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The SUV for the family

Carpenters Motors
Saturday, October 28, 2017

A good, solid SUV that's more interested in your family than you.It's essentially a beefed-up Qashqai, and not just because it bears a strong family resemblance to Nissan's runaway breadwinner. No, both cars share the same platform.

So the similarities are more than skin deep, though the X-Trail's skin is stretched a bit further. It's noticeably higher and longer, with an optional row of third seats.

Add to that the option of four-wheel-drive and what you get is a full-size, family-orientated SUV that's happy to get its shoes muddy if the need arises.

Ah yes, about that 'family-orientated' bit. It's not the kind of car you while away days dreaming about driving up the Furka Pass. It's very comfortable, with a soft, supple ride. That's good. The steering however, is light, allied to noticeable body roll and some understeer to top it all off. The 4WD system is front wheel drive for most of the time, calling in the rear when things get hairy up front.

So its useful in some mud, but overall is more interested in a calm journey than hot laps around the 'Ring. In a family SUV though, that's fine.

With that high roofline and extra girth, it looks huge. And for the most part it is, though the rear headroom isn't quite as commodious as the roofline suggests. The boot floor flips and folds into nine different positions, underneath which sits a bonus storage area.

And gone are the tacky plastics and boring dash of old, and in sweeps a more inviting cabin.

Smart styling, spacious and solid cabin, effortless to drive

The X-Trail's safety levels are excellent, too, thanks to an all-new Renault-Nissan vehicle architecture that supports some of the most advanced passive and active systems around. Fuel economy is decent, too.

While never a hardcore off-roader, the Nissan X-Trail used to be quite utilitarian with a boxy squared-off body, and not many frills. The latest model rides the wave of fashionable crossovers, and the Nissan X-Trail for sale in dealers today is curvy, and altogether more sophisticated.

The new model feels much more like a car to drive, and there's a richer feel to the X-Trail interior as it's packed with new technology and greatly improved levels of quality.

OK, so some more conservative 4x4 faithfuls may have been alienated by the X-Trail's less rugged approach, but for most people the changes have made the SUV a whole lot more appealing.

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