Nissan X-TrailNissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
If Appearances are anything to go by...

NISSAN’S X-Trail has been at this SUV lark much longer than Renault’s current trio in the sector and the Qashqai’s big brother has just received a well-judged update.

While Nissan’s improvements for the X-Trail include various semi-autonomous driver aids, the car tested on the roads of Rotherham and North Yorkshire was a suitably straightforward beast.

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No ProPilot lane-keeping adaptive cruising control system here, no X-Tronic gearbox and no seven-seat option.

But a still fairly plentiful specification saw the dCi 130 Tekna 4WD manual come in at £34,710.

A new grille, front and rear bumpers and chrome detailing along each flank are key features of the new X-Trail. Neater rear light clusters are also new.

The X-Trail looks and feels more rugged, with less premium pretence than the Koleos.

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It feels a suitably honest vehicle, and despite power deficit on the Koleos also tested on this page — the X-Trail’s two-litre turbodiesel engine delivering 130bhp and 236lb.ft. — it’s 11-second dash to 62mph and 115mph top speed come with an economy bonus.

Nissan claims 52.3mpg fuel economy and 143g/km CO2 emissions and I eased over 50mpg during my test.

Another bonus was a NissanConnect infotainment system which, while featuring a Bose sound system as standard, is far more functional than that of the Renault.

The conventional layout might not look as cool, but the shortcut buttons that flank it make life much easier.

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Leather seats (heated in the front), a reversing camera, lane departure and blind spot warnings and a 565-litre boot all add to the practicality of a spacious and robust-feeling SUV.

Despite being closely related, the X-Trail and Koleos are very different. Despite the Nissan’s grittier demeanour, it is actually a little more expensive than the Renault in an equivalent trim.

The decision may lie with how keen you are at Keeping Up Appearances…