6 July 2017

Nissan X-Trail 2017 Towing Review

A comfortable SUV that fares well on the flats, but not so on the hills.

Xtrail 1
Nissan X-Trail
Xtrail 2
Nissan X-Trail
Xtrail 3
Nissan X-Trail
Xtrail 4
Nissan X-Trail

With its chunky grills and valance, the Nissan X-Trail certainly looks the part when it comes to towing, and it didn’t lose its sturdiness when we attached the boat; the vehicle remaining comfortable and stable. 

At a glance
Model Nissan X-Trail Ti
Engine 2.5L Petrol
ANCAP Safety Rating 5 Star
Power 126kW at 6000rpm
Transmission Xtronic CVT
Fuel Economy 8.3L/100km
Body Style Medium SUV
Towing Capacity Braked 1500kg
Towing Capacity Unbraked 750kg
Gross mass 1664kg

Powered by a well sized 2.5L petrol engine, the vehicle was responsive and well balanced on the inner city leg of our route but this engine power was let down by the transmission performance later on. When we were on the hill section of our test route, climbing from 50km/h to 80km/h, transmission reached 4500rpm before decreasing once I steadied my speed.

During our motorway leg, seventh gear – the maximum available - was only sitting at around 1500rpm. The X-Trail felt more comfortable sitting in sixth, cruising in smoothly at around 2000rpm. On this leg of the journey, the drive was smooth and the SUV tracked well with no sway, which is commendable for a smaller vehicle. The Ti model we tested was also fitted with a lane departure warning system – particularly handy when you have a trailer on the back, and one of many systems available as part of Nissan’s host of intelligent mobility technologies.

One of the things that impressed us most about the X-Trail is its road holding – especially when it came to navigating corners. While I had no need to use the four-wheel drive system, it seems fairly straightforward to operate, and will only enhance control when towing on slippery surfaces. The backup camera and display screen does a fair job helping you to navigate your surroundings, but I found the small rear window restricted visibility out the back..

The Nissan X-Trail was a comfortable well equipped vehicle and, while it handled the weight of the tow load well on the flat, we felt it was hindered on hills by its transmission. It would possibly fare better with a lighter load such as a domestic garden trailer and suit the occasional tower. 

Thanks to SeaCraft Miller Moyes for the test boat & trailer.

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Rating and scoring

Item towed
Haines Hunter SF535 1300kg STD
Hard braking control
Acceleration control
General comfort
Smoothness of ride
Stability on uneven surfaces
Stability when cornering
Gearbox performance
Overall result
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