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  #1  
Old 15 Jan 2012
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Nissan X Trail

So what is to be made of this vehicle? ----- the Nissan X Trail.

I can't remember seeing mention of it within the HUBB but I guess there will be an owners' webpage somewhere else on the internet.

Would you/do you own one?
Pros and cons of ownership?

What can they do, what can't they do?
Limitations?
Experience of living with one.

Strengths and weaknesses?
Good versions of their engines and poorer ones?

Just one plea; please don't go
A couple of times recently I have tried to contribute to threads about 4x4 travel and they just swing very quickly to the eternal LR or LC "debate".
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  #2  
Old 15 Jan 2012
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It might help you with comparative info if you look here FME its quite impartial and fairly accurate appraisal , the link is for xtrail but they cover most HTSH

Nissan X-Trail Cars,Pictures,Reviews and Prices | Parkers
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  #3  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Thanks for that link tacr2man.
I looked at some of the reviews in there and they seemed to be written from the point of view of "lifestyle" (a comment that you made in my other thread about the Freelander - and a good one to my mind).

You prompted me to look around elsewhere for more useful reviews, or at least what appear to be more useful, and I got to this one:-

35 of 37 Nissan Terrano II Touring 2.7 TDI Reviews | Guest's Review | Review Centre

I think they are better reviews because at least some are written from the point of view of people who have used 4x4 off road, usually for their work (but you can't have everything in the one, single source it seems - unless on here??).

As it happens reading a bit about the X Trail led me to read on into the Terrano, but it is still a Nissan so not totally
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  #4  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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I would suggest that 1st decision if you are looking for a 4wd , is to decide between HD and Lifestyle . HD is usually with a low range transfer gear set. These are defender, LC Patrols etc . If you are going the other way, its a much bigger choice , and you can start to narrow the choice by deciding on ground clearance needed. Its quite tricky on making a good choice as there are poor engines , trans etc even in the same model of vehicle . So lots of research needed and quite a few blind alleys . HTSH
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  #5  
Old 18 Jan 2012
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If you are looking at the X-Trails as a possible day to day/overlanding vehicle, I would look and see what the Aussies think of them.

Most Japanese 4x4s get tried and tested in Aus where they put them through their paces covering great distances quite quickly over some pretty rough terrain.
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  #6  
Old 18 Jan 2012
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How hard can it be?

Hi Dave,

Whether it's an X-Trail, Freelander, Honda CRV, they're all pretty similar.

It depends how you're going to use them. If it's just general greenlaning in the UK or abroad they'll be fine. However if you're going further afield, over difficult terrain, for extended periods, you'll have problems eventually.

These vehicles aren't as tough as other 4x4s and will breakdown eventually. Getting spare parts will not be easy in remote areas. Even getting an all-terrain tyre for anything other than a 16" rim can be a pain.

If you don't want to go the whole hog on a Land Cruiser or Land Rover Defender/Discovery, you could look at a Toyota Hilux/Surf, Nissan Terrano/Ford Maverick, Mitsubishi Shogun Sport, or any of the pick-ups Mazda/Isuzu/Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200 - there are plenty around.

Hope that helps.

Happy trails,

Peter Girling
Atlas Overland - Specialist adventure tour company providing off-road holidays for 4x4 enthusiasts in Europe and North Africa.
Tours to Morocco, Tunisia, Arctic Circle, Alps, Pyrenees, Corsica, Eastern Europe and UK weekend tours.
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Atlas Overland - Specialist adventure tour company providing off-road holidays for 4x4 enthusiasts in Europe and North Africa.
Tours to Morocco, Tunisia, Arctic Circle, Alps, Pyrenees, Eastern Europe, Corsica, and UK weekend tours.
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  #7  
Old 21 Jan 2012
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Guys,
Thanks for all the good feedback.

It's the very similarity between these "lifestyle" vehicles (lets call them that for a generic name) that causes my doubts and lack of information. Combine this with the fact that very few ever go off hard surfaced roads - bitumen, concrete, whatever.

Right now I am inclined to think that the Freelander is a better bet:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...eelander-61321
but I can't actually justify that thought at present with any fact based argument.

For Nissan, I get the feeling that the earlier Terrano is a better bet so far as the lifestyle type of vehicle is concerned, but I am still doing my own reading elsewhere and listening to viewpoints on here.
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  #8  
Old 21 Jan 2012
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Just as another thing for you to consider , you are in the UK , so would suggest that a discovery is going to give you "the best bang for your buck"
You will then have a 4wd with few limitations eg hi/lo range a fairly economical engine eg 30mpg parts are very available and afordable, the only thing is you need to search carefully to find least body corrosion !!
When the body succombs you can always build into an old 90
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  #9  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacr2man View Post
Just as another thing for you to consider , you are in the UK , so would suggest that a discovery is going to give you "the best bang for your buck"
You will then have a 4wd with few limitations eg hi/lo range a fairly economical engine eg 30mpg parts are very available and afordable, the only thing is you need to search carefully to find least body corrosion !!
When the body succombs you can always build into an old 90
Aaaaaah, you're reading my mind far too well now!
My related thread about 4x4s, specifically the Freelander, is leading toward the Discovery as another vehicle to be considered:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...eelander-61321

There are quite a few for sale on ebay.
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  #10  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Opinions

Hi Walkabout

friends just drove a Nissan Terrano back to Uk from SA, no major problems I am aware of, trip was husband, wife and two young girls under 9 tears.
the vehicle is for sale:

AFRICA 4X4 CAFE: advice on Self Drive Overland Expeditions to, buying and selling 4x4s in, East and Southern Africa

Chris
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  #11  
Old 25 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
If you are looking at the X-Trails as a possible day to day/overlanding vehicle, I would look and see what the Aussies think of them.

Most Japanese 4x4s get tried and tested in Aus where they put them through their paces covering great distances quite quickly over some pretty rough terrain.
I've done a bit of research for that Julian, but not in any great depth cos I am inclined toward the Terrano as far as a Nissan is concerned. What I did find from Oz is also inclined toward the lifestyle approach to running a X Trail:-
NISSAN X-TRAIL - www.drive.com.au

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacr2man View Post
Just as another thing for you to consider , you are in the UK , so would suggest that a discovery is going to give you "the best bang for your buck"
You will then have a 4wd with few limitations eg hi/lo range a fairly economical engine eg 30mpg parts are very available and afordable, the only thing is you need to search carefully to find least body corrosion !!
When the body succombs you can always build into an old 90
Yes, that is still a large consideration in my mind at present tacr2man, but I am not in any hurry on this subject i.e. going firm on a specific vehicle.
The Terrano has a dual shift stick but I think it selects the optional 4 wheel drive (maybe in low ratio?? - I don't know, I am going only by pics that I have seen up to now). The selective aspect gives it an advantage over the Freelander, all other aspects being equal, but not over the Disco which is well regarded from what I have read so far - I will continue LR themes in my other thread about the Freelander.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Hi Walkabout

friends just drove a Nissan Terrano back to Uk from SA, no major problems I am aware of, trip was husband, wife and two young girls under 9 tears.
the vehicle is for sale:

AFRICA 4X4 CAFE: advice on Self Drive Overland Expeditions to, buying and selling 4x4s in, East and Southern Africa

Chris
Thanks for the link Chris - I have looked in there and the asking price is very much more than for similar 1999 Terrano's here in the UK (+ their vehicle is in France).
But it does show what the Terrano can do - I assume they stayed on dirt roads, tracks and similar.
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  #12  
Old 1 Feb 2012
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First time post here, but I thought I'd give my $.02 seeing as how I've driven an X-Trail from England to Pakistan (so far - I intend to continue down through South Asia to finish in Oz).

I understand the apprehension of it being a lifestyle vehicle, but it's been nothing but reliable and tough for all 16,000 miles of my drive so far. It's no offroad vehicle to be sure, unless you outfitted it with new suspension and tires. I've driven it completely stock with regular M&S tires over some of the worst "roads" the Asian continent can provide - mud, rocks, low water, sand, even through a bentonite-covered Pakistani construction site in the Himalayas - and it hasn't failed me yet. The only problem I've had with it was after 9 consecutive days of crap road and bashing the undercarriage (my fault - I was going too fast) did the exhaust tubing underneath crack and split. With a bit of wire and a 20-dollar weld job back in Islamabad, it is good to go again.

Point is that you're not going to be rock-crawling and mudding with it, but it's a pretty great vehicle, from my entirely anecdotal perspective.

BTW, it's a 2003 1.9 Cdi, and I picked it up near London for just over 3000 pounds. It gets almost 30 mpg, too.
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  #13  
Old 2 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgea View Post
First time post here, but I thought I'd give my $.02 seeing as how I've driven an X-Trail from England to Pakistan (so far - I intend to continue down through South Asia to finish in Oz).

I understand the apprehension of it being a lifestyle vehicle, but it's been nothing but reliable and tough for all 16,000 miles of my drive so far. It's no offroad vehicle to be sure, unless you outfitted it with new suspension and tires. I've driven it completely stock with regular M&S tires over some of the worst "roads" the Asian continent can provide - mud, rocks, low water, sand, even through a bentonite-covered Pakistani construction site in the Himalayas - and it hasn't failed me yet. The only problem I've had with it was after 9 consecutive days of crap road and bashing the undercarriage (my fault - I was going too fast) did the exhaust tubing underneath crack and split. With a bit of wire and a 20-dollar weld job back in Islamabad, it is good to go again.

Point is that you're not going to be rock-crawling and mudding with it, but it's a pretty great vehicle, from my entirely anecdotal perspective.

BTW, it's a 2003 1.9 Cdi, and I picked it up near London for just over 3000 pounds. It gets almost 30 mpg, too.
Thanks for that first hand review hodgea!
Sounds like the kind of reliability that I would expect from a Nissan, going by their more car based models.
I think Nissan claim a bit better fuel economy, but such official figures are often overly optimistic.

Your post prompts a few questions.
Did you have any other vehicles in mind when you decided to get the X Trail? - I have too many in my thoughts.

I believe the original wheels would be alloy - did you keep them or change them for steel versions?

I haven't looked at any vehicles for real yet, basing all my considerations to date on online reading. So, does the 2003 X trail have only a standard set of ratios in the gearbox combined with permanent 4 wheel drive? (suitable for the open road is what I mean).
I still haven't figured out if the earlier Terrano has a lo-hi choice of gearing.

to the HUBB and thanks again for a great first post!!
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  #14  
Old 3 Feb 2012
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I did have a couple in mind - the Patrol, an Isuzu Trooper, maybe a Freelander. Besides the initial expense, I figured that the Patrol and the Trooper would be too expensive to run because of fuel costs. That and they're size was unnecessary for my needs. I would simply have way more room than I knew what to do with and navigating those things down alleys and small streets was always going to be stressful, especially in the third world. The Freelander was simply too unreliable at the price point I was looking at (which limited the version to pre-redesign, and from all I've read they made bricks in those years). In my price range, the older LCs were an option, too, but their size and the fact that the X-Trail had a bunch of comfort features that I would appreciate on a really long trip made the X-Trail the easy choice (for me, anyway). Finally, I suppose I could have looked into the Rav4 or the CR-V, but most of the reviews I read online handed the used vehicle crown to the Nissan.

I kept the alloy wheels. Like I said, completely stock, except for some cosmetic things that were added before I bought it.

Yes, the gearbox is a straight-up six-speed, no lo-hi. It has selectable four-wheel drive, and 4-wheel drive lock.

And lastly, I imagine part of the reason I'm getting relatively poor fuel economy is the quality of fuel in these parts. Iranian diesel is basically pumped straight from the ground into the tanks, barely refined.

And sorry, this is my bad - it's a 2.2. My mind must have been wandering. Here's my website if you want to see it: The Car � Overland To Australia
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  #15  
Old 4 Feb 2012
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Many thanks for all of the extra information Adam (yep, I've been reading your blog).
Your pictures etc fill in a few details - I was going to ask how many are travelling in the vehicle; a question of how heavily loaded is the X Trail, and you cover that in the blog.
I think you are getting excellent value out of that 3K purchase.

You do make me wonder how many miles this vehicle has done so far? (you mention the usual puff of black diesel smoke when flooring the pedal).

I am impressed with your blog as well . Going off topic for a moment, I have read your information about Iran, so far, and it all makes for great reading - highly recommended for anyone else here in the HUBB who wants to know about that country.
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