Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8
  • Functional and well laid-out interior
  • Easy to get comfortable behind the wheel
  • Not as premium-feeling as rivals

The cabin of the X-Trail feels quite grown-up and reflects the more mature side of Nissan’s arsenal. Majoring on practicality and comfort, the X-Trail feels fit for purpose, but it’s not the most exciting place to spend time in - even after the 2017 facelift introduced new interior improvements, such as the flat-bottomed steering wheel.

The dash is clearly laid out with a large speedo and rev counter taking centre stage. Between them sits a small screen, which can display a number of parameters including safety system information and details about your car’s economy or performance. It’s exactly the same as you’ll find in the Qashqai, actually.

Materials used in the cabin feel very hard-wearing, but certainly not of a quality approaching premium rivals. Again, it’s function over fashion here. The result is bound to be very resilient, but we were disappointed by the juxtaposition of classier squidgy, soft-touch plastics and brittle, Lego-spec materials.

The controls are laid-out nicely, but Honda’s CR-V trumps it in this respect with a gearlever that falls more easily to hand, while quality of a Kia Sorento is superior to the Nissan’s.

The facelifted Nissan X-Trail, launched in August 2017, added a new steering wheel making it easier to see the dials and boasting a heating element to keep your fingers toasty on cold winter mornings; the rear seats can be heated on some models, too, although only as a bench and not individually. This could lead to some squabbles with children, we predict!

Comfort

  • X-Trail majors on comfort for all on board
  • Supple suspension and plenty of space
  • Refinement a strong point, too

In becoming a car with better road manners and less of a focus on rugged off-road ability than its predecessors, the Nissan X-Trail’s comfort levels are higher than they’ve ever been. Even the majority of higher-spec models come fitted with large 19-inch alloy wheels, and this doesn’t upset its composure.

The seats are supple and make travelling big miles no problem at all, but they could do with a little more lateral support to keep you in place when you’re cornering at anything over a snail’s pace.

It’s a fairly quiet environment too, though the diesel engine can sound a little gruff when worked hard. This is worse with the Xtronic CVT automatic gearbox.

There’s noticeably more wind and road noise, compared with the Nissan Qashqai. With less sound deadening and none of that car’s upgraded seals and aerodynamic trickery fitted in the 2017 facelift, the X-Trail can be quite loud at speed.