2014 Nissan Xtrail – Review

I recently had the opportunity to hire a car for a trip around Queensland so I asked for a Midsize SUV.  I was given a Nissan Xtrail and I was quite impressed with it so I thought I’d provide a quick review of the car for those who might be looking to get one.  First off, I didn’t really take a lot of notice of the version I was given, but I’m pretty sure it was the base level ST 4WD.

 

XTrail_front

Xtrail

The car looks nice!  A great improvement over the previous boxy models.  It is a very stylish look with smooth lines and a sporty feel to the overall appearance.  Inside is quite nice too with a number of nice looking gadgets and trim.  In contrast to the Nissan Rogue (Dualis) I hired on a recent USA trip, the Xtrail has everything you would want within easy reach and without a lot of difficulty understanding how to make things work.  I had paired my iPhone to the car within about 2 minutes and deleted the previous hirers phone details without even having to reach for the manual.  This is always a good thing as all too often new cars have some pretty intense methods for getting started.  Once paired, the entertainment system was all ready for me to make calls and stream my music.  One thing that I couldn’t work out was how to use Siri when it was connected and this was a bit of a pain for making calls while on the move.  The music system in the Xtrail is ok, I wouldn’t say it thumps, but it certainly sounds good enough for today’s standards.

 

The drivers position is also very nice.  It has a fully adjustable steering wheel which can be raised up and down and also pulled out to give better positioning.  As I am fairly tall, I found the drivers seat could have gone back a few clicks, but even though the position was not ideal, it was a very comfortable position.  The actual seat itself was quite firm, but after two hours of continual driving I felt just as fresh as when I first sat down, so a big thumbs up for the overall seating.

 

The inside of the car is very roomy with plenty of rear passenger leg space.  The boot is spacious and could easily fit 4 or 5 large suitcases and the ability to segment the boot space and reveal some hidden storage bins is a very functional addition.

 

XTrailMy trip involved some city driving and then out into the country around Esk and Toowoomba.  There are some very nice twisting roads that wind through the mountains in this area and I was quite impressed with the overall power and handling of the car.  In economy mode it changes up through the gears quite early, but once that is turned off the car is very zippy and nimble even on the steepest of hills.  It has a 6 speed CVT gearbox and the gearbox has a cool little feature when you put it into manual mode where it drops back a gear automatically if the revs are right.

 

It has very capable stability control that seems to work very well especially when you’re cornering. It handled very well and the feeling is very light but you still have plenty of road feel through the steering wheel.  The only thing that I didn’t like was that it had a very noisy suspension setup and sounded like something was about to fall off every time I hit a big bump.  Obviously nothing did, I’m sure it’s just the design!

 

All in all, a great car to drive and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one for someone looking at buying a mid sized SUV for general touring.  Now as far as it being an off road option, I’ll have to admit that as much as I wanted to take it off the bitumen, I didn’t get the opportunity and being that it was a hire car, probably not a good idea.  The fact that it does have a full time 4WD option selectable from the centre console suggests that it does have some capabilities of some form.

 

 

 

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