Review: Nissan X-Trail (2014)


Good quality, practical interior. Efficient diesel engine with plenty of torque. Much improved CVT automatic transmission. Comfortable ride.

Some interior details seem little cheap. Comfortable ride at expense of enjoyable handling. Rearmost row of seven seaters tight.

Nissan X-Trail (2014): At A Glance

If you want a Nissan Qashqai but you find the interior a bit too small for your growing family, the X-Trail is the car you're looking for. It's just as comfortable and easy-to-drive as its smaller sibling, but with much more back row space, a bigger boot and the option of seven seats. 

If size is what you’re after then you’ll find plenty of it. There’s more than enough space for adults in the back row and, for an extra £700, you can get a third row of seats. These are really for occasional and will fit only smaller kids, use but they give the X-Trail added practicality - just remember to try the Skoda Kodiaq too, since it's a similar price and also provides the option of seven seats. 

If you go for a five-seat X-Trail you get a spacious 550-litre boot, which has a two-part adjustable load floor for extra flexibility. This is further enhanced by the fact the middle row of seats are mounted on runners, so you can pick between more legroom or load space. Alternatively you can fold the seats entirely to maximise carrying space.

The engine range includes a 163PS petrol, which is a good fit for the X-Trail and provides ample performance, plus a 130PS 1.6-litre dCi diesel. It might sound too small for such a large car but it's more than capable thanks to peak torque of 320Nm. If you do need more go, there's a 2.0-litre dCi with 177PS and 380Nm of torque.

Two-wheel drive is standard but for those who live in areas with a tough climate there is an all-wheel drive option. There's also a CVT transmission option which is smooth and quiet for the most part, only droning when accelerating hard. 

With seven seats and a reasonable 2000kg braked towing weight, the X-Trail is capable of all sorts of family tasks including caravan holidays. Some might think it’s too similar to the Qashqai to spend the extra money on, while rivals including the Skoda Kodiaq are plusher and more upmarket - but it’s certainly worth a look if you demand a comfortable, easy-to-drive car with plenty of space. 

Nissan X-Trail 1.6 DIG-T 163 Tekna 2015 Road Test

What does a Nissan X-Trail (2014) cost?

List Price from £26,170
Buy new from £19,224
Contract hire from £254.80 per month

Nissan X-Trail (2014): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4640–4643 mm
Width 1820–1830 mm
Height 1695–1715 mm
Wheelbase 2705–2706 mm

Full specifications

The cabin in the Nissan X-Trail is light, spacious and reasonably well finished. The dashboard is covered in plush, soft-touch plastic while harder plastics are used elsewhere, but they generally feel hardwearing and durable. The instruments are clear and the minor controls are all easy to operate without consulting the manual - but some of the switches feel on the cheap side, especially next to a Skoda Kodiaq. 

The layout feels dated next to the Kodiaq too, with the low-res touchscreen system feeling antiquated next to the huge, bright screen in the Skoda. On the plus side, space is excellent with more than enough head and legroom in the back to comfortably accomodate adults. The back seats slide forward and back too, meaning you can select between knee room and load space depending on your needs.

The boot is spacious at 550 litres, but that can be expanded even further if you tumble the rear seats forward. For those with larger families there is a seven seat configuration on offer, but the rearmost row of seats is too small for anything other than occasional, short trips - even for children. That's down to the tiny amount of foot and knee room on offer. 

That's another area where the Skoda Kodiaq beats the X-Trail. It's extra row of seats is surprisingly useful and, while it's also only really meant for occasional use, the kids sat back there should at least last a few more miles before they start to whine and ask "are we there yet?".

Standard equipment is decent - even entry level models get alloy wheels, cruise control and hill-hold assist, while mid-level models gain extras like a panoramic roof. The best value trim level is the n-tec, which comes with a 360 degree parking camera, a navigation system and a powered tailgate. Moving to a top Tekna trim model adds luxuries including heated leather seats, a blind spot warning system and moving object detection.

Standard equipment (from September 2017):

Visia is the entry level model and comes with 17 inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, electric parking brake, six airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, tyre pressure monitor system, cruise control, speed limiter, Bluetooth, CD, MP3, USB, AUX, air conditioning, electric and heated mirrors, folding, reclining and sliding rear bench 60/40, hill start assist, front  and rear power windows, rear armrest with cupholder and spare wheel.

Acenta trim adds Privacy glass, electric folding door mirrors, front foglights, chrome exterior details, leather steering wheel and gear lever knob, six speaker audio, dual zone climate control, auto dimming rear view mirror, auto lights, auto wipers, power sunroof along with front and rear parking sensors.

N-Connecta adds 18-inch alloy wheels, satin roof rails, 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, around view 360 degree parking camera, hands-free tailgate, keyless entry and start, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, auto emergency brakes, front and rear parking sensors. 

Tekna is the top trim and adds blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, moving object detection, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, electrically adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, intelligent park assist, LED headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System, auto headlights, auto high beam, Bose audio. 

Child seats that fit a Nissan X-Trail (2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Nissan X-Trail (2014) like to drive?

Over potholes, ripples, lumps and bumps the cabin is serene, absorbing everything but the most severely damaged roads. The level of comfort is further helped by good visibility and lightly-weighted, easy-to-use controls. There are extra niceties like the electronic parking brake with hill-hold function - which makes stopping and starting simple. It's very easy to drive. 

The excellent ride quality comes at the expense of handling, though. The X-Trail isn’t a car that revels in being driven hard - pushing into bends with any pace causes noticeable body roll. However, in town, on the motorway and at more sedate speeds, the X-Trail has impressive road manners and is very relaxing and comfortable.

The engine range kicks off with a 163PS DIG-T petrol engine. This is up to the task of propelling the X-Trail, though it can get loud when accelerating hard. And, while it does the job around town and on the motorway, you'll have to pick a diesel if you live in a rural area and need all-wheel drive, or if you need an automatic transmission.

The cheapest diesel choice is a 1.6-litre dCi diesel with 130PS and 320Nm of torque. Emissions are 129g/km with official fuel economy of 57.6mpg for the most efficient front-wheel drive manual model. In 2015 a 163PS version of the 1.6 diesel was added, with 230PS. As you might expect, economy drops with the hike in power, with a claimed 149g/km of CO2 and 45.6mpg.

A 1.6-litre engine in such a large car might set alarm bells ringing, but technology has moved on since the last X-Trail was introduced, but this has since been replaced by a 177PS 2.0-litre dCi and it's a better choice all round, with more punch and flexibility, if you can afford to pay the extra over the 1.6. 

The standard transmission is a smooth-shifting six-speed manual, but a CVT automatic is offered and it's designed to behave more like a traditional seven-speed auto, with steps programmed in rather than the usual infinitely variable gear ratios. This improves refinement under full throttle acceleration - though it still drones a little when pressing on hard. 

Unlike the previous model, the latest X-Trail is offered with two-wheel drive as standard. A 4x4 version is optional and it drives more or less exactly the same as the front-drive car, but with an automatic all-wheel drive system for slippery conditions, or the option to lock the differential. It’s useful for snowy areas or loose surfaces, but most drivers will find the front-wheel drive car more than adequate.

Usefully, for a family car, there is a comprehensive range of safety gadgetry on offer. Auto emergency brakes, lane departure warning, auto high beam, traffic sign recognition, automated parking assistance, a 360-degree birds-eye parking camera, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are among the technologies available - but they're not standard so be careful when configuring your dream X-Trail. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.3 DIG-T Automatic - 11.5 s 145–154 g/km
1.6 dCi 53–58 mpg 10.5–11.0 s 129–139 g/km
1.6 dCi 4WD 52–58 mpg 10.5–11.0 s 139–143 g/km
1.6 dCi Automatic 53–55 mpg 11.4 s 135–139 g/km
1.6 dCi Xtronic 55 mpg 11.4 s 135 g/km
1.6 DIG-T 44–46 mpg 9.7 s 145–149 g/km
1.7 dCi - 10.7 s 137–143 g/km
1.7 dCi 4WD - 10.7 s 151–154 g/km
1.7 dCi Automatic - 12.7 s 146–155 g/km
1.7 dCi Automatic 4WD - 12.7 s 159–168 g/km
2.0 dCi 4WD 46–50 mpg 9.4–10.0 s 149–158 g/km
2.0 dCi 4WD Automatic 46–49 mpg 9.6–10.0 s 148–162 g/km
2.0 dCi Automatic 49–50 mpg 9.6 s 148–152 g/km

Real MPG average for a Nissan X-Trail (2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

29–58 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Nissan X-Trail (2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I'm retired and want to replace my diesel car - what do you suggest?

I'm thinking of changing my diesel Honda CR-V. My local dealer has a SEAT Tarraco 1.5 Evo SE Tech at £21k if registered before the end of October - which seems a very good deal. Also, what is your opinion of the Nissan X-Trail? There seems to be quite a wide range of opinions. I'm open to any other suggestions, I need a fair amount of height from the boot floor to the roof as I have a large dog. Diesels are generally much cheaper but given I'm now retired I guess they don't make sense for me.
The Tarraco's a great car but the 1.5 engine is problematic: The Nissan X-Trail is pretty dated now. I'd recommend a Peugeot 5008. You're right to avoid diesels unless you cover high motorway miles.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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