2015 Nissan X-Trail Review

All-new Nissan X-Trail steps into the fray to take on stalwarts like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

Get used to the swoopy styling of the all-new, way less boxy 2015 X-Trail, because if Nissan has its way, you’ll be seeing a lot of these on our roads soon – 10,000 units per year in fact.

Now I know what you’re thinking – it’ll be hard to tell the difference between this and the slightly smaller 2014 Qashqai which bears remarkably similar lines and front styling treatment. No need to fret though, as the X-Trail effectively replaces both the old X-Trail and the Qashqai for our market.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

What is the X-Trail now?

Nissan is not shy about moving its established nameplates into different niche segments with each new generation – witness the larger Pathfinder which has gone from cheap utilitarian off-roader, to large luxury off-roader, to now a people-carrier family SUV.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

The X-Trail has undergone a similar metamorphosis and is now a not-so-compact city-friendly SUV; a comfort and convenience-focussed rival to the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV. It’s fractionally longer than those two, but then it comes not just as a five-seater, but also a seven-seater – or rather 5+2 as Nissan prefers to call it, with good reason, as we’ll come to later.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

However the biggest sellers in this segment, according to Nissan, are actually the Hyundai Tucson (24%) and Kia Sportage (17%) followed by the RAV4 and then the CRV. The X-Trail is obviously slightly more pricey than the Koreans, but crucially starts at under AED80,000 in the UAE.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

Trims and prices

So what do you get for the starting price of $21,500 (AED79k)? A 2.5-litre four-cylinder with ‘7-speed’ CVT transmission producing 170bhp and 175lb ft giving you an estimated 0-100kph acceleration time of about 9seconds and top speed of 190kph. You get front-wheel drive only at this price, but S trim gives you cruise control, dual airbags, Bluetooth and a four-speaker entertainment system.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

Pay $24,300 (AED89k) for a 4WD version which adds 17-inch alloys, engine start button and hill descent control – as well as the selectable transmission button obviously. The 7-seat versions of the S 2WD and S 4WD are $22,200 (AED81.5k) and $25k (AED92k) respectively.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

The next two of the three trims available only come with 4WD and 7-seats. The SV is priced from $27k (AED99k) and adds roof rails, leather-trim steering and shifter, 5-inch colour monitor in the instrument panel, climate control with dual settings, rear camera and six speakers.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

But what you really want is the full-optioned top-dog SL version (featured in the pictures and video on this page) for $32k (AED117.5k) which gives you the 18-inch alloys, electric sunroof, 7-inch infotainment screen with sat nav, front electric seats, leather upholstery, front and side airbags, electric rear tailgate with no-touch sensor for opening and LED headlamps. Further options include the 360-degree cameras, blind spot warning and lane departure warning.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

What’s it like inside?

With the third row of seats up, luggage space is tight, but put the put the seats down – a simple matter of yanking the pull cords at the back and luggage capacity is as good as anything. Fold the middle row down and you’ve got a mini-van of course.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

Talking of mini, Nissan refers to the seven-seat as a 5+2 with good reason because the two pews in the third row are strictly for children only, and small ones at that. You can free up some more legroom by sliding the split-folding middle row forward, but that then compromises the excellent leg-room and comfort there available. Best to think of the X-Trail as a five-seater with an extra pair of seats for emergencies.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

Space and seating position up front is good of course, and the layout is appealing and straight forward, with the central screen on the instrument panel being way better than what you get in a Nissan Patrol! There’s good connectivity and the stereo sound is rather good.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

How does it drive?

The X-Trail is ideally suited to town driving, although we pushed it a little harder in the terrific roads of Salalah. It proved to be a good cruiser with a decent ride and adequate performance, although some of the steeper hills did leave it a little out of breath.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

It’s not a sports-orientated car, but having said that it’s got some really clever electrickery going on under the skin. Active Brake Control and Active Trace Control seem to work in tandem to quosh understeer in a manner that’s similar to torque vectoring in other cars, where particular wheels are braked slightly in order to pull the car more sharply into the corner.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

This system takes it further by actually ensuring the car stays within the curvature of the corner. So to a large extent it’s a bit of a fool-proof system that ensures that you won’t go off on a tangent leaping off a cliff into the beautiful scenery of Salalah! You can actually feel it at work, it sort of gulps at the understeer and you just about detect the body squat and tuck in.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review

Overall as you’d expect it’s an easy and manageable car to drive that will look after its drivers and keep things as smooth as you’d want in a family hauler.

2015 Nissan X-Trail review


Another great contender in the compact family SUV sector with fair dose of panache and style about it, some nice kit and very competitive prices. It deserves to do well and it undoubtedly will. Make sure you put it on the shortlist.

2015 Nissan X-Trail Review – The Specs

S 2WD 5-seat: $21.5k (AED79k)
S 4WD 5-seat: $24.3k (AED89k)
S 2WD 7-seat: $22.2k (AED81.5k)
S 4WD 7-seat: $25k (AED92k)
SV: $27 (AED99k)
SL: $32 (AED117.5k)
Engine: 2.5-litre 4-cylinder, 170bhp @ 6000rpm, 175lb ft @ 4400rpm
Transmission: 7-speed CVT automatic, front & four wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 8.4L/100km
Performance: 0-100kph 9.1 seconds, Top speed 190kph (est)
Weight: 1608kg

Let us know what you think of the all-new 2015 Nissan X-Trail below

12 responses to “2015 Nissan X-Trail Review”

  1. Fraser Martin says:

    Nice route!

  2. Rohit says:

    What do u think about cvt transmission as far i heared that its a problematic technology.

    Appreciatrd your inputs.

    • admin says:

      [Shahzad] There is nothing problematic with it to our knowledge, no mechanical or technical issues at all. The only thing is that the driving experience is very different from a regular torque-converter automatic. So it’s best to try it out for yourself to see if it suits you.

  3. Rohit says:


  4. What about fuel economy ? is it same like sentra ?

  5. Mayur says:

    Which is the model that comes with automatic park assist?
    Is it available in UAE and what will be its price?

  6. imran zafar says:

    how quick does it accelerate as compared to RAV-4 and CRV.
    Acceleration is an important factor specially at round-abouts.

  7. Rameez says:

    Xtrail vehicle was recalled few years before due to some manufacturing failure. Now the SUV is launched with new CVT and new engine. What is the reliability factor ?

  8. boby says:

    What is the best selling model x trail

  9. risa says:

    Whats the CC please

  10. Xavier Elias says:

    Does the top end comes with 360degree camera and leather upholstery..?? im planning to buy one coming Feb..

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