THE X-Trail is the butch big brother of Nissan's hugely popular Qashqai and is available as a five or seven-seater.
It shares lots of its design with its Sunderland manufactured smaller sibling but does not sell in anything like the same volume.
That's a shame because this chunky SUV has a lot going for it and is very versatile, comfortable and spacious.
I have been driving the diesel version in top Tekna trim and it boasts lots of creature comforts.
The X-Trail has been in production for almost 20 years now and the current model for about two although it recently got a mild makeover and some new engines.
My car was fitted with the 1.7-litre dCI 150ps diesel linked with a six-speed manual gearbox and with a selector enabling you to choose between two or four-wheel-drive.
This engine also offers stop/start and delivers lots of grunt. It is not as smooth as some and can be a bit noisy when pushed in lower gears but it reaches 62mph in 10.7 seconds and has a top speed of 121mph.
At motorway speeds it is nice and quiet and the latest combined figures show that it should be capable of averaging between 39.8 to 41.5mpg and I think I did slightly better than that without trying.
The X-Trail sits on large 19-inch alloys and grabs your attention thanks to its muscular looks, bold stance, V-Motion grille, rear privacy glass, satin roof rails and strong headlights.
The cabin is neat and tidy and clutter free and all the instruments and controls are well positioned and easy to read and use.
Tekna trim means you get the Nissan Connect touchscreen navigation and entertainment system, an upgraded sound system with DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity but surprisingly there is no smartphone link-up via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. I was not able to sample the navigation system because some bright spark had removed the SD card.
You also get powered leather front seats, a panoramic sunroof, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel, all of which are useful in this cold weather. Thankfully the heating system can be operated without having to fiddle with a touchscreen and it easy to find a comfortable driving position with good visibility all round. My car also came with the extra row of seats which adds £660 to the cost and as usual are only suitable for children.
Boot capacity is an impressive 565 litres and this goes up to 1,196 litres with the middle and third row of seats folded flat. There is plenty of extra storage inside the cabin and front and rear cup holders.
Handling is safe and sure rather than sporty with little roll except on tight bends. The X-Trail has Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Engine Brake, all of which help to smooth out our roads and provide a comfortable drive.
Safety systems are comprehensive and the X-Trail was awarded a maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating. Features include lane departure warning, moving object detection, traffic signal recognition, blind spot warning, intelligent forward emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, tyre pressure monitoring system, six airbags and plenty more. It is also fitted with an alarm system to keep intruders at bay.