The lack of torque is less of an issue around town, but the spacing of the gear ratios means you’ll find yourself shifting up and down fairly frequently in stop-start traffic.
Out on faster, winding country roads, body roll stops the X-Trail from tackling corners with any real panache, as it lurches through bends while struggling with steep inclines in higher gears. The steering does a good job of feeling light around town but it becomes too weighty at higher speeds.
It's not all bad, though, as the 1.6-litre petrol engine’s refinement scores the X-Trail some bonus points. It’s quieter than the diesel and cruising in sixth gear at motorway speeds produces only a faint hum from the engine. The road and wind noise that creeps into the cabin is entirely tolerable.
It’s composed at those higher speeds, too, with the suspension easily soaking up slight road imperfections to help waft you along, although harsher bumps do send a jolt through the cabin.
It’s a very pleasant interior, especially in this trim. There’s impressive leg room in the back and indeed plenty of space for all passengers in the first and second rows. There’s also a good amount of adjustment available for the driver to find their preferred position, and a well-sized boot for the class.
The X-Trail’s credentials as a seven-seater are less convincing, though. Access to the third row should be left for only the most nimble and svelte passengers to attempt, because the middle row doesn’t move forward far enough to make clambering into the back easy. Those rearmost seats are only really suitable on longer journeys for children, and adults will do well to avoid them for anything other than short trips.
This top-line Tekna trim offers everything you could possibly want, including touchscreen sat-nav, intelligent park assist, high beam assist and leather seats which are electrically adjustable for the driver and front passenger, but a list price close to £30,000 is a little hard to stomach.
You’re better off sticking to Acenta trim, because it’s still well equipped and much better value at around £5000 cheaper. Tekna and N-tec also have marginally worse claimed fuel economy than the lesser trims because of the larger wheels.