9 July 2021

Used Car Review: Nissan X-Trail (2011)

Created for families on the go, the second-generation Nissan X-Trail is a popular medium-sized SUV for Kiwis who need some extra space, whether that be for weekend adventures into the wilderness, to the worksite or to the family batch.

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Nissan X-Trail (2011)
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Nissan X-Trail (2011)
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Nissan X-Trail (2011)
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Nissan X-Trail (2011)
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Nissan X-Trail (2011)
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Nissan X-Trail (2011)
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Nissan X-Trail (2011)

This popular SUV is peppered with practical touches that make it a great choice for families. In terms of used sales last year, Nissan had the third largest overall share of the used passenger market, with sales of an impressive 2,369 for the Nissan X-Trail models combined. While this was not quite as many as the popular Mitsubishi Outlander, it did outsell the other two popular used SUVs - the Toyota Vanguard and the Mazda CX-5.

We reviewed the popular Nissan X-Trail 2011 (T31) from AA Preferred Dealer Portage Cars. This particular example was finished in pearl white and sported aftermarket wheels.

A rugged stance

The X-Trail holds a significant presence on the road with a width of 1,785mm, a length of 4,590mm and sits at 1,685mm tall. It also has quite a boxy silhouette. Some motorists comment that the A-pillar is a tad too thick, however, in our opinion it’s a well-balanced design for an SUV.

The slightly angular bonnet maximises visibility because the extremities can be seen clearly from the driver's seat, making it easy to view any potential hazards when maneuvering. A front-quarter mirror assists with the vision on the left side of the vehicle, following a trend set by other SUVs of this style like the aforementioned Mitsubishi Outlander and the Honda CR-V.

The wide D-pillar does reduce rear visibility, although our test model had a high-quality reverse camera fitted which helps when backing up.

The body-integrated bumper makes it feel more like a city-riding SUV, a lot like its Dualis sibling.

Room for everyone

The interior feels nice and open thanks, in part, to its high roof line, which reminded us of a seventies-series Toyota Land Cruiser. On top of this, the leatherette seats helped us feel a bit more pampered than we expected - our model even included heated seats all around but, perhaps more intriguingly for a 2011 utility model, the rear seats also had the ability to recline into a more relaxing position.

Because the rear seats are positioned higher than those in the front, passengers seated in the back are given a good view of the road ahead. This generation model also benefitted from an extra 10mm in space due to the redesign of the rear seats. There’s actually ample room in the back for three adult passengers, let alone for three children.

The X-Trail comes with many smart storage compartments throughout the cabin, which are perfect for storing items like mobile phones, drink bottles and sunglasses.

In the front, there are four cup holders, two of which are mounted high up on the Dash board with flip-open lids.

There’s also a convenient bin concealed in the center of the dashboard, as well as some additional storage in the door pockets and seat backs. In-between the rear seats you’ll find the additional two cup holders integrated into the back of the center console.

Probably the most ingenious feature are two large pull-out draws in the rear cargo area that is not only very practical for family road trips, but also if you decided to use the X-Trail as a work vehicle - we imagine it would be perfect for a tradesperson to store their hand tools out of sight.

The 2011 Nissan X-trail is the perfect family SUV. It’s comfortable, has plenty of storage spaces inside the cabin and comfort, it manages to be both tough and smooth at the same time.

Good rear space

With all the seats folded there’s a great deal of space, and the floor becomes completely flat with 1,649 litres of space. With the seats up, storage comes in at 603 litres, which is particularly impressive.


The model we tested possesses a 2.0 MR20DE engine which develops 101kW and 200Nm of torque - this helps the X-Trail accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just over 11 seconds. This equates to a fuel efficiency rating of 7.4L/100km, and a CO2 efficiency rating of 193g/km.

It might not be an absolute powerhouse, but it’s not always about power. The SUV also features an impressive ground clearance of 8.3 inches and Nissan’s All Mode 4x4-i system which incorporates Hill Descent Control.

The six-speed CVT transmission is smooth and a much-needed upgrade from the previous model’s four-speed conventional automatic.

The 2011 Nissan X-Trail holds a five-star Used Car Safety Rating. More information can be found at rightcar.govt.nz.


We see the attraction of the 2011 Nissan X-Trail SUV thanks to its copious amount of storage and its versatility.

We recently reviewed the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander, too, and can definitely see several similarities between the two SUVs, however, the X-Trail appears to be the more versatile choice of the two. If you require a vehicle to assist with your work duties, then we certainly think the X-Trail would be the pick of the two.

The X-Trail seems more useful and practical than the popular Nissan Qashqai, and is actually described by some automotive enthusiasts as a ‘beefed-up Qashqai’, although it’s probably not quite as silky smooth on the road as its smaller sibling.

At a glance

Model and year

Nissan X-Trail (2011)



Date Tested



$12,990 (+ORC)


2.0-litre petrol


Six-speed CVT

Fuel economy, CO2

7.4L/100km, 193g/km

Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

603 litres

Safety features include:

  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Airbags
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Keyless start
  • All Mode 4x4i

Choosing your next used car?

An AA Preferred Dealer is a Motor Vehicle Trader that has been certified to meet our standards of quality. We recommend that anyone looking to buy a used car visits an AA Preferred Dealer. Our series of checks on used cars gives drivers peace of mind that the used car they’re interested in buying isn’t hiding any secrets.

Click here to find out more about our AA Preferred Dealer network.

If you don’t have an AA Preferred Dealer near you, find a used vehicle that has had an AA Appraisal. Cars that have had an AA Appraisal have received a 43-point mechanical check by the AA, which focuses on the mechanical and safety aspects of the car and gives an overall evaluation of the vehicle.

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Get total peace of mind with an AA Pre Purchase Inspection

When you buy a used car, you may have a number of questions about its condition and safety. An independent AA Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection will give you complete peace of mind with a comprehensive 100+ point vehicle check by an experienced mechanic.

Click here for more information on AA Pre Purchase Inspections.

Thank you to AA Preferred Dealer Portage Cars for supplying us with the 2011 Nissan X-Trail for review. For similar listings, click here.

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