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Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Nissan X-Trail

Passing the forecourt of one of Barrow’s most reputable dealers, Furness Park Motors, last Sunday I glanced across and spotted what looked like a Nissan X-trail. Hmmm, Sunday, I thought, the place will be closed and I can have a wander round and take a peep without harassment. Well, I could see it had 28,000 miles on the clock and the price was within my bracket. I’d sleep on it for a week. But what if I decided to want it and it had gone by then….. another person might have snapped it up scooped a bargain of a lifetime….

A man came out of an office.

“Can I help you Sir?” (He was being polite, I was dressed in very rough clothes, having just got back from fieldwork).

“I’m just having a look round, I didn’t think you would be open on a Sunday”.

“Always willing to help Sir, any time. Something taken your fancy?”

“Just looking at the X-trail. Have you got the key?”

“Won’t be minute Sir” (Dealer returns with key).

“Could you put the back seats down?”

“Certainly Sir”.

I get in and lie flat out and my head just touches the back of the front passenger seat and my toes just touch the tailgate. “Hmmm. Pity. I was hoping there would be enough space to lie full out. In my Polo Estate I can only stretch out on the diagonal and that doesn’t leave much room for gear”.

“Let me slide the front seat forward a bit” (he does so).

“Ah, that’s better. You see, I was hoping to use it as a fieldwork vehicle come camper”.

“Can’t think of anything more suitable Sir. Would you like to take it for a drive?”

Half an hour later, a spin to Askam and back, and I was hooked. For once, I did believe a second-hand car salesman: It would indeed fit the bill for a semi-camper, off-road vehicle.

“Also it has electric sunroof…….”

“Oh, never mind all that, so long as I can sleep in it… What will you give me for my Polo?”

“Let’s go inside and discuss that, I’m sure we can work something out”.

Then my hand was skilfully and subtly guided to places where signatures were needed on bits of paper, and Ooops, it was mine!

My X-Trail with Coniston mountains in the background

Here are some reviews of road trials:

Honest John

Channel Four

Key comments:

The X-Trail is one of those vehicles that impresses with its basic honesty and grows on you.

It’s a solid, sensible, practical vehicle, not an in-your-face status symbol.

Is as good off-road as it is on-road. Spent three hours splodging along forest tracks, up and down steep inclines, through black two-foot-deep gloop and hustling it on dry loose surfaces at up to 65mph.

A serious threat to Freelander's market domination.

The only adverse comment I have found is: Freelander has better image.

Well, I’m not the slightest bit concerned about image. Not at my age.


Blogger carwynfowler said...

"Well, I’m not the slightest bit concerned about image..."

> Talking of which - did you remember to keep the DARWIN badge off the polo...?

4:49 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

Yes of course! I've even got some sticky fixers!

5:02 pm  
Blogger simon said...

I took an X trail Ti, ( as we call them in Australia), home to trial this weekend. Looking at the photo it appears to be the same spec as yours Jim. I was delighted by its "all road ability" its fuel consumption & its manners overall. its a complete package. Vision is good, brakes, steering and engine are all sharp and precise. The interior is generous and well laid out and there are dozens of storage compartments, perfect for Trangies,sleeping bags, knif/fork/spoon sets etc etc. In the Aus version there is one possibly big enough for binoculars right in front of the driver, as the instrument panel is off-set. Also in the Australian version there are 2x drink coolers located either side of the central air vents..these are REAL chillers, perfect for cooling a larger can!. (375ml)
Fuel consumption is excellent and I like the fact that you can select 2wd, 4wd, or all mode at a push of a button. This aids fuel economy. I averaged about 9 litres per hundred over a mixture of terrain ( city peak hour, motorway and fire trail) i think this is excellent. engine performance is not draged down by being in constant 4wd as in the case of Subaru, CRV and Rav 4.

Front guards are plastic and reform after a mild knock ( a great idea too). seats are comfortable over a trip of 2-3 hours, and the sunroof is large and works well without too much wind buffeting.

Highlights:- A reliable, powerful, economical all rounder with excellent build quality. It looks and drives well. good ground clearance too
Parts are reasonably priced, and Nissans are v. relaible.

Faults:- I found the centrally mounted speedo, fuel guage and blinkers difficult to get used to. I think this issue will dissapear over time. The radio controls were awkward. I had to stretch a little to reach them.

Things I would suggest:- Purchase of a solid rubber mat for the rear cargo area. The X trail I drove had only done 10,000 miles but was showing signs of damage from camping equipment.

X-trail Vs Freelander. I can assure British readers that Freelanders simply fall apart in the harsh conditions of Autralia. An auto gearbox costs $15,000 Aus dollars and they simply cannot cope with the dust, and distances here. X-trail, Toyota Rav 4, and Honda CRV have very few reliability problems at all here, and are capable of a couple of hundred thousand klms if treated to regular servicing

Jim, frankly its a bloody good choice!

11:06 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I am impressed by the colour - which is my main criteria for a new car. I leave the rest of the decision to my mechanic :)
I am doing the opposite with cars at present. Am preparing to get the battery disconnected so it can stay locked in my garage for the next few months unattended!

9:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photo in the snow but would like to see shot at 45-degrees rather than 90-degrees side-on, more dramatic effect and would do the spendid new motor more justice I think... can you work on it for your next posting?

9:56 am  
Blogger simon said...

who is "anonymous" ?? :o)

10:49 pm  
Blogger Jill said...

Like the look of the new car but I though only hairdressers have four by fours. Never thought you would have such a fashionable car, for whatever reasons. I reckon you only got a car like that so you could pull more easily.
Love Jill. x

3:27 pm  
Anonymous Joseph said...

i dont have a problem with it as long as you dont use it in towns. ever.

4:23 pm  

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