The centre console has also been restyled for more storage space and there are various other upgrades in materials and finishes. Top-end versions now have seat heating for the front and second-row seats and a hands-free electric tailgate. A (child-size) third row of seats is still available and the boot size in the two-row versions has edged up in capacity to 565 litres.
Nissan is heavily pushing driver assistance technology, so the X-Trail gets quite a raft of options. These include a new ‘Rear Cross Traffic Alert’ that gives warnings when reversing out of a parking space. Also new is ‘Stand Still Assist’, which can hold a manual X-Trail stationary for three minutes before applying the handbrake. In early 2018, Nissan will add the option of 'ProPilot', which can control the X-Trail’s steering, acceleration and braking - within a single lane - on a motorway in heavy congestion and at a high-speed cruise.
The engine choice remains the same: a 128bhp 1.6-litre diesel, a 174bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 161bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol, mixed with manual or CVT gearboxes and front-wheel or four-wheel drive.
What's it like?
At the launch in Austria, our test car was a range-topping Tekna, equipped with the 2.0-litre diesel engine, six-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drive. The CVT is now also available in conjunction with all-wheel drive, for those who would prefer it.
Although this car has a beefy list price of around £34,000, it looks like value next to the established premium-brand competition. The entry-level, £23,000 1.6-litre diesel model is even more so, but Nissan says 47% of sales will be of the range-topping version.
There’s no doubt the X-Trail hits something of A sweet spot. The car is imposing and looks like it could handle a dusty trail, but not at the cost of being unwieldy in urban areas. The refreshed interior is also pleasingly smart and plush-looking.
The new flat-bottomed steering wheel really does make a difference to the driver’s sense of quality, and while the interior is not an exercise in cutting-edge aesthetics, it has a fine sense of style and practicality. And we shouldn’t overlook the traditional Japanese ability to engineer tightly constructed interiors.
On the road, the X-Trail is nothing more and nothing less than an very amiable companion. It’s comfortable, has an excellent driving position and is an entirely undemanding car in typical driving conditions. The X-Trail asks very little of the driver and there are few drivers who will be minded to ask very much of the X-Trail. This car is a good way of making the monotony of rush hours and busy motorways as bearable as possible. It runs straight and is easy to wind along a country lane.