Our X-Trail came with Nissan’s new 2.0-litre, 175bhp diesel motor, in this case mounted to a six-speed manual gearbox. With 273lb ft of torque to play with it’s a fantastic engine for a big SUV, hauling the 2-tonne Nissan along to 60mph in a rather impressive 9.1 seconds. Since few X-Trails will make it off road the chassis is tuned to the road so, as you might expect, it drives like a bigger, high-riding Qashqai. That means the X-Trail can be bags of fun when you take it out of its comfort zone.
The big diesel will haul you out of any trouble with just a small amount of lag to be anticipated, and as the chassis rolls around you can have the time of your life keeping everything gathered together. But those country lanes aren’t where you’re really supposed to be using the X-Trail, so where it really wins is on the motorway or around town, In confined spaces the big SUV feels a lot smaller than it actually is, nipping around with nicely weighted steering and pedals, and it’s an easy cruiser on those long journeys, happily swallowing up the mileage as well as the luggage.