Buying used: Nissan X-Trail

Buying used: Nissan X-Trail
Buying used: Nissan X-Trail

This large SUV offers practical space for family and cargo

The Nissan X-Trail has been a solid performer for the company for many years. It hasn’t had the success of Nissan’s own Qashqai, but it has sold steadily since it was launched. If your family is growing out of a Qashqai and you need more space yet you want to retain that rugged SUV ability, then the X-Trail should be on your list.

A new one starts at £22,395, but the previous-generation model was a great vehicle, and was sold from 2007 until 2012, so there are quite a few to choose from. Demand levels have remained fairly high, since it offers four-wheel drive, tons of room and the option of seven seats.

You could find an early model for about £4,500 but we’d recommend a budget of about £7,000 which will get you comfortably on the ladder. But which model should you go for?

c4418a0cf14d35ccad106dd4255dd63178fb697b

The petrol-engined versions were pretty thirsty, failing to reach 30mpg, so we’d stick with the diesel. This came in two forms, with either 147bhp or 170bhp. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but we’d go for the more powerful engine, as it should not only be a bit quicker but also cheaper to run.

The lower-powered unit can manage 39mpg but the 170bhp version can do 44mpg. It’s a big, reasonably heavy vehicle, and you need the horsepower to get it up and moving. While that’s okay, you’re still going to have to accept some reasonably heavy running costs. Emissions of 168g/km make this hardly a city car to tax and run, but you are getting a full-size SUV with four-wheel drive and all that flexible cargo area, and that comes at a price.

32a4eccf8ef1ce9508acc151f3d211de53dd340d

We’d go for the Tekna trim since that added CD multi-changer (remember them?), cruise control, leather and sat nav, on top of the base spec ABS, electric windows and climate control.

The Nissan seems well built and it can manage long distances before it needs consumables like brake pads or wiper blades. Things like air con or suspension issues don’t seem to be any drama until you’re going second time round the clock.

Reliability seems good, but watch out for the occasional engine management problem, as well as the diesel particulate filter warning light. This means the vehicle needs a blast to clear its lungs.

Ignore it and you will need a new filter, and they really do cost. Overall though you’ll be getting a well-made, large SUV with all the attributes that brings for some very sensible money.

Buying used: Volvo 850 R

Take BTCC heritage, add a rare manual-plus-LSD combo, and multiply by today's classic car market for this £20k nineties estate...Volvo

In pictures: Driving from London to Brighton in a Victorian car

We take part in the Veteran Car RunThe London to Brighton Run is the world’s oldest motorsport event. These days, it’s called the

Car brands go online

Which manufacturers will sell you a car without having to visit the showroom?Dealerships have gone to great lengths to seem more attractive

Top ten: hot hatches under £2k

Two grand for a hot hatch? Sounds good to usYou’d need £31,000 to buy the latest hot hatch god, the Honda Civic Type R. While that