MODEL: 2005 to 2006 Nissan X-Trail
VEHICLE TYPE: Small SUV
APPROXIMATE USED PRICE RANGE: $9,000 to $15,000
HISTORY/DESCRIPTION: The Nissan X-Trail was launched as a 2005 model to duke it out with models like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tuscon and Mitsubishi Outlander.
Ultimately, the Nissan Rogue replaced the X-Trail after only 2 years on sale-- but not before the popular X-Trail found homes in the driveways of thousands of Canadians.
X-Trail could be ordered in a front-drive designation designed for on-road-only driving, though many owners opted for the selectable four wheel drive system.
This was ideal for those who needed to tackle trails, nasty winter conditions or cottage roads on a regular basis.
The X-Trail’s 4x4 system even had a locking mode for extra traction in slippery situations.
Despite the capability, a unibody construction and four-wheel independent suspension ensured a car-like driving feel.
All models came with a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine with 165 horsepower. Transmission choices included a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual, depending on the model selected.
Trim levels ranged from a basic XE model to a mid-range SE and topped out as the full-loaded LE. Air, cruise, power accessories and antilock brakes were standard on all models, while higher-end units got a CD changer, sunroof and automatic climate control.
WHAT OWNERS LIKE: Styling, flexibility and ruggedness are among the top attributes of the X-Trail as reported by owners. X-Trail is an easy machine to configure for nearly any trip or chore, and many owners report a planted and confident feeling in four wheel drive models when travelling through winter or off-road conditions.
The typical X-Trail owner found online is of the ‘happy and proud’ variety, and complaints reported are minimal.
WHAT OWNERS HATE: Some owners wish for better fuel consumption.
COMMON ISSUES: The X-Trail wasn’t on sale for long in our market, so reliability information is limited. No major problems were reported by Canadian owners, nor by the American owners to whom the X-Trail was sold for years before it arrived in Canada.
That said, be sure to check for a common rust problem just above either rear wheel.
Note any signs of paint peeling or bubbling, as well as excessive corrosion. Get down low and look up inside the wheel well, noting any suspicious looking patchwork or excessive rust.
Note that the X-Trail may be prone to rust around the door handles, too.
There were no recalls issued in the Canadian market, and online complaints about reliability are virtually nil.
A few tips regarding used SUV shopping may come in handy. Check for proper operation of all interior features, be sure fluid changes are all up to date, and make sure you’re able to switch between four wheel drive modes where applicable.
Also be sure to check the condition of both the tires and brakes. When in doubt, ask a mechanic for help.
THE VERDICT: X-Trail is just one entry in a sea of crossovers and SUV’s — but it earned a loyal and happy following of owners with its features, capability and seemingly trouble-free operation.