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2022 Nissan X-Trail ST+ review

It sure ain't fancy, but the venerable X-Trail maintains its no-frills approach to family motoring – which for many is all you'll ever need.

James Wong
James Wong
Production Editor
  • Relatively affordable
  • Above average interior practicality
  • Should be stock available
  • Lacking in active safety tech
  • Feeling very dated in most areas
  • More sophisticated new-gen around the corner

Yes, we know this isn’t the all-new Nissan X-Trail.

While a new-generation X-Trail was revealed a year ago as a 2021/2022 model, it’s currently only on sale in the USA where it’s already produced, where Europe, Japan, and Australia are still waiting.

The tried-and-tested previous generation is still in production in Japan, with Nissan Australia indicating there should be enough supply available to cover the few months before the new model arrives Down Under later in 2022.

Why should you buy the X-Trail now rather than wait for the new one? Well, it appears to be in stock, remains relatively affordable as competitor prices continue to rise, and is still one of the more practical entrants in the medium SUV segment.

For 2022 there’s a new Nissan X-Trail ST+ trim level, which packs more kit at the lower end of the range to entice buyers with a tighter wallet.

Is it the pick of the bunch ahead of the new model launching before year’s end?

WATCH: Paul’s video review of the MY20 X-Trail N-Trek

How much does the Nissan X-Trail ST+ cost?

Here on test we have the X-Trail ST+ 2WD, which lists for $34,140 before on-road costs. It sits a few rungs up from the bottom of the ladder, and you can opt for an all-wheel drive version for around $2300 more.

Priced at less than $35,000 before on-roads, it’s one of the more affordable vehicles in the segment.

2022 Nissan X-Trail pricing:

  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST 2WD 2.0L manual: $30,665
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST 2WD 2.5L: $32,665
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST+ 2WD 2.5L: $34,140
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST 2WD 2.5L 7-seat: $34,265
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST AWD 2.5L: $34,665
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST+ AWD 2.5L: $36,410
  • 2021 Nissan X-Trail ST-L 2WD 2.5L: $38,675
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST-L 2WD 2.5L 7-seat: $40,275
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST-L AWD 2.5L: $40,675
  • 2022 Nissan X-Trail Ti AWD 2.5L: $46,115

All prices exclude on-road costs.

What do you get?

X-Trail ST+ highlights include:

  • Surround-view camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Satellite navigation

That’s on top of the X-Trail ST’s inclusions:

  • 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired)
  • DAB+ radio
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Bluetooth
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Hill start assist
  • Keyless start
  • Cruise control
  • Power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Air conditioning
  • Heated and cooled cup holders
  • Reversing camera
  • Automatic headlights (halogen reflector type)

Is the Nissan X-Trail ST+ safe?

The current X-Trail wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing carried out in 2017.

It scored 14.68 out of 16 in the frontal offset test, 16 out of 16 in the side impact test, two out of two in the pole test, while also offering ‘Acceptable’ pedestrian protection and ‘Good’ whiplash protection.

Standard safety equipment on all variants includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Forward collision warning
  • Reversing camera
  • Six airbags

X-Trail ST+ adds:

  • 360-degree camera with Moving Object Detection
  • Front + rear parking sensors

X-Trail ST-L adds:

  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

X-Trail Ti adds:

  • AEB with pedestrian detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist

What is the Nissan X-Trail ST+ like on the inside?

This X-Trail dates back to 2013, and not much has really changed since it first launched, even with a mid-life facelift.

A very simple, conventional approach to cabin design means that the Nissan’s cockpit feels a bit dated but is also quite functional, with everything located where you’d expect it to be.

One of the mid-life upgrades was the flat-bottom steering wheel with a circular hub, which is a big improvement over the teardrop-shaped original. It is, however, all a bit old-hat.

Where even a base Kia Sportage offers higher-set and higher-resolution displays for both the infotainment and driver supervision displays, the X-Trail’s 7.0-inch central touchscreen and chunky, grey switchgear looks and feels one or two generations old.

Nissan updated the infotainment software to allow Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but even then the resolution and processing power lags most competitors, and the surround-view cameras which are meant to be a highlight of getting the ST+ trim level are grainy.

The ST+ maintains the regular ST’s urethane steering wheel, rather than leather or leatherette trim, making it feel like a fleet-spec vehicle. Soft-touch materials on the upper dashboard and doors, as well as the padded leatherette elbow rests in the door inserts as well as atop the front-centre armrests, are welcome.

Front occupants are sat in reasonably comfy chairs with manual adjustment, and the driver’s seat and steering wheel offers a good range of adjustment to get comfortable. Likewise the clean analogue gauges and driver’s supervision display are well-executed, appealing to those who want a simpler approach to real-time information.

There’s not much in the way of convenience features, though this is reflective of the near-entry-level status of the car. Air-conditioning is manually-operated, as are the windscreen wipers. Nissan’s persistence with a foot-operated park brake is another grating element that should kindly relegate itself to the history books.

Another issue I have with the cabin is the dashboard insert ahead of the front passenger, which masquerades a stitched leatherette element but is actually hard plastic. It’s very Toyota HiLux.

What is good, though, is the spacious and airy feel up front, thanks to the simple dashboard layout and the tall roofline.

Storage is decent, with large cupholders offering cooling, a reasonable centre cubby under the armrest, and a small tray ahead of the shifter. The door bins are decent-sized, too, with built-in bottle holders.

More impressive is the X-Trail’s second row, which continues to be above average for the class despite its age.

There’s more than enough space for taller adults behind taller adults, three at a pinch. There’s ISOFIX anchors for child seats on the outboard positions, as well as top-tether points across all three rear seats.

Rear air vents feature as standard, as do map pockets behind both front seats. There are no power sockets in the rear, however, but the middle seat does double up as a fold-down armrest with cupholders.

Further back again, there’s a 565L load area with the second row upright, expanding to 945L with the rear seats folded. That latter figure is likely measured to the top of the front seatbacks or windowline rather than the roof, so don’t be misled into thinking there’s not a heap of space back there.

The boot has a segmented variable floor with storage underneath, meaning you can keep items in place by creating a box-like area, lower the floor for maximum capacity, or raise it for a flat load bay. All versions of the X-Trail feature a space-saver spare wheel under the boot floor.

What’s under the bonnet?

All versions of the X-Trail bar the base ST manual are powered by a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine quoting outputs of 126kW (6000rpm) and 233Nm (4400rpm), paired with a CVT automatic.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the ST, ST+ and ST-L, with on-demand all-wheel drive available as an option. The flagship X-Trail Ti is AWD-only.

Combined fuel consumption is rated at 7.9L/100km. If you opt for the all-wheel drive version, the official fuel claim rises to 8.3L/100km.

The X-Trail’s 60-litre fuel tank runs on minimum 91 RON regular unleaded.

How does the Nissan X-Trail ST+ drive?

The X-Trail is fairly consistent in that most of its characteristics are inoffensive but uninspiring – including the drive.

If the 2.5-litre petrol engine’s specifications seem pretty mild, it’s because they are. Weighing in at 1503kg (tare) in this front-drive ST+ specification, the X-Trail’s powertrain is nowhere near as effortless as turbocharged rivals.

With that said, the Xtronic CVT automatic is well suited to this drivetrain, keeping the petrol engine on the boil when you need it and simulating gears under light or moderate throttle to enhance refinement. Sink your boot in, though, and you’ll see it hold high revs and make a bit of a racket.

At speed the CVT drops the revs and almost coasts along. While it’s not super engaging or smile-inducing, it does get the job done when you’re cruising around the city and navigating peak-hour traffic.

Arguably a more important measure of a vehicle like this is comfort and refinement on the move. Despite its age, the X-Trail measures up alright in this regard.

Wearing chubby 225/65 rubber around 17-inch alloy wheels, the X-Trail ST+ strikes a decent balance between ride comfort and body control, though it’s no locally-tuned Kia Sportage.

Driving up and down pimpled inner-city streets was fine, and on the freeway the X-Trail settles and gets along nicely. You will, however, find that it gets a little rolly-poly when you tackle bends – but it’s far from unsettled.

If anything, the X-Trail offers a more conventional SUV feel in that it feels tall and soft, unlike some rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V which are more car-like and tied down.

Insulation from road and wind noise is par for the class. It’s certainly not the most refined in the segment, nor is it the worst.

Perhaps more grating, particularly in 2022, is the lack of most modern active safety systems found even at the base trim level of most rival vehicles.

While vehicle-to-vehicle AEB is standard on all versions of the X-Trail, that’s about it. There’s no lane departure warning, no lane-keep, no blind-spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert, and there’s no adaptive cruise – to get these you have to go further up the range, which put simply is lagging behind the rest of the class.

Even more frustrating is the fact there’s semi-autonomous ProPilot features available in Japan where we source our vehicles, though the Australian market misses out. Same goes for the 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain.

All told, if you want simple, no-nonsense A-to-B motoring, the X-Trail should suit you just fine.

How much does the Nissan X-Trail ST+ cost to run?

The X-Trail is backed by Nissan Australia’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Owners also receive 24/7 roadside assistance for the same period.

Scheduled maintenance is required every 12 months or 10,000km – whichever comes first.

It’s a shame the X-Trail’s intervals are still shorter than most rivals, especially when the Renault Koleos with an essentially identical mechanical package allows 12 months/30,000 kilometres between visits.

Nissan X-Trail 2.5L service pricing:

  • 12mth/10,000km: $245
  • 24mth/20,000km: $378
  • 36mth/30,000km: $255
  • 48mth/40,000km: $496
  • 60mth/50,000km: $265
  • 72mth/60,000km: $410

We managed an indicated 9.0L/100km during our week of testing, which skewed to peak-hour commuting though there is a significant freeway portion. Decent real-world economy though over a litre up on Nissan’s 7.9L/100km claim.

CarExpert’s Take on the Nissan X-Trail ST+

Having attended the launch of this facelifted X-Trail back in 2017, it’s a shame so little has been done over the past five years to keep it as relevant as possible in what is Australia’s most competitive vehicle segment.

While the fundamentals have always been decent, the X-Trail has been trading on affordable pricing and decent supply of late, rather than being a compelling offering against the benchmarks in terms of performance, standard equipment, or technology.

In the case of the new-for-2022 X-Trail ST+, it’s arguably the best-value model in the range (in 2WD guise) considering the step up to the much better-equipped ST-L is $4500, and the meaningful additions over the base ST. This variant, as well as the ST 2WD seven-seater ($34,265), are probably the only variants you should be seriously considering so close to the new generation arriving.

Considering so many manufacturers are crippled with low stock, supply shortages and ever-increasing prices, the humble X-Trail presents as a readily available option that won’t have you waiting months or breaking the bank.

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MORE: Everything Nissan X-Trail

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James Wong
James Wong

James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert.

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Show Breakdown
Cost of Ownership 7.5
Ride Comfort 7.5
Safety 7
Fit for Purpose 8
Handling Dynamics 7
Interior Practicality and Space 8.5
Fuel Efficiency 7.5
Value for Money 8
Performance 7
Technology Infotainment 6.5
$34,140 MRLP
Top Line Specs
5 ★
View all specifications

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