Fleet News

X Trail 2.0 Sport – 5,509 miles

Nissan

Review

HOW the mighty can so easily fall. My time with the X-Trail began so promisingly. I had taken sideways glances at this car park behemoth on a few occasions and had been uninspired by its blocky appearance, convinced it would drive as subtly as a house brick and be as comfortable to sit in as a Portaloo on a bouncy castle.

Once behind the wheel, however, my opinion took a U-turn. The interior design is innovative, from the mid-centred instrument panel to the space-age silver seat designs and the metallic centre console complete with two cooled drinks storage spaces concealed behind flip down doors.

The seating position, with a little adjustment, is outstanding – clear view out front, and a complete panorama through the rear view mirrors.

The engine performance, though likely to leave you red faced when attempting to join a motorway or A-road with an impressive turn of speed, is nonetheless refined.

The engine note is subtle under the most testing conditions and sharp corners can be negotiated with the minimum amount of body roll normally associated with vehicles of this type.

Passengers in the back? No problem. But the boot space is probably no more impressive than you'd find in a lower medium estate car, particularly if you want to use the load cover.

I have even been won over by the car's design. It's not as blocky as first viewing would have you believe. There are subtle curves everywhere – and subtle wins every time in design terms. But now comes the stone that has felled this Goliath. One lunchtime, with the X-Trail parked and locked outside my house, I 'plipped' the keyfob to get in it, opened the door and the alarm went off.

Whatever I did – lock it, unlock it again, use the key in the door, start the car – the alarm continued to sound.

An RAC engineer arrived within the hour. He disconnected the battery for five minutes, opened all the doors, reconnected the battery, closed the doors and voila – peace returned once more.

The engineer could not be sure of what caused the fault. All he could suggest was that I take it to the local Nissan dealer for a check-up if the problem recurred. The incident blotted the X-Trail's pearly-white copybook. But, should the gremlins stay away, I'm sure the car's plus points will win over all doubts at the end of the day.

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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