30 Oct 2012

Living with - Nissan X-Trail Aventura

The car - 2009 Nissan X-Trail Aventura
Owner - Phil Millar


I picked this up brand new on a motability contract having decided I wanted a big 4x4. As it was the Aventura, it came with all the whistles and bells. Full leather, full electrics pack, heated seats, rear privacy glass, built in say nav/ full colour reverse camera screen,speed sensitive power steering, TC, ESP yady yada, and the new 2L CDI (down from the previous 2.2TD.)

With seating for 5 adults in comfort, and still enough room for my wheelchair and a large German Shepherd Dog in the back, or 1850 litres of load space with the rear seats folded, it does everything I needed in comfort.
Phil's Nissan X-Trail Aventura


Driving the X Trail was so effortless that within a week it was more akin to driving a roomy car rather than a 'big' 4x4. It was pretty sharp off the mark for what it was (0-60 in 12 seconds) for the 6 speed auto box that had full auto, or triptronic to use. With speed sensitive steering town driving was a breeze and with the reverse camera parking was a doddle, being able to get the rear bumper millimetres from the car behind. With full independent coil sprung suspension,  handling was actually very good on B roads. Nissan had got the balance just about spot on for hustling down twisty roads, and soaking up all but the largest of pot holes. (A main feature on N Irish back roads) 

December 2009 saw me moving from Northern Ireland to Kent.  This meant packing the X Trail to the gills, and using every last piece of the 1850litres of space, AND the roof. An overnight Belfast to Birkenhead crossing was booked so the Liverpool to Kent run was undertaken during daylight. Being December, it snowed just as the halfway point was reached. Even fully loaded the drive was effortless, handling was virtually unchanged from normal. Nissan's 'i mode' 4x4 (on demand 4wd) handled the slippery driving conditions with ease. more importantly, fuel consumption was pretty frugal, using just over three quarter tank of diesel for the whole trip.

As it was a 4x4, shortly after the move it got a decent set of rubber. These were mainly for snow, but it's anti social to have a 4x4 and not take it for a play in the mud. So I did.

Ownership experience

Considering X Tails are 'soft roaders' they're actually very competent off road, they'll go through more than you'd expect, the fancy electrickery gizmos certainly help. 

The main problem off road is lack of ground clearance, the overhangs front and rear also limit approach and departure angles. If you're not 'precious' about your plastics and underside, the X Trail is a hoot in the mud.

The only problem I encountered in 3 years driving was in the snow. A bank of red & amber lights light up the dash like a Christmas tree, I lost traction control, 4WD lock AND ABS.

Not good with 4-5 inches of snow on the ground. The Nissan dealer' response? There must be moisture getting in where it shouldn't, we've had a few this week with this problem. 

Reassuring guys, thanks. 

Would I buy another?

Yes. If I wanted a decent sized car that can cover most situations the average driver is likely to encounter, with the bonus of 4wd for the winter.

Many thanks to Phil Millar for reviewing his Nissan X-Trail