Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Nissan ditched the petrol engines from the X-Trail range in 2009. This leaves the 150- and 173bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesels as the only engine options in the X-Trail, with a choice between six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes. Nissan X-Trail performance then is hardly scintillating.

The manual needs 10.0 seconds to deal with 0-62mpg, while the auto is a little more sluggish at 12.5 seconds for the same benchmark sprint. With a maximum braked towing weight of up to 2,200kgs, it’s a strong workhorse for buyers looking to tow regularly. There’s some diesel clatter from the engine, but in most circumstances it’s refined and easy to live with.

Parkers recommends

The X-Trail is well served by the 173bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel and we like it best with the six-speed manual gearbox.

The Nissan copes well with a variety of driving conditions. Around town, the well-weighted steering, good forward visibility and a hillstart assistance feature (the car keeps the brake on until you press the accelerator) make it easy. Excellent body control and plenty of grip make it ideal for A and B-road driving. When it comes to the motorway, diesel models cruise effortlessly and there's plenty of muscle in reserve for overtaking.

A quarter of all X-Trail buyers take their car off-road, so this latest model is better in the rough stuff than ever. Thanks to a system called ‘All-Mode 4x4’, the driver doesn’t need to worry about low-ratio gearboxes. Leave it in the ‘auto’ setting and the car does all the thinking, providing power to the wheels that need it and making sure you don’t get stuck.

Die-hard 4x4 drivers can keep it locked in four-wheel drive and this mode also helps the driver to descent hills at a steady pace. The ride is good too – supportive enough to prevent the car from rolling through corners, but comfortable enough to make motorway trips comfortable.