2018 Nissan X-Trail TL Diesel Review

2018 Nissan X-Trail TL Diesel

Nissan sells millions of X-Trails around the planet because it ticks many boxes for buyers, is consistently good at what it’s designed for, looks attractive and offers value for money.

X-Trail is the ‘right mix’ and has been for more than a decade.

Now, there’s an even better one available in Australia with a new 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine in AWD with CVT (X-tronic) transmission only.

The Nissan X-Trail underwent a major update in May last year which also ushered in revisions to the exterior and interior, more driver assist technology and more features for the price.

Competition does wonders…


They changed the front big time last year though a casual glance may not show that.

There’s a new grille with more imposing appearance, new LED headlights, revised bumpers front and back and new tail lights.

It’s the usual mid-life tweak all cars get at some time in their product life.

Some additional colours are available and new alloy wheels too. The overall effect is pleasing and certainly better than stablemate Renault Koleos.

2018 Nissan X-Trail TL Diesel Interior

The same 2017 revamp happened inside with more kit for the money, revised dash and centre pod, D-Cut steering wheel, and on the test vehicle, a swag of luxury and driver assist technology. More driver assist technology is fitted across the Nissan X-Trail range.

The TL diesel is a five seater only which may be an issue for some.. Seven pews are available in some variants.

The doors open wide, the seats are properly designed by biomechanical types and the TL scores a soft leather upholstery.



  • Bose audio with two subwoofers
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Reverse camera
  • Heated front AND rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Motion sensing tailgate
  • Auto high beam
  • Enhanced infotainment/connectivity

Drive and Engine

Power comes from a punchy, growling 2.0-litre turbo diesel with 130kW and 380Nm output driving through a CVT ‘auto’ gearbox.

Drive goes primarily to the front wheels though Auto mode feeds in the rears as needed and there’s also a 50/50 Lock function.

Once up and running it has plenty of get-go and uses minimal fuel into the bargain.

The CVT slurs a bit but feels somewhat like a conventional 6-speed auto in operation.

I towed a 1600kg trailer with the test vehicle and it was the first time I had done so in a CVT equipped vehicle…. weird especially when it holds revs up slowing to a stop.

The X-Trail has competent dynamics and offers a comfortable and controlled ride. The steering is responsive and thanks to the proper strut/multi-link suspension, the X-trail rides well on (or off) the road ..

On test I clocked a best of 6.2-litres/100km in mixed driving giving the X-Trail a potential range of 1000km plus.

It is larger than you think but still the right size for most applications and is easy to park with excellent all round visibility.

Just a bit laggy when you boot it off the mark.

2018 Nissan X-Trail TL DieselSafety

Five stars here with the broader application of advanced driver assist technology a bonus.

If you want all the good gear, you’ll have to go for one of the higher spec’ models at more money but even the ES and LS have some high tech safety kit. It’s the ‘democratisation’ of safety features at work… and competition of course.

Good bits

  • Punchy, economical diesel engine
  • Well equipped for the money
  • Looks good
  • Made in the UK
  • Great seats
  • Bose audio with two subs
  • Plenty of advanced safety features
  • Heated seats front and back
  • Clever cargo floor design
  • Multiple drive modes
  • Locking AWD system
  • Easy folding rear seats

Not so good bits

  • At times slurring CVT
  • Annoying auto high beam
  • Idle stop start resets to on when starting
  • Touch of turbo lag off idle
  • Pessimistic forward collision warning


I like the Nissan X-Trail diesel because it’s like a Swiss Army Knife _ can be effectively used for multiple purposes. The torquey engine is capable of towing plenty and uses minimal fuel. The vehicle has generous interior room and a clever cargo floor to hide stuff. It rides and handles with competence and looks tough on the road. The price is getting up a tad on this particular vehicle, nudging 50 grand for a medium SUV….

But, yes. I’d have one for sure.

Facts and Figures: 2018 Nissan X-Trail TL Diesel

  • Engine:  2.0-litre turbo diesel 130kW/380Nm
  • Transmission: CVT stepped
  • Safety: 5-star
  • Origin: UK
  • Warranty: 3 years/100,000km
  • Price: $47,790

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