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Hey Guys and Gals,

My wife and I are looking into getting a compact SUV. We have the field narrowed down to the Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV-4 and Honda CR-V.

Uses:
Grocey Getter
Wife commuting to/from work
We are expecting a baby and will be using the SUV for the seat and stuff (it won't fit in my 350Z!)
We have a 70lb dog we occasionally lug around

So I am looking for feedback from you X-Trail owners. What do you like dislike about your X-Trail? Have you had any problems or are there any know problems with the X-Trail? If any of you have owned or driven the other 2 vehicles on the list, how do they compare? Don't bother to comment on styling as looks are very subjective.

By the way, we are looking at a 2005 X-Trail SE AWD.

I will also be posting this on the RAV-4 and CR-V forums.

Thanks for your input!

Tim
 

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X-Trail Review

Hi Tim,

The views you gonna get on each of the forums where you post this question, will be somewhat bias (this includes the xtrail forum). After all I purchased my xtrail when I have done exactly the same comparison in the market, except my shortlist came down to (Subaru Forester, CRV and the X-Trail).

The RAV4 got dropped-out from my list very quickly, due to its lack of power (compared to the xtrail) and less room.

The CRV got dropped the next, as I don't like the gear stick set-up (in the steering column) and space wise it didn't satisfy my needs.

This left me with a tough call between the xtrail and the subaru, both of which have very good power, but again the lack of roof-clearance/head room for me (and I'm not a big man) was the decisive point, plus the looks of the xtrail (but this was secondary)

Checkout these reviews and comparisons which were conducted by independent parties on all cars you mentioned.

http://xtrail.australia4wd.com/compare.html

http://xtrail.australia4wd.com/concept.html

Having these reviews on the xtrail web site doesn't mean that they got put on there just to highlight how good is the xtrail, there are other similar reviews which you'll be able to find on the net.

P.S. I have a wife, 2 kids, and... a mother in law :) we all seem to fit in our xtrail OK and still manage to go on trips and stuff, so there is plenty of luggage room, all that in addition to the baby pram (mini 4wd) :)

Good luck to you no matter which car you will decide to get :)
 

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For me it was easy:

RAV4 - too small
CR-V - ugly (I know it's subjective), more expensive
Outlander - questionable service as Mitsubishi just started in Canada
Forester - small, expensive
KIA, Hyundai etc - their quality might be better now, warranty is good until you try to claim it :)
any domestic - don't get me started

X-Trail: I think only Subaru has AWD system that compares.
I find the design of the interior very clever, lot's of space and storage.
Full size spare inside the trunk.
 

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How about the Hyundai Tuscon? Pretty well the same size inside and out except a shorter luggage area, V6 instead of 4-cyl. All versions have stability control and traction control, instead of the X-Trail, where Nissan forces you to buy the most expensive version to get this as an $800 option. The Tuscon has a superior warranty and costs less. $6000 less if you compare the cheapest AWD models availiable with full stability/traction control.

Studies are showing that stability control reduces SUV rollovers by something like 65%. So why would Nissan, with its claimed commitment to safety, not allow you to purchase this cheap option on all X-Trail versions, or even make it standard?
 

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nice try, but ...

Compared to the X-Trail, Tucson also weighs about 200 pounds more, has 28% less cargo space, uses at least 14% more gas, and is much slower: by as much as two seconds, 0 to 100 km/h. For freeway cruising, while the Hyundai V6 is huffing and puffing at 3,000 RPM, the four in the Nissan is loafing along at 2,450 RPM. Hydunai likes to load on the goodies, but the execution isn't quite there yet.
 

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Tuscon

yeah, that is an option, stability control is nice.
It wouldn't work for me. I wanted AWD 4cylinder 5spd. Their 6cylinder produces about the same power as Nissans 4cyl.
 

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I'm in a similar sort of predicament. Though RAV4 and CRV aren't really in the running for me.
The wife and I are basically down to two vehicles...I think. One's the X-trail and the other is one you might want to consider as well - the Honda Element.
The two vehicles share some similiarties (price, engine size/output, mileage) but are different in many ways too. In a lot of ways that's what's making the decision tougher.

Some things the Element has that the X-trail doesn't have:

Uber-flexible, utilitarian interior.
headroom for Shaq - big whoop, I'm only 5'6"
seats that lay down flat (all 4) into a makeshift bed - if the Element's a-rockin'...
Neoprene seat covers
Cool-factor (and functional) suicide-opening rear doors
Stand-out looks - love 'em or hate 'em, you'll get looks/comments.
Not something you see everyday
My wife's favour - she loves it/them
clam-shell tailgate
rear sun-roof - but none in the front

Things the X-trail has the the Element doesn't:

Heated fronts seats & mirrors
heated/cooled cupholders
A better 4/AWD system
A huge front sunroof
Available leather seats
Seating for 5 (small) people - (Element's only a 4 seater)
center-mounted gauges - bleh!
 

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I thought about the Element, even though my kids thought it was embarrasssingly ugly. That didn't stop me, but the lack of ground clearance did. The Element would never make it to my fishing camp. I don't know that it has a whole lot of cargo-hauling advantages over the X-Trail, either.
And after a couple of weeks with the dashtop gauge pod, I actually like it better. Maybe in something extremely wide like a Hummer or Escalade, it would be a problem, but in the X-Trail the tach is directly opposite my right shoulder, with the speedo only an inch to the right of that. And they're almost at eye level -- you can check 'em without fully taking your eyes off the road. I feel unsafe in my other car now, with its conventional dash display hidden 'way down low behind the steering wheel. :)
 

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Thanks for the comments on the Tuscon. Even Hyundai discussion sites complain about their primitive V6, and their reportedly excellent 4-cyl isn't available in the Canadian AWD Tuscon.

Since I'm determined to have VDC/TC, I think we're going to have a difficult choice in a few months between a new Tuscon and finding a used X-Trail LE with VDC/TC. If Nissan smartens up and allows you to get it on cheaper X-Trails by then, choosing the X-Trail would be a no-brainer.
 

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Hi X-Traction. I'm interested in the reports that stability/traction control cuts SUV rollovers by 65%. I always think of those things as a substitute for all-wheel drive, not something you add on top of it. I can see how electronic stabilizers might help a little for really tall, heavy and soft-sprung utes like first-generation Explorers. I don't think rollover is a big concern for most mini-utes anyway, so I can't seen electronic gizmos on the wheels having such a huge effect.
 

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Avery Slickride said:
Hi X-Traction. I'm interested in the reports that stability/traction control cuts SUV rollovers by 65%. I always think of those things as a substitute for all-wheel drive, not something you add on top of it. I can see how electronic stabilizers might help a little for really tall, heavy and soft-sprung utes like first-generation Explorers. I don't think rollover is a big concern for most mini-utes anyway, so I can't seen electronic gizmos on the wheels having such a huge effect.
My claim was an oversimplification, but it seems studies agree that any vehicle can benefit greatly from stability control by avoiding situations that result in rollovers. There's lots of stuff on stability control on the Internet. A search for "stability control" and "study" or "research" will turn up more than enough to read. A couple of them are:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/stability_control2.html
http://www.canadiandriver.com/news/041101-2.htm

Due to some particular rough-road things we need to do (like uphill diagonal ditches), I'm actually more interested in the traction control, which is simply not available on these vehicles without stability control. But the more I read, the more desirable stability control seems anyway. It would certainly make steep descents on off-camber slippery snowy logging roads less nerve-wracking.
 

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i went through this about 3 months ago... orange element all the way!!!


i have so much more room then my aunts crv its rediculous.. and the rav4 is just as small... havent seen an xtrail, so i cant compare, but keeping this thing clean is a snap! best car purchase ive made out of 18 car/trucks...
 

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These are the same direct comparisons for us, it has come down to the CRV and the XTrail.

There are some things I like about the CRV, that being I think they hold there value slightly better, and it is a Honda. The Honda comes with more standard safety features as well.

The Xtrail we like the functionality of more, and it has a few more features we like. Personally we like the XTrail the most.

Will be test driving both tomorrow.
 

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Other than our dog being about 30 lbs instead of 70 we were in the same situation as 350Z and spent nearly two months test driving and researching every small ute on the market before deciding on the Xtrail. We went with the AWD SE (my wife loves the roof) and just clicked over the first 1000k this week. We looked at overall costs, power, available options, style, reputation, resale value and operating costs (fuel consump., maintenance, etc.) It came down to the Xtrail and CRV in the end. The CRV lost due to its ridiculous tailgate setup and the fact that the legroom (I'm 6'3") just didnt cut it. So far, we are very happy with our decision.
 

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X-TRAIL VS. ELEMENT

Yet another thing to consider is what you will carry in it. if all you carry is two people and 2 mtn. bikes cool. However, you may wish to ask if the Element has upgraded it's carry weight. Last year the max carry was around 750 lbs. i can't speak for the rest but if you put four people and gear for a week tramp it may be riding a litle low.

Trekker
 

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Well, we took a CRV for a drive shortly after driving an X-Trail.

My first impression was one of very slight dissapointment when compared to the X-Trail. Not that the CRV was bad, but it just didn't feel as exciting as the X-Trail to sit in and drive. My first impression upon backing it out of the lot was that it felt darker than the X-Trail, and the rearward vison did not seem as open or clear.

The CRV felt very car like, more than the X-Trail. This is neither is good or bad, depending on what a person wanted. Just an observation. I (we) prefered the more truck/SUV feel of the X-Trail.

The CRV had slightly more road noise than the X-Trail when I took it on the highway, and it did not isolate the speed as well as the X-Trail. In the X-Trail when I was doing 120 kph, it felt very smooth. The CRV felt slightly more ragged at 120 (slightly).

The VSA system on the CRV was astounding! I did not think it could work this well and I hope the Nissan's system works as well. I took it into our Hockey Arena's empty snow and ice covered parking lot and tried lots of over/under steer situations with the VSA enabled and disabled. With it enable the car was always predictable, and did not have the strange take over control that I though it would. Rather it responded to US/OS with they responsive feedback that was intuitive, using very slight driver input. Basically you just kept the wheel pointed to where you wanted to go and the CRV's VSA system made it happen. No braking was required as the VSA handled it all.

I then disabled the VSA and drove it in in the classic steer, counter steer depending on if the car was under or over. swinging the car back and forth like this wjile approching a slight decrease in snow covered pavement elevation, really started to throw the CRV out of control. I was able to maintain control of the car, however, this was an empty parking lot with virtually no barriers, curbs or obstructions. In real road conditions, it would be different and I could be in the ditch :loser: regarless, I then tried this same path with the VSA enable, and could not get the CRV out of control. My wife was very impressed :thumbup:

I then let her drive the CRV to try the VSA. She never did get the car wildly out of control as I did, but then she's kind of timid when it comes to this. She stated that it would definitely feel it acting and reacting and it would help her out on snowy roads or slippery situations.

Seeing as this SUV is for her, we have decided this VAS/VDC is a must for either of our choices. I never thgough I would use it, but I can see the benifits to just leaving it on most times.

Overall, the CRV was comfortable, however I think the X-Trail is just a bit more comfortable in beathing room. In the CRV, my 6 foot frame felt as if I was in a compact sedan. In the X-Trail, I felt as I was in a Sport Ute.

Both of the vechicals in comparison have great features, and a person could not go wrong with either choice..

We chose the X-Trail for the features set fit our needs the best, and generally, it felt more exciting for both of us to drive and sit in the X-Trail.

Models Tested:

05 XE X-Trail, Auto, White with Grey interiour
05 EX CRV, Auto, Black with black interiour


Thanks for reading!
 
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