Fleet News

Nissan X-Trail 2.0 Sport - 3,756 miles



IT IS not often that I feel sympathy for inanimate objects, but I had to feel sorry about the state of my poor old wallet the other day.

There I was happily achieving almost 50 miles per gallon in my Volkwagen Bora with its gloriously frugal pumpe duse diesel engine and the next thing I know, I am behind the wheel of the Nissan X-Trail with its 2.0-litre petrol engine returning under 27 miles per gallon.

This equates in cash terms to almost double the amount I spend on fuel each week and I can't say I am particularly happy about it.

I haven't driven a petrol-engined car for some time now, such is the present nature of our long-term test fleet, but it certainly brings it home to you with a bang when you make the switch back. It is hardly surprising that fleet drivers are queueing up to change from petrol to diesel.

This 'little' problem aside, I am enjoying my time with this big, comfortable and versatile car. It seems to be a bit of a mish-mash at first – it isn't an off-roader in the accepted sense of the word, but it isn't a soft-roader either. I suppose you might call it a middle-of-the-roader! And inside you can clearly see flashbacks to every decade since the fifties.

But this riot of styles actually works well when all thrown together and everyone who has ridden in the X-Trail so far has given it a big thumbs-up. Nissan seems to be emulating the Americans in the comfort and handling departments. The seats are as massive and soft as you'd expect to find Stateside, where backsides are generally bigger than in the UK.

Damping is on the squidgy side and cornering is safe and unexciting, but this isn't a car for screeching around in.

With the CD player wound up and the air conditioning set on cool, this is an ideal vehicle for those lazy, hazy days of summer that we are promised are just round the corner. All I'd ask for is an autobox for that completely laid-back feel.

The never-ending saga of the Gelken house move is still rumbling on and here the X-Trail has proved an ideal companion. I seem to have spent the past nine months of my life moving my belongings from one place to another and finally this week I, my son and the cat, Crumble, finished our sojourn.

While the furniture removal men took the big stuff, the X-Trail excelled itself with the back seats folded down. You'd be amazed how much junk it will hold without complaint.

My only gripe apart from the fuel consumption is with the car's interior.

To my eye and touch, the plastics don't look or feel exactly top-notch and already there are several scuffs on the dashboard and in the back.

It is a surprise as I would have expected such a chunky vehicle to have an equally chunky and solid interior, but it feels more Woolworths than Harrods.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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