2023 Nissan X-Trail review: Full line-up detailed

The all-new Nissan X-Trail took a long time to get to Australia, but it looks like it was worth the wait.

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Score breakdown
Safety, value and features
Comfort and space
Engine and gearbox
Ride and handling

Things we like

  • Standard features
  • Ride comfort
  • Cabin space and equipment
  • Clever cabin and boot storage

Not so much

  • Driving dynamics good rather than great
  • Shorter service intervals than most rivals
  • Not-so fuel efficient hybrid
  • Cramped third-row seating

The new Nissan X-Trail is our Best Medium SUV of 2023.

The previous generation of the Nissan X-Trail medium SUV was a favourite of buyers around the world – so, when the new model arrived in time for 2023, it had big boots to fill.

Early signs show the new X-Trail is having no trouble living up to expectations, having already won key comparisons first in petrol form when it defeated all-comers in our Best Medium SUV 2023 test, and then again in E-Power hybrid form against the popular RAV4 Hybrid.

It also achieved a top-four finish at 2023 Wheels Car of the Year, fending off not only its direct segment rivals, but most of the market's newcomers in every class.

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Nissan X-Trail pricing

Depending on which of the four available models you choose, the X-Trail is available with five or seven seats, and a choice of two engines.

Engine choices include a 2.5-litre petrol engine, available with front-wheel- (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) drivetrains, or the new E-Power 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid with 'E-4orce' AWD.

ST FWD five-seat$36,750
ST AWD seven-seat$39,790
ST-L FWD five-seat$43,190
ST-L AWD seven-seat$46,290
Ti AWD five-seat$49,990
Ti hybrid AWD five-seat$54,190
Ti-L AWD five-seat$52,990
Ti-L hybrid AWD five-seat$57,190
Prices exclude on-road costs

What body styles are available with the X-Trail?

Like all of its rivals, the X-Trail is a five-door SUV only. But, as noted, it can be had in five- and seven-seat forms.

The X-Trail drives either its front wheels or all four wheels, depending on the version. It is classed as a medium SUV, in the volume-selling segment.

What features are there in every X-Trail?

The features listed below are standard in the entry-level model and will appear in higher-grade models, unless replaced by more premium equivalent features.

2023 Nissan X-Trail standard features
Infotainment touchscreenCapless fuel filler door
Reversing cameraDriver's lumbar support
Wired Apple CarPlay and Android AutoForward collision warning
Bluetooth phone and audio streamingAutonomous emergency braking with junction assist and pedestrian/cyclist detection?
Audio system with AM/FM/DAB+ radioReverse auto braking
Digital instrument clusterRear-cross traffic alert
Keyless entryBlind-spot warning
Push-button startLane departure warning
Rear parking sensorsLane intervention
LED headlights, tail-lights and daytime running lampsSpeed limiter
Alloy wheelsActive cruise control
Space-saver spare wheelTraffic sign recognition
Air-conditioning with second-row air ventsTrailer sway control
Dusk-sensing headlights with high-beam assistRear seat alert
Power folding and heated door mirrors

What key features do I get if I spend more?

Entry level: X-Trail ST

The most affordable X-Trail is the five-seat X-Trail ST with the 2.5-litre petrol engine coupled with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. Spending around $3400 more will bring the seven-seat ST with the same powertrain, plus all-wheel-drive.

2023 Nissan X-Trail ST features
5 or 7 seatsSix-way manually adjusted driver's seat
17-inch alloy wheelsPlastic steering wheel
8.0-inch infotainment screenSix-speaker audio system.
Cloth seatsAuto-dimming rear-view mirror (7-seater only)
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X-Trail ST-L

Stepping up to the X-Trail ST-L brings a choice of five or seven seats, which come trimmed with black synthetic leather, heated front seats and a driver's seat with eight-way power adjustments.

2023 Nissan X-Trail ST-L features
5 or 7 seatsSurround-view parking monitor
Black leatherette seatsPro-Pilot' driver assist (see safety section)
Heated front seatsFront parking sensors
Eight-way power adjustment for driver's seatTyre pressure monitoring
Leather-accented steering wheel18-inch alloy wheels
Dual-zone climate control air-conditioningLED fog lights
Privacy glass
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Nissan X-Trail ST-L

The five-seater comes with Nissan's Divide N Hide cargo system, featuring an adjustable boot floor that allows for flexible storage options – and hiding your valuables.

The ST-L also comes with a choice of E-Power hybrid powertrain and e-4orce electronic 4x4 system, which is a five-seat-only configuration. Unlike the five-seat petrol variant, it misses out on the Divide N Hide cargo system and a spare wheel – if you get a flat you'll have to make do with a 'goo' puncture repair kit.

The E-Power does bring a couple of extras though, including active noise cancellation to reduce cabin noise and conversely, an acoustic vehicle alerting system that lets pedestrians hear you when creeping around in EV mode.

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Nissan X-Trail Ti

X-Trail Ti

Higher up the chain, the X-Trail Ti comes with both powertrains, but drops the 2.5-litre petrol with front-wheel-drive. Unfortunately, it also comes without the option of a seven-seat configuration.

2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti features
5 seats onlyAmbient interior lighting.
Panoramic 12.3-inch touchscreenSeats trimmed with accented leather
10.8-inch head-up displayEight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
Satellite navigationPowered tailgate
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android AutoRain-sensing wipers
Wireless phone chargerPanoramic sunroof
Adaptive driving beam headlightsTri-zone climate control
Intelligent (video) rearview mirror19-inch wheels
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Nissan X-Trail Ti

The Ti stands out with chrome side moulding, and silver front and rear lower fascia.

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Nissan X-Trail Ti-L

X-Trail Ti-L

The range-topping X-Trail Ti-L brings about $3000 worth of extras to the Ti spec.

2023 Nissan X-Trail Ti-L features
5 seats onlyRemote engine start
Quilted Nappa back or tan leather upholsteryDoor mirrors that tilt in reverse gear
Driver's seat and mirror position memoryHands-free powered tailgate
Heated steering wheel10-speaker BOSE premium audio system.
Heated outboard rear seats
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How safe is the Nissan X-Trail?

The 2023 Nissan X-Trail was awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating, scoring 91 and 90 per cent for adult and child occupant protection categories respectively.

In the crash-test assessment for child occupants based on six- and 10-year-old children, the X-Trail scored 23.3 points out of a possible 24.

It also did well in the safety assist tests, gaining a 97 per cent pass rate.

However, it scored significantly lower in the vulnerable road users' rating, notching up a 74 per cent score.

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Seven airbags (dual front, side, curtain, and front-centre) feature across the X-Trail range.

2023 Nissan X-Trail standard safety
7 airbags (dual front, side, curtain, and front-centre)Lane departure warning
Autonomous emergency braking (vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist, junction, reverse)Trailer sway control
Adaptive cruise controlRear cross-traffic alert
Lane-keep assistRear occupant alert.
Traffic sign recognitionBlind-spot alert

ST-L grades and above also include Nissan’s ProPilot+ safety suite, allowing semi-autonomous highway driving in certain situations.

How comfortable and practical is the Nissan X-Trail?

Capable as the previous model X-Trail was, it spent the latter half of its decade-long lifecycle feeling a tad uninspiring whenever you hopped into the cabin.

This new model oozes showroom appeal, with nice materials and features that seem well put together.

Plenty of thought has gone into the design and practicality, with a host of little bins and compartments around the cabin, intuitively laid out switches and dials.

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X-Trail ST-L

The entry-level ST is comfortable, while the ST-L spec's faux leather seats bring a sense of elegance and a couple more seat adjustments for the driver.

Stepping up to the Ti and Ti-L adds a more premium feel with leather upholstery, including plush Nappa leather in the range-topper, a panoramic touchscreen, LED mood lighting and a full-size sunroof that makes the cabin feel more airy.

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X-Trail Ti

Front seat occupants in each variant benefit from two USB ports (one USB-A and one USB-C) to charge their phones or sync music, with the upper spec Ti and Ti-L gaining a wireless phone charger and wireless Apple CarPlay – but only wired Android Auto.

Two cup holders feature in the textured centre console, located above a rubberised storage tray that is perfect for small bags or notepads. Good-sized door bins and a deep central cubby with a butterfly-opening lid finish the up-front practicalities.

Rear space and comfort

The X-Trail's rear pew is raised to offer a stadium view to the windscreen over the front occupants.

It’s easily wide enough for three across the bench, and those over 180cm tall have good leg, and headroom even with the sunroof installed.

Apart from the entry-level five-seat ST, whose rear bench splits 60:40, the X-Trail's rear seats split 40:20:40, can recline little and feature a centre armrest and a centre pass through to the boot.

Rear seats can slide back and forth and recline a little, but the bench itself is a little narrow and lacks under-thigh support for those with longer limbs.

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But it's wide, which means three adults can sit in relative comfort. Whoever draws the short straw to sit in the middle will have enough room to put their feet on either side of the transmission tunnel.

Rear-seat accoutrements include map pockets behind both front seats, two more USB ports (one USB-C and one USB-A), door bins with bottle holders, and two cupholders in the fold-down centre armrest.

There are also air vents back there, and passengers in the Ti and Ti-L can set their own temperature.

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The X-Trail has cast metal door hinges that allow for the rear doors to open out to 85 degrees, which makes life easier for folk with young children who need to load car seats and the kiddies who sit in them – speaking of which, there are outboard ISOFIX anchors and three seat tethers.

The wide-opening door also makes it easier for adults to get in and out without groaning.

That said, few adults would be able to gracefully climb into the third row of the seven-seat X-Trails, which is quite cosy and only really suitable for small children – or, if adults, very short and uncomfortable trips.

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X-Trail five-seat petrol boot space

How much boot space does the Nissan X-Trail offer?

Five-seat petrol versions have the largest boot capacity at 585 litres, while the E-Power hybrid is listed at 575 litres.

The seven-seat option, available for the ST and ST-L, reduces space to 465 litres with the third-row folded flat.

That does put the X-Trail ahead of key five-seat rivals like the Toyota RAV4 (540L), Mazda CX-5 (442L) and Kia Sportage (543L) for load-lugging ability.

The five-seat 2.5-litre petrol X-Trails come with Nissan’s modular boot dividers that allow two carpeted sections to be arranged in 16 different configurations to secure bags, hide valuables or store longer items.

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The 2.5-litre X-Trails come with a space-saver spare wheel under the boot floor, while the E-Power versions have a tyre repair kit.

The 40:20:40 split seatback provides a centre passthrough, the retractable cargo blind has its own storage spot under the boot floor, and there’s a 12-volt power outlet.

No bag hooks or seatback release handles are two notable omissions,

A power tailgate is standard on the Ti and Ti-L grades.


The Nissan X-Trail has a wheelbase of 2705mm and is 4680mm long, 2065mm wide and 1725mm tall.

I like driving, will I enjoy the X-Trail?

In this regard, the X-Trail is solid rather than excellent. Nissan has opted for a ride/handling balance that favours comfort over agility – but that doesn't mean it's entirely lacking in dynamic ability.

The ride is significantly better than with the previous model, thanks to a complete overhaul of the chassis and suspension tuning. The new X-Trail is both confident on its feet and comfortable, and road noise is notably low.

But ride comfort comes at the expense of handling, and on more demanding roads the X-Trail is prone to body roll - significantly more than rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 or Volkswagen Tiguan. The light steering can also feel aloof, so it feels like there is a disconnection between the steering wheel and the road.

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On the Ti's bigger 19-inch rubber, the ride can be brittle over sharp, low-amplitude road imperfections and corrugations.

A driver’s SUV it is not, but what the X-Trail gives away in outright dynamics it makes up for in day-to-day comfort and refinement around town and on highways.

Performance-wise, the 2.5-litre petrol engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) combo is similar to the previous model, but with just a hint more power and torque.

AWD versions also have a revised system with five drive modes: Off-road, snow, auto, eco and sport.

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The carry-over CVT has the same droning nature that you’ll either dislike or not notice at all. The engine, however, is a free-revving unit that is more refined and less thrashy than the previous version with reduced levels of noise, vibration and harshness making their way into the cabin.

Without a turbo (and there’s no diesel option either), low-down torque is a little lacking and, while initial acceleration is strong off the mark, the performance drops off quickly unless the engine is revved hard.

But for most day-to-day duties, the combination of a revised petrol engine and CVT auto will be happily adequate for most owners.

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The E-Power hybrid powertrain offers punchier and more responsive performance.

It differs from other hybrids in that the combustion engine lacks a mechanical link to the driven wheels, so power is delivered to the road purely through the electric motor – like an EV.

On batteries alone in 'EV-mode', the X-Trail can accelerate and travel beyond low speeds for up to four kilometres, thanks to its slightly larger 2.1kWh battery (versus 1.5kWh of the Toyota RAV4 hybrid).

The downside to the e-Hybrid concept is, at 100km/h on flat ground, the petrol engine is constantly humming away to keep the small battery topped up. This means higher fuel consumption than a standard hybrid, although our comparison with the RAV4 Hybrid shows it is not far off the best in the segment.

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Officially, Nissan claims 6.1L/100km for the X-Trail E-Power on the combined cycle, which isn't too bad for a medium SUV – particularly if you value punchy turbocharged performance.

Though weighing in at 1880kg empty, the X-Trail E-Power provides well-judged steering and a willingness to take corners at speed, though its ride typically struggles to deal with rougher road surfaces.

Which X-Trail engine uses the least fuel?

The X-Trail E-Power hybrid is the more efficient of the two available powertrains, with an official combined fuel economy of 6.1L/100km.

Our testing bettered this claim, with 6.0L/100km achieved in a week of urban and highway driving.

Unlike conventional hybrid systems, which use a battery until dead or under heavy load and then switch to combustion-powered drive, Nissan's innovative E-Power with e-4orce system is made up of a high-output 1.8kWh battery pack that is constantly charged by the turbocharged variable compression petrol engine. The result is constant electric power to the twin electric motors (150kW front, 100kW rear, outputting a combined 157kW/330Nm).

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The wheels are driven purely by electric motors, with the combustion engine only used to charge the battery with energy not salvaged from regenerative braking.

Nissan recommends using RON 95/98 petrol for the E-Power engine, though you can fill up with cheaper RON 91, which results in a slight increase in fuel consumption.

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The X-Trail's standard naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is a revised version of the old model’s petrol engine. It’s paired exclusively to a CVT automatic and produces 135kW/245Nm, which is a 9kW/19Nm improvement over the old model.

Official combined fuel economy is 7.4L/km for the five-seat FWD variants, and 7.8L/100km for the seven-seat AWDs.

What is the X-Trail's towing capacity?

Towing has been improved across the X-Trail range, with 2.5-litre petrol versions now capable of towing 2000 kilograms braked – 500kg more than before.

The hybrid X-Trails can tow up to 1650kg braked. All versions can tow up to 750kg unbraked.

How long is the warranty and what are the Nissan X-Trail's servicing costs?

As per the wider Nissan range, the X-Trail is covered by the brand's five-year / unlimited-kilometre warranty, with complimentary roadside assistance across the same period.

Maintenance is required every 12 months or 10,000 kilometres, whichever occurs first.

Capped-price servicing is available for the first five years, at the following cost:

  • 12 months/10,000km - $363
  • 24 months/20,000km- $469
  • 36 months/30,000km - $504 (AWD: $532)
  • 48 months/40,000km - $587
  • 60 months/50,000km- $657 (AWD: $696)
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Nissan X-Trail Ti

Which version of the Nissan X-Trail does Wheels recommend?

The X-Trail ST-L spec has everything you need, but the 2.5-litre AWD X-Trail Ti is the pick of the range.

For about $3700, you get a heap of desirable extras over the equivalent ST-L that make it feel a lot more premium than its sub-$50,000 retail price tag suggests.

You do lose the third row of seats, but the X-Trail is best suited as a five-seater - if you really need a seven-seater you're best looking at its Pathfinder sibling. Or our three favourite full-size seven-seaters: the Kia Sorento, Toyota Kluger, and Hyundai Palisade.

And while the E-Power hybrid provides better performance and refined ride, the improvements to the 2.5-litre petrol powertrain have made it a good all-rounder for town and highway duties.

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Wheels 2023 Medium SUV megatest

What are the Nissan X-Trail's key rivals?

The new X-Trail finished on top against all of the above rivals in our Wheels medium SUV 'Family Car Comparison',

Score breakdown
Safety, value and features
Comfort and space
Engine and gearbox
Ride and handling

Things we like

  • Standard features
  • Ride comfort
  • Cabin space and equipment
  • Clever cabin and boot storage

Not so much

  • Driving dynamics good rather than great
  • Shorter service intervals than most rivals
  • Not-so fuel efficient hybrid
  • Cramped third-row seating
David Bonnici
WhichCar Staff


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