Fleet News

Nissan X-Trail 2.2 Di sport



No longer do they sit around with greasy hair wondering why Kurt Cobain pulled the trigger, and how come Pearl Jam's third album was so shoddy.

Now they have go-getting jobs in offices full of transparent iMacs, trendy haircuts and nice trainers. At weekends, they grab their assorted snow, surf and windsailing boards and head off for adventure.

The Nissan X-Trail, as the name suggests, is one such product aimed at this desirable market both in terms of its generational appeal and the idealistic crossover lifestyle.

But in the more prosaic fleet world, perhaps a more likely driver will be the rather less glamorous surveyor, architect or estate agent.

In this market, the 2.2 Di Sport has some tough competition, such as the Land Rover Freelander and the five-door Toyota Rav 4. Like Toyota, Nissan's reliability is second to none, which must count for something.

The Nissan X-Trail 2.2 Di Sport we tested is priced at £18,995 on-the-road, which makes it much cheaper than similarly-specced Freelanders and it wins by a long country lane with CO2 emissions of 190g/km, compared with 205g/km for the Freelander.

The Freelander beats it on residuals though, losing 56% of its value over three-years/ 60,000-miles compared to 59% for the X-Trail, although both are pretty safe resale bets.

Inside, the seats in the Sport model are made of neoprene, material a bit like a wetsuit. Certainly comfortable and hard wearing enough.

Unfortunately, all the switches and displays are thrown about, and although clear, don't seem to be placed in any particular order. After the supreme usability of Nissan's new Primera console, the X-Trails looks haphazard. Wipe-clean surfaces and floors give a workmanlike, practical feel though.

The 2.2-litre common rail diesel engine is a big leap forward from the rather beleaguered unit in our old long-term Almera Tino, although not as refined as the new Primera motor, and noise tends to intrude into the cabin until you get to cruising speeds on your journey.

With six gears, there is always a cog to suit the conditions, and although the X-Trail is hardly fast, it is more than adequate. It will also return a healthy combined 39 mpg. On the road it is also pretty trustworthy, taking corners with assurance, with decent feel through the steering wheel for the type of car.

The All Mode four-wheel drive only kicks in when needed, with the more fuel economic front-wheel drive in operation in less demanding conditions.

As the X-Trail is based on the platform that spawned the Almera and Primera it drives like a car, although Nissan claims it has axle articulation 'to worry a Landie'.

Will it worry a Landie? It has enough of the right elements in place, will be reliable and is better value for money, both in terms of up-front price and tax. Whether it is needed for snowboarding, shopping or surveying, the X-Trail is a very good bet.

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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