2021 Nissan X-Trail Ti review: Ageing SUV provides strong value for money
A new Nissan X-Trail is due to arrive in showrooms shortly, but you can get a good deal on the current version. We find out if it’s worth it.
It’s hard to get a great deal on a new car in 2021. Strong customer demand and limited dealer stock mean genuine bargains are hard to find.
Nissan goes against the grain with its mildly-updated X-Trail. Available from $30,990 drive-away (with zero-deposit finance and three years of free servicing), it’s at least $10,000 cheaper than rival machines such as the new Volkswagen Tiguan. We tested it in range-topping Ti form priced from $46,490 drive-away. That’s cheap, but this isn’t a new car. Introduced in 2014, the model shown here has already been replaced overseas, and the next gen is not far away from an Australian debut. But the outgoing model might make sense for families looking to stretch their dollar.
The X-Trail Ti is well equipped with luxuries such as dual-zone climate control, front and rear heated leather seats, smart keys, a powered tailgate and more. You also get an unremarkable 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus sat nav and a clever 360-degree camera.
Customers moving on from a 10-year-old car will enjoy the toys, but switched-on folks might notice it feels quite dated alongside more modern rivals with customisable mood lighting, digital dashboards and head-up displays.
A late update to the outgoing X-Trail saw an “intelligent driver alert” suite added for 2021, including active cruise control, auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and other handy features. Limited to the mid-grade ST-L and range-topping X-Trail Ti, the system brings Nissan into line with key rivals.
ANCAP gave the Nissan a five-star safety rating back in 2017, finding that it crashed well but missed out on family features such as seat belt reminders and curtain airbags for seven-seat versions.
The X-Trail isn’t particularly impressive to drive. Soft suspension, pronounced road noise and a vocal 2.5-litre petrol engine with 126kW/226Nm outputs conspire to put it toward the back of the family SUV pack. It’s an honest wagon that doesn’t try to impress drivers with the sort of athleticism found in some alternatives.
We’re not fans of a stepless continuously variable transmission offering sluggish responses, droning engine noise and a patchy history – a quick online search for “Nissan CVT issues” will unearth reading material to last until Christmas. Nissan’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty is a good insurance policy.
The Nissan X-Trail offers a lot of gear for the money, but you might regret not holding out for the new model – or its more modern rivals.
Hyundai Tucson, from about $38,500 drive-away
The all-new Tucson looks sharp, with bodywork like creased paper and a cabin available with a digital dashboard, widescreen infotainment and eye-catching style.
Mazda CX-5, from $32,990 drive-away
The CX-5 is a winner, with outstanding safety, impressive road manners and a premium interior.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, from about $41,000 drive-away
There’s a reason the hybrid RAV4 has a six-month waiting list. It’s an efficient, punchy and well-appointed all-rounder.
NISSAN X-TRAIL VITALS
Price: From $46,490 drive-away
Warranty/servicing: 5 years/unlimited km; $1539 for 5 years/50,000km
Safety:5 stars, 6 airbags, auto emergency braking, blind spot alert, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert
Engine: 2.5-litre 4-cyl, 126kW/226Nm
Originally published as Nissan’s bargain family SUV tested