I’ve now had the loan of a 56-plate X-Trail for just over a week, and quite frankly I can’t wait to get rid of it. It’s a face-lifted version of my own 03-plate, but in my opinion a lot worse. Admittedly the engine is more powerful/less knackered than mine, but that doesn’t make up for the downsides.
Firstly, the seats and doors are trimmed with what appears to be a nylon version of sand paper, it’s utterly utterly horrible and makes my skin crawl every time I brush up against it. To be fair though the mid-range X-Trail Columbia isn’t really meant to compete luxury-wise with my own range-topping SVE.
The driving position feels a lot worse, the centre console seems wider and gets in the way of my left leg, and I can’t seem to get my right leg comfortable at all, even with the seat all the way back. I feel sorry for anyone taller than me who tries to drive one.
The sat nav in the centre console is almost unreadable in sunlight if you have the sunroof cover open.
The adjusters for the mirrors and lights have been tucked further down on the console to the point where someone my height (6’2") can’t actually see them to operate the buttons.
The power steering is far too light and devoid of any feel, making driving the car a somewhat numb experience.
There seems to be a lot more body roll, possibly a result of softening the suspension slightly to cope with the 17" alloys which replace the 16" ones of the pre-facelift versions, mine certainly feels a lot more stable.
Hopefully mine will be back in time for the trip to London on Friday.