Does a good job of giving passengers a relaxing ride, whether on-road of off
Reassuringly solid and built from quality materials
No stability control on the base model, but airbags abound in the rest and deadlocks bring peace of mind
It might not be that exciting, but it's well put together
Plenty for passengers and a boot which will swallow the weekly food shop (not literally, that would be very annoying)
Lots of toys to play with, including climate control, and Bluetooth connectivity on all models
Making off-roaders go round corners without having suspension so stiff that you'll soon be on first name terms with your physio is something of a black art. Nissan's engineers seem to have pretty much cracked it with the X-Trail, which is comfortable for all passengers yet still holds on well in corners and bops along well, especially when powered by the 2.0-litre diesel engine. Selectable four-wheel drive on all models helps out when the going gets tough.
The X-Trail has a decent amount of interior space for both front and rear passengers, although it can be a bit tricky to get into the rear seats. The boot has a nifty underfloor storage area which is easy to get at too. The steering wheel and driver's seat are adjustable in every way and allow a good view of the road ahead. Dimples on top of the headlights let you know where the front corners of the car are and top-spec models get a reversing camera.
Although not the most exciting car to look at, the X-Trail is pretty well screwed together, so it should be reliable. The car is available with both petrol and diesel engines, which are well established. Every car comes stuffed with airbags and the four-wheel-drive system will kick in when the going gets tough.
X-Trails aren't especially cheap to buy, but they're in demand, so it should hold on to a fair chunk of its value when it's time for a change of wheels. Like most 4x4s, the engines do like a drink, but the diesel models do still return almost 40mpg, and CO2 emissions are pretty competitive in its class.