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Used car focus Nissan X-Trail – 2001 onwards

X-Trail is better in most areas than most of its rivals in the soft-roader category. It cuts the mustard against the Land Rover Freelander and Honda CR-V on the road and has a good range of engines and trim levels. Standard equipment could be better for the price, but there again, so could that of its rivals.

MODEL LINE-UP

Base S models have an electric sunroof, metallic dash inserts, power steering, electric windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors and a four-speaker stereo. Sport models add 16in alloys, roof spoiler, drilled aluminium pedals and a single CD. SE+ has a chrome front grille, front fog lights, leather trim and heated front seats. A range shake-up in October 2002 saw SE+ renamed to SVE and a range-topping SVE trim, with leather seats and a six-CD autochanger, introduced. From April 2003 came Sport-X, based on Sport, but with roof bar mounted spotlamps and tinted windows. T-Spec became the top specification in October 2003, adding DVD BirdView sat nav.

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE

X-Trail is easy to drive and stable on the road, with a decent amount of grip and good handling. The steering is good, gearchanges are precise and the engines deliver good performance. The high-up position and deep windows give the driver a good view of the road. Strong arms are needed at parking speeds, though.

COMFORT

There are excellent seats and loads of head and legroom for all passengers. It will seat five with little complaint over longer journeys. Interior is quirky, but practical. A neat touch is a can-cooler in the dash on some models.

ENGINES

Originally launched with 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2 Di diesel engines, the 2.5 petrol was added in late 2002 and the 2.2 dCi replaced the 2.2 Di in December 2003. The 2.0 is a relaxed performer with excellent mid-range pull. The 2.2 Di engine is torquey and lively. Most buyers go for the dCi.

SAFETY

X-Trail seems sturdily built and is backed up with four stars in the Euro NCAP rating. Every model has ABS, driver and passenger airbags; Sport, SE, SVE and T-spec models have side bags, too. Remote locking, an anti-hijack feature and immobiliser are standard, Sport and SE models benefit from an ultrasonic alarm.

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