Fleet News

Nissan X-trail 2.2 dCi T-SPEC

Nissan

Review

Remarkably, in a climate where you would have thought drivers were focused on carbon dioxide emissions to minimise benefit-in-kind tax liability, the Sport Utility Vehicle sector was the fleet market's strongest performer.

There are reasons why SUVs have suddenly become flavour of the month.

The compact SUV sector has much stronger residual values than similarly priced upper-medium cars – many of them more like premium sector vehicles.

The more efficient ones have acceptable fuel consumption and are rarely more expensive than traditional cars on servicing, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs.

Nissan's X-trail has been one of the vehicles to benefit from the favoured status of SUV, edging closer to the total Primera sales each year.

Fresh from a mid-term facelift and diesel engine upgrade, the X-trail now has more appeal for those leaving their mainstream sector vehicles and choosing something more distinctive.

The 2.2-litre Nissan diesel engine has been upgraded to 136bhp – not bettered in the soft-roader class with rivals from Toyota and Land Rover able to muster 114bhp each, while Honda does not have a diesel in its CR-V yet.

The power boost means it will sprint from rest to 62mph quicker than any of the vehicles listed opposite in our running costs comparison, yet its fuel consumption is 0.6mpg off the RAV4 on the combined cycle.

A new range-topping version was added with the recent facelift – the T-spec – which includes standard leather seats, heated and electrically adjustable front seats, DVD satellite-navigation with Nissan's 3D bird-view system, chilled drinks holders, an enormous electric sunroof and talking point spotlamps mounted at the front roof rails.

They can be activated when main beam headlights are selected and offer an additional 30 metres of vision. Good for those winter evenings on dark country lanes – or even late-night off-road activity, unlikely though it might sound.

Like the Primera, the X-trail has instruments mounted at the centre of the dashboard, which is surprisingly easy to read and frees up space behind the steering wheel for a useful storage compartment.

The X-trail offers plenty of room for five people and its sixth gear means motorway trips are comfortable and relaxed, although the engine still has a rather raucous note compared to the more softly-spoken Freelander.

Like the Freelander, its maximum towing weight is a useful 2,000kg – more than a RAV4, but not as much as the Kia Sorento's 2,800kg.

The X-trail also makes a decent fist of back-road driving, with nicely weighted and precise steering, a reluctance to roll in corners and plenty of grip. The compromise is less off-road ability than a traditional 4x4.

It runs in front-wheel drive mode, even when four-wheel drive is selected, only sending power to the rear wheels when slippage is detected. Also standard on our test car was ESP, traction control and a limited slip differential. There is also a differential lock for constant four-wheel drive.

Interior materials have been improved since the X-trail was launched nearly three years ago – perhaps a result of awareness that drivers in traditional upper-medium cars are taking them seriously. Nissan says a few BMW 3-series drivers have traded them in for X-trails. Perhaps that's a statistic to prove the SUV is more than a passing fad for fleets.

Rivals

Land Rover Freelander 5dr 2.0 Td4 HSE
Toyota RAV4 2.0 D-4D XT4 Style Collection
Kia Sorento 2.5 CRDi XS

P11d

Kia £21,555
Toyota £22,762
Nissan £23,192
Land Rover £24,427

THE Nissan X-trail on test is the absolute top-of-the-range diesel model, coming complete with leather trim, heated seats, colour-screen DVD sat-nav, and the only option being metallic paint. The range-topping diesel RAV4 undercuts the X-trail by a few hundred pounds but sat-nav stays on the options list.

The Freelander has a CD-autochanger, leather, parking sensors, hill descent control and a heated windscreen. The Sorento is also well equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, leather and so on for a considerably lower on-the-road price.

SMR costs

Toyota 2.58ppm
Land Rover 2.75ppm
Nissan 2.87ppm
Kia 3.50ppm

EVERYONE seems to be playing catch-up with the RAV4 on SMR costs, although the Land Rover and the Nissan are not too far behind. The Toyota's three-year/60,000-mile SMR bill would be about £1,548, compared with £1,650 for the Freelander and £1,722 for the X-trail.

The Kia Sorento is a little further behind on £2,100. Kia and Land Rover offer an unlimited mileage warranty, while the Nissan and Toyota have 60,000-mile cover.

Fuel costs

Toyota 9.73ppm
Nissan 9.87ppm
Land Rover 10.41ppm
Kia 11.66ppm

ALL four of these cars are relatively frugal for SUVs, and are only a few mpg off the type of readings you could expect from a similarly-powered upper-medium car.

The X-trail just misses out on top honours which are stolen by the RAV4. Its 39.8mpg combined cycle rating beats the X-trail's 39.2mpg (although, strangely, the CO2 emissions are identical on 190g/km).

It means the RAV4 should be about £84 cheaper on fuel over 60,000 miles at £5,838. The fuel bill for the Freelander works out at £6,246, while the thirstier Sorento is knocking on the door of £7,000.

Depreciation costs

Toyota 20.58ppm
Nissan 22.57ppm
Land Rover 22.70ppm
Kia 23.21ppm

THE RAV4 scores another victory over the X-trail for depreciation with a difference of more than £1,000. Although the vehicles have similar list prices, CAP monitor puts the Nissan's residual value percentage at 38% over three years/60,000 miles compared with 41% for the Toyota.

The Land Rover has a strong RV but when specced to rival the X-trail its higher price penalises it. The Sorento might have a low list price and is well equipped but it depreciates quicker than the others.

Wholelife costs

Toyota 32.89ppm
Nissan 35.31ppm
Land Rover 35.86ppm
Kia 38.37ppm

WHILE it might be cheaper to run than a Freelander, the X-trail costs nearly 1,500 more than the RAV4 to run over three years/60,000 miles. The only way to even the odds would be to tick the box for Toyota's turn-by-turn navigation in the RAV4 to bring it closer to the standard specification of the X-trail, but even then the Toyota would still have a £100 advantage.

The Kia loses out because the trade feels that as a new brand it does not have a 4x4 heritage, despite the Sorento's undoubted ability.

Emissions

Toyota 190g/km/27%
Nissan 190g/km/27%
Land Rover 205g/km/30%
Kia 226g/km/34%

THE X-trail is beaten again by the RAV4, but here is only a matter of a few pounds per month in BIK tax, with both the cars equal on CO2 emissions. The Toyota would cost a 40% tax-payer £205 per month while the X-trail comes in at £209.

The Land Rover works out at £244 per month, while the Kia's low P11d price offsets its higher CO2 emissions, making its monthly for this financial year bill £244 – level with the Freelander.

Verdict
This could turn into one of those cases where the fleet manager's preference would be the RAV4 with its significantly lower costs, while the driver would prefer the practicality, more generous equipment levels and the performance of the X-trail.

If the two were closer on costs then it would be an easier decision, but the RAV4 has a clear advantage. If needs dictate a larger car the X-trail has to win it, but the RAV4 is the safer fleet choice.

Fact file

Nissan X-trail 2.2 dCi T-spec

Delivered price: £23,193
CO2 emissions (g/km): 190
Graduated VED rate: £165
Insurance group: 11
Combined mpg: 39.2
CAP Monitor residual value: £8,775/38%
Depreciation (22.57 pence per mile x 60,000): £13,542
Maintenance (2.87 pence per mile x 60,000): £1,722
Fuel (9.87 pence per mile x 60,000): £5,922
Wholelife cost (35.31pence per mile x 60,000): £21,186
Typical contract hire rate: £452 per month

  • All figures based on 3yrs/60,000 miles.
    Monthly rental quote from HSBC Vehicle Finance

    At a glance

    For:

  • Chunky styling
  • Strong performance
  • Generous equipment

    Against:

  • dCi still a bit noisy
  • RAV4 cheaper still
  • Limited 4x4 ability

    Three rivals to consider

  • Land Rover Freelander 5dr 2.0 Td4 HSE
  • Toyota RAV4 2.0 D-4D XT4 Style Collection
  • Kia Sorento 2.5 CRDi XS

    P11D price

    THE Nissan X-trail on test is the absolute top-of-the-range diesel model, coming complete with leather trim, heated seats, colour-screen DVD sat-nav, and the only option being metallic paint. The range-topping diesel RAV4 undercuts the X-trail by a few hundred pounds but sat-nav stays on the options list.

    The Freelander has a CD-autochanger, leather, parking sensors, hill descent control and a heated windscreen. The Sorento is well equipped with full-time four-wheel drive and leather for a considerably lower on-the-road price.

    Kia £21,555
    Toyota £22,762
    Nissan £23,192
    Land Rover £24,427

    SMR costs

    EVERYONE seems to be playing catch-up with the RAV4 on SMR costs, although the Land Rover and the Nissan are not far behind.

    The Toyota's three-year/60,000-mile SMR bill would be about £1,548, compared with £1,650 for the Freelander and £1,722 for the X-trail. The Kia Sorento is £2,100. Kia and Land Rover offer an unlimited mileage warranty, while the Nissan and Toyota have 60,000-mile cover.

    Toyota 2.58ppm
    Land Rover 2.75ppm
    Nissan 2.87ppm
    Kia 3.50ppm

    Fuel costs

    ALL four of these cars are relatively frugal for SUVs, and are only a few mpg off the type of readings you could expect from a similarly-powered upper-medium car.

    The X-trail just misses out on top honours which are stolen by the RAV4. Its 39.8mpg combined cycle rating beats the X-trail's 39.2mpg (although, strangely, the CO2 emissions are identical at 190g/km).

    It means the RAV4 should be about £84 cheaper on fuel over 60,000 miles at £5,838. The fuel bill for the Freelander works out at £6,246, while the thirstier Sorento is knocking on the door of £7,000.

    Toyota 9.73ppm
    Nissan 9.87ppm
    Land Rover 10.41ppm
    Kia 11.66ppm

    Depreciation costs

    THE RAV4 scores another victory over the X-trail for depreciation with a difference of more than £1,000. Although the vehicles have similar list prices, CAP Monitor puts the Nissan's residual value percentage at 38% over three years/60,000 miles compared with 41% for the Toyota.

    The Land Rover has a strong RV but when specced to rival the X-trail its higher price penalises it. The Sorento may have a low list price and is well equipped but depreciates quicker than the others.

    Toyota 20.58ppm
    Nissan 22.57ppm
    Land Rover 22.70ppm
    Kia 23.21ppm

    Wholelife costs

    WHILE it might be cheaper to run than a Freelander, the X-trail costs nearly £1,500 more than the RAV4 to run over three years/60,000 miles. The only way to even the odds would be to tick the box for Toyota's turn-by-turn navigation in the RAV4 to bring it closer to the standard specification of the X-trail, but even then the Toyota would still have a £100 advantage.

    The Kia loses out because the trade feels that as a new brand it does not have a 4x4 heritage, despite the Sorento's undoubted ability.

    Toyota 32.89ppm
    Nissan 35.31ppm
    Land Rover 35.86ppm
    Kia 38.37ppm

    Emissions and BIK tax rates

    THE X-trail is beaten again by the RAV4, but here is only a matter of a few pounds per month in BIK tax, with both the cars equal on CO2 emissions. The Toyota would cost a 40% tax-payer £205 per month while the X-trail comes in at £209.

    The Land Rover works out at £244 per month, while the Kia's low P11d price offsets its higher CO2 emissions, making its monthly bill for this financial year £244 – level with the Freelander.

    Toyota 190g/km/27%
    Nissan 190g/km/27%
    Land Rover 205g/km/30%
    Kia 226g/km/34%

    Verdict

    This could turn into one of those cases where the fleet manager's preference would be the RAV4 with its significantly lower costs, while the driver would prefer the practicality, more generous equipment levels and the performance of the X-trail.

    If the two were closer on costs then it would be an easier decision, but the RAV4 has a clear advantage.

    If needs dictate a larger car the X-trail has to win it, but the RAV4 is the safer fleet choice.

  • 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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    Comments

    • neal - 22/01/2016 09:23

      is there likely to be anything in the offering for a heated front screen for the x-trail, the only thing in my opinion which lets the car down.

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