2017 Nissan X-Trail ST Review

Nissan X-TRAIL ST Road test, Review

The Nissan X-Trail has always been a steady performer in the mid-sized SUV stakes, consistently pulling good numbers behind the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota RAV4.

And this is set to continue with the recent mid-life update to the model.

There is plenty of scope in the range with eight different options, but you can only drive one car at a time so under the spotlight this week is the Nissan X-TRAIL ST.

The ST is down the lower end of the scale as an automatic, 2WD offering with the 7-seater option in this particular case.

Though an entry level model, the X-TRAIL is by no means cheap looking with a well laid out, pragmatic cabin, decked out in soft-touch black materials and firm fabric seats.

Manual audio and climate controls are the payoff and the display screen is small and basic with no touchscreen capabilities.

However, you do get push button ignition and a foot operated park brake.

The exterior is just as appealing in it’s up to date profile and aggressive front end with Nissan’s V-motion grille.

It’s not too dissimilar to the Renault Koleos we test drove not all that long ago sharing the same platform thanks to the Nissan-Renault agreement.

The drive meanwhile, like the Koleos, is uncomplicated and grounded.

I found it to be alacritous from the naturally aspirated 2.5 litre engine and though it doesn’t have that extra push went you step down, it gets moving along quite easily.

CVTs aren’t our preferred transmission choice, but the combination in this case works quite harmoniously.

The fuss free operation is enhanced by the effortless steering, some might say light or vague, but I still felt in good control of the vehicle.

It takes in the bumps quite well, feels very reassured and you don’t really notice any rough ride while cruising along.

Coming out pretty economical at 9.7L/100km, I had plenty of fuel left over at the end of the week.

Safety features like lane departure and rear cross traffic alert are only found in higher spec models, but the ST does come with emergency braking and a reverse camera.

As I said, this is the 7 seat version of the ST with two seat backs that fold flat into the cabin floor.

We very often say that the third row of foldable seats are for emergency use only, but in the case of a medium sized SUV, that is even more pronounced.

Legroom is almost non-existent if you have the second row of seats even slightly back or need to fit in a baby capsule.

The seats themselves are on the small side, being very square with not much height or padding.

Really only there if you need to carry two extra people on occasion or a couple of children.

While we’re in that region, it’s worth noting there is no centre tether point as the middle portion (20 percent) can fold down as an armrest.

Though the middle row can slide forward and fold down to make getting in and out or storing large items easier.

All up, the Nissan X-TRAIL ST 2WD 7-seater is a good representative of the strong X-Trail range, though I’d leave the seven seats to the large SUVs.

NUTS and BOLTS 2017 Nissan X-TRAIL ST

  • Engine: 2.5 litre petrol producing 126kW and 226Nm
  • Transmission: CVT auto
  • Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km
  • Safety: Five Stars
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $31,990

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