• Long list of premium features
    • Fantastic ride quality and comfort
    • Decent performance and economy
    • 360 camera quality is terrible
    • High beam performance lacking
    • Dealership experience could be much better
    5 Star

    About the Nissan X-Trail

    Nav A purchased this Nissan X-Trail new for $60,900 (including all on-road costs). Nav A would buy this car again because: “Because in the current new car market, the X-Trail e-Power represents a car with great practicality, excellent range of tech, decent hybrid fuel economy, and a lux driving and interior experience. It had the perfect combination of features that I was looking for.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    I’ve only had the car for a few weeks, and so far, it has been almost faultless, mechanically and electrically speaking. The two things I would complain about are the HVAC system and the high beam performance.

    The HVAC system seems to be inconsistent in operation. It seemingly doesn’t take interior cabin temperature into account. Sometimes when I expect cold air, it blows hot and vice versa.

    In my previous cars, I’d be able to set a desired temperature and usually forget about it, but not in this car. I have to constantly adjust the temperature, like in a manual AC car. When I brought this up to the dealer, they just shrugged their shoulders and said “That’s how it works”.

    The high beam performance is lacking. On dark, unlit roads, the sides and short distance forward are well lit up. But the long distance illumination is just not there.

    I brought this up with the dealer and they disappointingly said the beam level cannot be adjusted as it is auto levelling. I have done some research and found there are adjustment screws accessible through the engine bay, so I plan to try that and see how it goes.

    I am also a part of several owners groups, both for this car in Australia, and also the petrol only Rogue in the US. I’ve seen other owners complain about electrical gremlins like the wing mirrors not folding in after locking the car, or an engine malfunction message in the drivers display.

    After further reading, the main cause seems to be a weak 12V battery from factory, which plays havoc with the electronics. Replacing it with a better unit seems to fix most problems. So, while nothing has happened to my example, I’ll be keeping that in mind at the first hint of trouble.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    I can’t comment much here as it’s only been a short time with the car. But so far, it’s been great. After driving sedans and hatchbacks for almost two decades, I’m still getting used to this tall SUV. But otherwise, I am looking for excuses to drive it.

    I know the annual servicing costs are going to be high. Thankfully, I have a three year service pack so I won’t have to worry about it in the short term. Longer term, I will be taking it to a licensed independent mechanic to save on costs.

    How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

    I ordered the car through a broker in December 2022 and received the car in August 2023, so an 8 month wait. The dealer was prompt in replying to my emails for updates along the way, no complaints there.

    However, they did mess up my interior colour. I had ordered the tan and received the black. Whilst they were very apologetic, there was nothing they could do due to the lead time on these.

    To get what I wanted, I’d have to reorder and wait another 6 – 12 months. So I begrudgingly accepted delivery with the black interior. They did throw in a three-year prepaid service pack for my troubles. With one toddler and another on the way, I might be thankful for the black in the near future.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    Absolutely. For the last few years, I had been looking for an SUV with the following features:

    • Matrix/Adaptive beam LED headlights
    • Memory position seats and mirrors
    • Hybrid/PHEV/EV drivetrain (to reduce fuel costs) with decent power figures (something not slow)
    • Nice/Premium feeling interior
    • Big boot and rear leg room
    • Within my budget of around $60k

    Nothing in the market matched. Some cars came close. But only the X-trail Ti-L e-Power ticked all the boxes. It is actually quite surprising how long the feature list is in this car.

    You get the main headline items like all the driver assistance, wireless charging, powered tailgate, panoramic sunroof etc. But the little things are also there, like your seat position being linked to your key fob. Or the exit seat slide, which is a nice touch of luxury.

    Or the digital rear view mirror. Or the double paned windows and active noise cancellation for a very quiet ride. I’m fairly certain that outside of luxury brands, you won’t find any other car with all these features.

    I can’t forget to mention the design of the interior. The large 12-inch infotainment screen is in an ultra wide format and in a good position that doesn’t look awkward. The HVAC and media controls are buttons and dials that have a premium look and feel.

    There is also very little piano black to be found, just on the aforementioned areas. The whole dashboard is just well laid out and pleasing to look at. Nappa leather wraps seats that are tremendously comfortable. Cabin light controls are easy to reach and clear in their operation. Even the electric windows sound and feel more premium when using them. I think Mazda have finally been beat when it comes to the interior in the mainstream segment.

    Having said all that, I should mention that I’m not the biggest fan of the exterior design. The front end looks fresh enough, with the split headlamp shape and full LED lighting.

    But the back is a real let down. It has mostly incandescent lamps, and the overall taillight design just looks like a small evolution of the previous car. The rear of the new Qashqai looks much better.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    This is one of my most favourite parts of the car. The e-Power has 152kW and 525Nm of torque combined from two motors, one on each axle.

    The petrol engine is a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbo that only comes on to charge the battery (1.8kWh) or power the generator to run the e-motors.

    I’ve seen a lot of criticisms online about this sort of setup. Do you lose a bit of efficiency with this kind of setup? Yes. Do you get a smooth, refined, and punchy driving experience of an EV? Also yes.

    My other car is a 2020 Camry Hybrid, so I have a good basis for comparison with the Toyota Hybrids. I can tell you now that most people will, by far, prefer the driving experience of the e-Power system over “Hybrid Synergy Drive”.

    There is similar power and more torque but it feels much faster. Most importantly, there’s no horrible CVT drone. The car is so well insulated that you can only really hear the petrol engine if it’s running while your stationary.

    This two tonne SUV will surprise you from a standing start, with a sub 7.0 second 0-100 km/h, so you are getting almost hot hatch like performance.

    When driving normally, expect real-world use to be about 6.4L/100km combined, which is better than the petrol variant of the car, and slightly worse than a RAV4 hybrid.

    I will say that the X-Trail does seem to happily run in pure EV mode more frequently than my Camry. I can apply a bit more throttle before the ICE comes on. This results in the start of most journeys through my residential area being done in quiet EV mode.

    All in all, I am extremely happy with the performance and economy of this car.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    The Nissan X-Trail in Ti-L form can hang with the best of the best in the mainstream market when it comes to technology.

    You have all the driver assistances available like adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, RCTA, and 360-degree parking camera with front and rear sensors.

    The lane keep works okay on straight roads and gentle curves, and will keep you centred. I like that the adaptive cruise remembers your distance setting forever, as I like to keep it at the shortest follow distance (aka tailgate mode). In my other cars, it defaults to the farthest every time you start them.

    The parking camera quality is bad. During the day it’s passable, but at night it just becomes a smeary mess. I compared it to my Camry, and there’s a stark difference in sharpness. I am disappointed in Nissan as this is not what I would expect of a $60,000 car.

    The digital rear view mirror is a great addition. It can be useful in certain situations where the usual reflective view is blocked by a tall person in the back or luggage loaded to the roof. It’s fine for short trips, but not extended use.

    Your eyes have to refocus (from far to near) each time you do a mirror check, and this can put additional strain on the eyes for longer drives. But that’s just my personal experience, others may be fine with it.

    A few things are missing from our X-Trail that overseas markets have: Automated parking, ProPilot with Navi-Link, and Nissan Connected Services. The first is a nice to have but I don’t feel like I’m missing much as all the sensors and cameras make parking a breeze.

    The second is much the same. Nissan Global’s website mentions Navi-Link uses road data from the built in navigation system to automatically adjust cruise control speeds, in addition to automatically slowing down for curves, according to their size.

    However, I’ve found that when you have the adaptive cruise control set, and you pass a lower or higher speed limit sign, the car will ask you if you’d like to set the cruise control to the new limit. This is all done in the HUD and is very intuitive. The third, well, let’s just say that I’m happy not paying a subscription fee for that.

    Speaking of the HUD, it is a great addition to the car. It’s simple as it only shows your speed, the last detected speed limit, and any cruise control setting. If you use the built in maps, it will also show upcoming directions from that. It’s a shame Google Maps don’t share their directions through to the HUD. Otherwise, you can do most of any journey without even having to glance at the instrument cluster.

    The instrument cluster itself is perfectly workable. The 12-inch display is sharp, bright, and has smooth animations. It displays a bunch of information about the car through its various screens. However, I wish it was more configurable. For example, I’d like to have the energy flow display and fuel economy information up at the same time, but there’s no way to do that.

    The 12-inch infotainment screen is fantastic. Crisp, clear, and smooth, with no lag to be found. Android Auto/Appe Carplay look excellent on it, with lots of screen real estate to display more of the map. I will say though, that the Nissan OS is a bit lacking.

    You can swipe through customisable pages of home screens, but there’s just not that much to put on there, other than maps, music, and phone information. I wish Nissan had expanded this with things like fuel economy or shortcuts to various settings. I also wish there was wireless Android Auto, given how there’s wireless Carplay.

    The adaptive high beams (aka matrix LEDs) work well in their function. The sides are lit up nicely, but as mentioned earlier, I expected more distance illumination. The adaptive/matrix part works well in detecting other cars in front and dimming those parts. But I suspect there are only three zones (left, right, and centre) which greatly reduces the range of shadowing possible. I know some European brands have higher fidelity in that regard.

    There’s so much other tech in this car that it would take a long time to list them all. But certain standouts to me include: Remote start and remote window operation, auto dipping wing mirrors when in reverse, kick to open tailgate, wipers with built in washers, ambient lighting, and additional profiles for driver seat/mirror memory in the infotainment.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    The ride is supremely comfortable. It’s probably as good as you’re going to get in the segment without getting into cars with air suspension or adaptive dampers and the like.

    The 20” wheels (exclusive to the Ti-L e-Power) do add a slight edge to the sharpest bumps, but I’m sure the lower spec models with smaller wheels improve on that. Tyres are Michelin Primacy 4 255/45, so you are getting good quality rubber from the factory.

    The X-Trail is incredibly quiet inside the car at all but the highest speeds and coarsest chip roads. Nissan advertise double pane windows and active noise cancellation, and it absolutely shows. Combined with the dual EV motors and great sound insulation just makes for a peaceful ride through and through.

    The ICE is barely audible and you only feel the smallest vibrations come through when at a stop. I haven’t personally driven a Lexus, but I imagine it can’t be much more relaxing than this.

    I haven’t had the chance to try out all the drive modes yet, only auto and sport. Sport mode gives a noticeable kick to the acceleration so it’s great for the traffic light GP. But otherwise Auto is perfectly fine for day to day driving. Eco mode dulls throttle response too much for my liking.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    If you’ve been reading carefully, you’ll notice I’ve listed three main gripes with the car.

    The high beams, HVAC system logic, and 360 camera quality. If you can get around these things, the Nissan X-Trail Ti-L e-Power is absolutely a car you should consider if you’re looking for something quiet, comfortable, and powerful to cart your family around in.

    It perfectly encapsulates the “budget luxury” moniker in the current new car landscape. For those stuck in years long waiting lists for their RAV4 hybrid – give this a chance and take it for a test drive. You won’t be disappointed.

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    Overall Rating

    Ride & Handling10
    Price & Features9
    Purchase & Aftercare5
    Performance & Economy10
    Ownership Experience9
    MRLP $57,690