Used Vehicle Review: Nissan X Trail, 2005 2006 used car reviews reviews nissan
2006 Nissan X-Trail. Click image to enlarge
 

Manufacturer’s web site
Nissan Canada

By Chris Chase
Photos by Paul Williams and James Bergeron

It’s pretty rare that we Canadians get anything cool that our neighbours to the south don’t get. In fact, it usually works the other way, with America’s larger cities and their residents’ higher disposable incomes making that country a more attractive market for many brands and retailers.

But once in a while, an automaker will throw us Canadians a bone that we don’t have to share with the U.S. While it’s not necessarily cool in that “Omigod-I-have-to-have-one” way, Nissan’s compact X-Trail SUV is a good example. This little truck has been available in most overseas markets since 2001, but only came our way in 2005 to slot in below the Xterra as a direct competitor to car-based compacts like the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute, Hyundai Tucson/Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V, among others.

Used Vehicle Review: Nissan X Trail, 2005 2006 used car reviews reviews nissan
Used Vehicle Review: Nissan X Trail, 2005 2006 used car reviews reviews nissan
2006 Nissan X-Trail. Click image to enlarge

Based loosely on the platform that underpinned the previous-generation Sentra, the X-Trail used the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine found in the high-performance SE-R version of that car, as well as the Altima mid-size sedan. That engine, good for 165 horsepower, could be paired up with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. Fuel consumption, according to Natural Resources Canada’s test methods, was rated at 10.8 L/100 km (city) and 8 L/100 km (highway) for an all-wheel drive X-Trail with manual transmission. Opting for the automatic gearbox or a front-wheel drive model didn’t affect those ratings significantly.

Despite the X-Trail’s relatively small market share in North America – Canada’s obviously a much smaller market than the U.S.—this little Nissan trucklet has a decent following on the web. This is good, because Nissan-related forums are about the only place to get an idea of the X-Trail’s reliability—U.S.-based Consumer Reports doesn’t acknowledge its existence.

The best source for X-Trail info that I was able to find is NissanForums.com; as far as I can tell, it’s a U.S.-based website, but there’s a dedicated X-Trail discussion section where most of the posters are Canadian (the X-Trail’s availability in Europe, Asia and Australia since 2001 means there are lots of owners in those places, but only a few appear to hang out at NissanForums.com).

It was there that I came across the few minor issues that affect 2005 model-year Canadian X-Trails. One is a problem with rust occurring around the left rear wheel arch, apparently caused by improper application of rust proofing at the factory. This issue appeared in discussions at NissanForums.com in March 2006, and Nissan Canada appears to be aware of the problem; the fix is to have the rusty piece of metal cut out, and a fresh piece welded in place and repainted.

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