Now why are we going to miss this plucky SUV you might ask? Well despite the fact that we get test cars every week, the X-Trail has become like our fourth team member, a reliable friend who has delivered on every front. Here are our top five reasons for having enjoyed the X-Trail during its extended stay.
Still looks good
It might not be the latest SUV but it still looks good, modern and relevant. A stand out feature for us is the LED daytime running lights. They give the front end a noticeable appearance. It also comes across as a rather large car which brings us to our second point. highest of quality, however they did the job, making parking a breeze.
Space and practicality
The X-Trail looks big on the outside and it’s quite roomy inside. Something we really enjoyed was the rear seat bench which could move backwards and forwards. This helped out when we had to transport family members on long trips. Slide the bench back and rear passengers have extra leg room, slide it forward and the large boot becomes even more capacious.
What makes the X-Trail feel premium is the quality of the materials used inside. The dashboard features soft touch plastics as well as gloss black inserts and silver trim. The infotainment system is also a nice piece of kit. It’s easy to use and the navigation system is user friendly. Our car was also fitted with the 360 degree camera option. The visuals are not of the highest of quality, however they did the job, making parking a breeze.
Our X-Trail was fitted with Nissan’s All-Mode 4x4-i system. It’s not a full on low-range bundu bashing system, yet we did have it active a number of times. For example, when we ventured out to a few game lodges and experienced a bit of mud, and when the recent heavy rains made road conditions undesirable. The system uses a rotary dial which gives you the option to select between 2WD, Auto which splits the power depending on traction, and finally a LOCK function which locks the power split 50/50.
Our X-Trail was fitted with a 1.6-litre dCi turbodiesel engine. This little motor develops 96kW and 320Nm. Driving around town does unearth some lag which can be slightly annoying, however once on the go, the car pulls pretty well. Ours was also fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s no slouch, in fact it’s able to get a move on when needed.
On one occasion, journalist Justin Jacobs loaded five people into the car as well as their luggage, and headed down to Nelspruit. The trip there and back resulted in an impressive 6.6-litres/100km, while the ride was comfortable and devoid of drama.
When we received the X-Trail, we were curious to find out why so many South Africans tend to favour it over its cheaper Qashqai sibling, which was our previous long termer. After a good four months, the reasons became quite apparent.
It really is a good SUV and for R460 900 for the 1.6 dCi 4x4 SE we had, it does put up a good argument against some of the newer, more expensive options out there. We will miss the X-Trail dearly but we are very confident that its new owners will be as pleasantly impressed as we were.