THE Nissan X-Trail is one of the most practical SUVs on sale today and has absolutely masses of room for passengers.
However, if you want petrol power, the range is limited to a single 158bhp 1.3-litre unit, withfront-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Producing an ample 270Nm, it officially returns 34.9mpg and a reasonable 149g/km CO2.
The X-Trail is Nissan's best-selling vehicle worldwide and while it might not be the most dynamic of vehicles to drive, it's cleverly designed, well-made and packed with equipment.
There's a handful of trims but the Tekna is top of the range. It comes with aircon, six airbags, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, cruise control and speed limiter, and hill start assist.
Tekna models also come with NissanConnect - seven-inch touch-screen navigation and entertainment system - colour front, rear and side cameras, DAB digital radio and 19-inch alloys, alongside safety systems such as Forward Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Traffic Signal Recognition - very important for a family car.
The range-topper - available in both five- and seven-seat versions - also features leather seats, heated seats for both front and rear occupants, an electrically-adjustable driver's seat, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and an eight-speaker Bose audio system as standard.
Inside, the layout is well-finished with plenty of quality soft-touch materials, and a wonderfully intuitive dashboard. The dials are clear and easy to understand, the various buttons and knobs are all logically set out. It's a driver's dream.
There's ample legroom for five adults. The rows of seating are arranged in a tiered theatre-style system, where every row sits a little higher than the one in front, for better visibility. There's still plenty of headroom, though.
Helpfully, the rear doors open outward to more than 80 degrees, improving access for passengers and for fixing child seats.
Befitting the size of the car, the X-Trail has a spacious boot offering 565 litres of cargo space with the seats up. Capacity on seven-seat interiors is 445 litres. Total space with all seats folded flat increases to 1,996 litres.
For extra versatility, a smart and innovative double load floor which Nissan says provides up to nine different configurations - I didn't get round to trying them all! This split cargo solution enables the user to store, for example, a stroller and large items below while creating a fully usable upper load surface for smaller, lighter items.
Though it's not the most dynamic of cars to drive - not many large SUVs are - Active Ride Control monitors the road surface to detect dips and bumps which could upset the pitch of the car body and alters the damping to compensate.
Particularly clever is Active Trace Control. By using on board sensors to monitor speed, steering angle, throttle opening and braking effort, it brakes wheels individually, as required, to reduce understeer and help the driver steer a safer path through bends. Put simply, it adjusts your line through a corner if it senses you're going to run wide.