Off-road Expert Nick Agg-Manning Road-tests the Nissan X-Trail

Off-road Expert Nick Agg-Manning Road-tests the Nissan X-Trail



At Vospers we are big fans of Nissan and when the all new Nissan X-Trail arrived in our showroom we couldn’t wait to put this powerful and fun crossover, that is ‘designed for adventure’ to the test. We asked our very good friend and off-road expert, Nick Agg-Manning of Outdoor Adventure Consultants to take the Nissan X-Trail and put it through its paces. Having no real previous experience of driving a Nissan, Nick couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and was keen to fill us in on his return.

Until I drove the new Nissan X-Trail out of Marsh Mills and onto the A38 eastwards, I was really quite naive about the quality of these vehicles. Ok, it’s no secret that I’m pretty clued up with all things 4×4, but this was my first time in a Nissan and had a real explore through the cockpit from my elevated and commanding driving position.

I can honestly say that I have never before come across such a range of safety features, driving aids and on hand technology in a vehicle of this size and price before. For instance: high beam assist; traction control; hill descent control; departure-lane control; blind spot sensors – nearside and offside; tyre pressure monitoring; traffic sign recognition; forward emergency braking; stop/start economy; cruise control; driver attention alert; key battery report; intelligent parking assist plus many more. Even, cooling applied to the ‘drinks’ holder!

Such systems can only help you stay safe and, whilst there maybe some drivers who feel that they know what they are doing in the confines of their vehicle, the odd nudge as a reminder cannot go amiss – I particularly liked the Blind Spot Sensors, lighting up inside the door mirror when a vehicle was approaching and, should you not have seen it and you indicate to change course, then you get an audible warning as well – superb, especially against those bad drivers who ‘under take’. You can turn the warnings off if you prefer but why bother – enjoy the protection.

So, what’s the X-Trail like to drive? Well, this 4 wheel drive,1600, 4 straight cylinder manual vehicle started off in my hands as appearing quite ordinary….until I applied the Mode Control to go into auto 4 wheel drive, then the car became incredibly responsive – you could sense the torque control shifting the power to the relevant axle to compensate for the wet road conditions – it became a solid, reactive performance that gave me real peace of mind about my safety and speed availability.

Next I took the X-Trail off road – and it really did not let me down. Changing Mode into 4 wheel drive lock, the wheels responded to every rise and fall in the terrain, traction control prevented a loss of power through wheel spin and the vehicle responded to all that I asked of it.

Is this a full on 4×4 off roader or a crossover? Perhaps we should define the two in another report, but, as far as this X-trail is concerned, it does both very well indeed.

When I returned the X-Trail to Vospers, I read the information panel and was astounded at the reading of 52.8 MPG, and that had included going off road!

Glad to hear that you’re a Nissan convert Nick!

To find out more about the Nissan X-Trail or the rest of the Nissan line up, visit the Nissan showroom at Marsh Mills Motor Park, Plymouth or call 01752 636444. Alternatively, please visit

Find out more about off-road experiences with Nick at