By Declan Glynn

The Nissan X-Trail is the largest crossover that Nissan makes, but the current car is a lot different to X-Trails of old.

Consigned to the history books is the boxy look of the original X-Trail, while many people will consider the new Nissan X-Trail to be a far racier, and desirable, alternative to a people carrier.

With the rugged looks of an SUV, and the option of a third row of seats, it can accommodate up to seven people, while still cutting a dash on the road, or in the school car park.

While a large proportion of motorists tend to like the look of big SUVs, they don’t necessarily need the off-road ability they traditionally possess.

Luckily, the X-Trail allows you to choose how much off-road boldness it has – you can opt for a four-wheel-drive version, or choose front-wheel drive to keep running costs down.

A bigger brother to the massively successful Nissan Qashqai, the new Nissan X-Trail replaces the “Qashqai + 2” from the first-generation model and replaces the previous generation X-Trail too.

Four specifications are available – XE, SV, SV Premium, and SVE – while the only engine available is a 1.6-litre turbo diesel.

Seating options consist of five or seven seats for total practicality, or outright carrying capacity.

Co2 emissions as low as 129g/km result in an annual road tax from as little as €270.

Fuel consumption as low as 4.9l/100km is achievable from the sweet-revving 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine, while 130bhp, and 320 Nm of torque at 1750rpm, are very impressive figures indeed.

A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, but buyers can opt for Nissan’s CVT (automatic) gearbox on all but the entry-level XE model.

A four-wheel-drive system is available as an option on these models too.

Performance

Tuned for responsive, agile performance, the Nissan X-Trail’s four-wheel-drive system automatically sends power to the wheels that need it most – 30 times faster than the human eye can blink.

That makes driving a doddle, whether you are driving in the heaviest rain or snow, or just negotiating a tight bend.

The New “NissanConnect” infotainment system is incredibly intuitive thanks to its 7” anti-glare touch-screen, enhanced navigation, and hands-free communication functions.

It makes the X-Trail an integral part of your connected lifestyle in just a few clicks.

The car I had on test was the Nissan X-Trail 7-seater in luxurious SVE specification, and comes complete with a hugely impressive list of standard features.

These include full leather seating, heated front and rear seats, cruise control, Bluetooth, power moon roof, power tailgate, 19” alloys, LED headlamps, silver roof rails, Moving Object Detection, Around View Monitor, dual zone automatic air conditioning and numerous other quality features.

The new X-Trail has class-leading cabin space, including the most legroom in its class.

The rows of seating are arranged in a tiered theatre-style system, where every row sits a little higher than the one in front, for better visibility.

This doesn’t come at the expense of headroom, though, as there’s plenty of space in the back seats.

The X-Trail’s 50/50 folding third-row seats let you take extra passengers and all their gear. When not in use, the seats fold flat to create a large luggage area.

Prices for the new Nissan X-Trail start at just €32,600 (ex works) for the five-seat XE model, while SVE specification models are priced from €40,800 (ex works).

Nissan’s terrific large SUV certainly has the ‘X’ factor in terms of style, spaciousness, build quality and effortless driving ability.