Having pressed the reset button on the X-Trail’s exterior styling, Nissan could do little but take a clean-sheet approach to the cabin.
The new X-Trail’s is a sensible, usable and pleasant cockpit, but any trace of the original model’s quirky interior – centrally mounted dials, a proudly protruding centre stack, tactile and unusual seat fabrics and plenty of other imaginative touches – has now been cast aside.
You might even say there’s a conspicuous lack of imagination about the interior, given that so much of what your eyes, hands, feet and backside come to rest on comes straight out of the Qashqai. We’d argue that Nissan could have instilled the more upmarket, convenience-driven ambience it was looking for without dispensing with so much of the X-Trail’s identity.
Perhaps that identity will be seen as a small price to pay by buyers impressed by the greater material quality, space and ease of use.
Door and fascia plastics are substantial and well finished, and while the larger mouldings aren’t quite premium grade, they certainly feel fairly plush. With the exception of second-row headroom, occupant space is excellent, with sliding second-row seats adding flexibility.
Meanwhile, thought has clearly been employed in the design of the X-Trail’s minor features. The generous cupholders have their own air supply for cooling or warming your drink, and the central storage cubby under the driver’s armrest is large and deep enough to keep a tablet away from prying eyes.
Go for as-tested N-Connecta trim and you get NissanConnect infotainment system comes as standard, bringing with it a 7in display, satellite navigation, DAB tuner, smartphone data connectivity and app-driven online functionality. There is also the inclusion of 18in alloys, keyless entry and start, a 360-degree camera and a number of safety technology such as foward emergency braking, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.
The range-topping Tekna models get a raft more safety tech, 19in alloy wheels, a leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, adaptive LED headlights and blind spot monitoring.
The navigation is worthy of particular praise, with good resolution and easy-to-follow directional prompts. You can also program it in advance via Google’s Send To Car app, but there's no built-in Android Auto or Apple CarPlay for the next level of convenience.