struts to the front and a new multi-link suspension system to the rear. This has not only improved the handling but also increased the amount of rear luggage space. The steering on the road test was firm and direct - gone was the understeer, evident in previous models.

Braking

Ventilated front and rear disc brakes with standard ABS across the range made braking distances during our tests more than acceptable. 

Smoothness and quietness

The ride in the X-Trail was better than expected - with a well insulated cabin, the road and engine noise was kept to a minimum. Even during off-road testing the cabin remained well insulated from the outside world and our only complaint was intermittent rattling from the rear storage tray on unsealed roads.

Summary

The new Nissan X-Trail ticks all the boxes when it comes to space, practicality, ergonomics, comfort and four-wheel driveability, something other vehicles in its class still struggle to achieve. Add to this its ride, handling and build quality and the Nissan X-Trail was a deserving winner of the 2007 Australia's Best Car award. 

Looking to buy a new car?

NRMA provides car loan options to get you on the road faster