CHOICE put the diesel Nissan X-Trail TL dCi 4WD to the test. We also lent this small SUV five-seater to CHOICE voting members the Wains, a family of five, to find out what they thought. They had plans to use it over the weekend, and the kids were very enthusiastic, but on their first drive they found that space was a little tight.

The Wains say:

This car was a tight fit - shortly after we first tried it out with our three kids, we found it was just too much trouble to get the kids in and out of. With three child seats installed, it's just too difficult to manoeuvre around - we found ourselves having to shove our hands down in between seats to release belt buckles and mixing up buckles when re-buckling.

The window controls are in reach of the children - but they can be locked, so this isn't a major concern. The child seat anchors are easy to locate, but, again, we wouldn't recommend this vehicle for use with three child seats - two at max.

Our children are small, and they could still kick the back of the front seat when the driver's seat was back as far as possible. We feel they don't have enough leg room in this car. The lack of arm rests was also annoying.

On the plus side, we did find there was enough luggage room for prams and groceries combined, and the boot space was good.

CHOICE says:

The steering is well weighted, not too difficult or too easy to turn, but it's a bit slow to react to the driver's input. The gearbox is automatic, and works well; you can also change gears manually if you want to. The handling is comfortable, although it feels a bit truck-like. The body leans over a fair bit when taking corners.

The front seats are reasonably supportive, even on longer drives, but the leather is slippery. The cabin is very noisy with lots of tyre roar and engine noise. There's plenty of cargo room, with pull-out drawers under the luggage area. The rear seats can be folded down to make a very large flat surface without any bumps, which is a bonus. Visibility is OK towards the front, but at the rear it's restricted by the head rests of the rear seat.

The verdict

Despite the car being well outfitted, the Wains wouldn't buy it, due to its lack of space. They consider it suitable for a two-child family only. And our own tester didn't like the noise entering the cabin.


Cost: from $49,744


Fuel usage claim vs measured per 100km: 7.3L vs 7.4L

Acceleration to 100km/h: 11.8s

Braking distance from 60km/h: 15.5m

ANCAP safety rating: 4 stars out of 5