With the next generation model just around the corner, Nissan have given their mid-sized SUV one last salute with the 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST+. Tested here in front-wheel drive, it’s essentially an ST spec with some added bonuses.
That said, there are only two extras. The first is front and rear parking sensors, and the second a 360-degree camera, with moving object detection. Safety, of course, is the priority for Nissan here, rather than more power, or a shiny new interior.
The most charming aspect of the X-Trail though is its price tag, with the 2WD model starting at just $34,140, while an upgrade to the all-wheel drive variant is just $36,410 (both plus on-roads).
In a market where new car prices are constantly rising, with high demand while supply is low, this mid-30K price tag is more than competitive. The X-Trail ST+ is powered by the same 2.5-litre 4-cylinder that powers the rest of the range too.
It outputs 126kW of power and 233Nm of torque. That’s not a whole lot of power for a car weighing in at 1,458kg, so the naturally aspirated engine has to work hard to get it going off the line.
The engine thusly, becomes unnecessarily noisy as you put your foot down, especially when driving uphill, attempting to maintain momentum and what little speed you had to begin with. The automatic CVT gearbox is a little clumsy as well, but mostly gets the job done.
Even on a slight incline with no throttle, it will shift down the gears to engage engine braking. The car will basically train you to not camp on the brake pedal as you coast downhill, so as to not waste precious brake pads.
Nifty as this is, even disabling it on the steering wheel control settings changes nothing, the car continues to shift down to a lower gear to engage engine braking and becomes endlessly frustrating.
The only other way to successfully counteract this is to stick the gear shifter right into the manual mode and shift up. That said, the car does a good job of getting around town and likewise on the highway.
The ride is soft, so you’ll float over aberrations in the road, but it isn’t, however, a car made for cornering and performance. If you’re looking for a good time behind the wheel, you won’t find it in the Nissan X-Trail ST+.
We saw fuel economy of 9.4-litres/100km compared to a claimed 7.9-litres/100km from Nissan. Equipped with a 60-litre tank, a full tank will cost you a pretty penny in the current fuel fiasco if you’re not gentle with the throttle.
It is, however, comfortable and practical on all counts, and the electronic assisted steering and soft ride makes the X-Trail a breeze to drive, regardless of how much fuel it uses.
The interior is nothing special, with plastic panels trimmed with faux leather; an attempt at adding luxury to the ambience. Thankfully, it doesn’t cheapen the feel because it has been executed correctly.
The steering wheel actually feels quite nice in the hands and isn’t overly thick, despite being made from polyurethane, a reinforced plastic. Space isn’t lacking either.
Even with the manually adjusted front seats moved back far enough to accommodate a reasonably tall person, there is a lot of legroom in the second row. The X-Trail will easily fit four or even five adults comfortably. The roofline is tall too, offering plenty of head room.
The X-Trail ST+ sports a 7.0-inch touchscreen media unit that’s been updated to allow Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but the software is clearly dated, and in dire need of an update.
The resolution and clarity are comparable to CRT monitors from the 90’s but the functionality is all there, and it’s easy to use – plus it’s more than enough for a car in this price range.
The ST+ misses out on some key safety features though, including adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and both lane keep and lane depart assists. You’ll need to go for the ST-L or Ti for those.
There’s two ISOFIX points on the two outboard seats in the second row, and three top mount tethers. Storage space is plentiful in the 5-seater, with a 565-litre boot with the back seats up, or 945-litres with them folded down.
Nissan offers a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and capped price servicing. The X-Trail range has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Overall, the 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST+ offers excellent bang for your buck. It’s an affordable quiet achiever that’s well worth a look.
Our 2022 Nissan X-Trail ST+ was supplied by Nissan Australia. To find out more, contact your local Nissan dealer. Pictures courtesy of J_Hui Design / Photography.