2012 Nissan X-Trail Review

The Nissan X-Trail is a crossover SUV that has been in the market since 2001. It’s Nissan’s first crossover SUV and is a popular choice for many buyers who are drawn by its affordability and utility. It competes with the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, and the VW Tiguan.

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Detailed Review

The Nissan X-Trail is a compact crossover SUV that has been in production for three generation since 2000. It has become quite popular in the Kenyan market and it’s now one of the best selling medium sized SUV’s. The first generation known as the T30 was in production from 2000 to 2007, the second generation known as the T31 was in production from 2007 to 2015 and the third generation known as the T32 has been in production from 2013 to present.

The 2012 Nissan X-Trail is offered with 2 engine options. These are; the 2.0L MR20 petrol engine, the 2.0L MR9 turbo diesel engine and the 2.5L QR25 petrol engine. These are linked to either a 6-Speed CVT or a 5-Speed manual transmission and available in both 2WD and 4WD.


    • Spacious Interior
    • Good Fuel Economy
    • Good Carrying Capacity
    • Affordable to buy and maintain

2012 Nissan X-Trail Grades

  1. Nissan X-Trail 20S –  2WD & 4WD, Petrol 2.0 Litre MR20 Engine, 16 Inch Alloy Rims, 135hp
  2. Nissan X-Trail 20X –  2WD & 4WD , Petrol 2.0 Litre MR20 Engine, 17 Inch Alloy Rims, 135hp
  3. Nissan X-Trail 20XTT – 4WD , Petrol 2.0 Litre MR20 Engine, 18 Inch Alloy Rims, 135hp
  4. Nissan X-Trail 20XGT – 4WD, Diesel 2.0 Litre  M9R Engine, 18 Inch Alloy Rims/150hp
  5. Nissan X-Trail 25X –  4WD, Petrol 2.5 Litre QR25 Engine, 18 Inch Alloy Rims, 169hp

Interior & Exterior
The Nissan X-Trail is a spacious car that can comfortably seat five passengers. The seats are set at an upright and raised position which provides for a natural seating position and an excellent view of the road. The roof is high with sufficient head space for tall passengers. The Legroom is good on both rows and passengers are afforded with ample seating space.

On the outside, the boxy design gives it a strong SUV character that many buyers find appealing. The higher grades come with 17-Inch alloy rims and hyper-roof rails that enhance its strong 4×4 look.

Cabin Storage
At the first row, it comes with 4 cup-holders, a storage shelf on the dashboard, glovebox, center-box, and door pockets. At the second row, there are 2 cup-holders in the armrest compartment, front seat pockets and door pockets.

2012 Nissan X-Trail Boot Space
For a crossover SUV, the 2012 Nissan X-Trail has one of the biggest boots in the market. The floor is also raised to accommodate two storage shelves beneath the boot that can be used to store valuable items such as laptops and electronics. The rear seats can also fold flat to create extra boot space when required. The surface is made of waterproof material making it easier to keep the boot clean.

Other Extras: Alloy Rims, Sunroof, Fog Lights, Hyper-Roof

2012 Nissan X-Trail Fuel Consumption
2012 Nissan Xtrail 2.0L Fuel Consumption: 13.2 km/L
2012 Nissan Xtrail 2.5L Fuel Consumption: 9.6km/L
2012 Nissan Xtrail 2.0GT Fuel Consumption: 15.2km/L

2012 Nissan Xtrail 2.0L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 11.1 secs.
2012 Nissan Xtrail 2.5L accelerates from 0-100km/h in 9.9 secs.
2012 Nissan Xtrail 2.0GT accelerates from 0-100km/h in 10.5 secs.

Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 Litres

2012 Nissan X-Trail Ground Clearance
The 2012 Nissan Xtrail has a ground clearance of 8.3 Inches. This is very good ground clearance and you will comfortably drive in Kenya without worrying about speed bumps and potholes.

2012 Nissan X-Trail Service Schedule
Minor Service: At 10,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service: At 15,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

2012 Nissan X-Trail Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

The most commonly used engine in the 2012 Nissan X-Trail is the MR20DE. It replaced the QR20DE engine from the previous generation. The reliability issues that plagued some previous generation models largely stemmed from the QR20DE engine. These issues were mainly due to the use of wrong engine oil that led to multiple failure points. The MR20DE is a highly reliable engine and has resolved most of the issues from previous engine. The 2012 Nissan X-Trail is virtually a different car and it boasts of top notch ratings. In Kenya, we interviewed several Nissan mechanics and they all gave the 2012 Nissan X-Trail a clean bill of health. As with any car, it is advisable that you read the Owners Manual and strictly follow it.

Resale Value: Average

2012 Nissan X-Trail Competitors: Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4Mitsubishi Outlander, Honda CR-V, VW Tiguan, Toyota Vanguard

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: Starting from Ksh.1,600,000
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 64,000/- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/-
Change of Tyres(If necessary): Ksh. 60,000/- for 4 Tyres
NB: figures as of September 2019

What We Like

      • Spacious interior
      • Waterproof Seats
      • Affordable to buy and maintain
      • Off-road capability on 4WD models
      • Good ground clearance
      • Spacious boot

What We Don’t

      • Only limited to a 5 seater

The 2012 Nissan X-Trail is a family car that is in the top tier of small sized SUVs. It is a huge improvement over the previous generation and is now very reliable. If you are in the market for a family car, then we strongly recommend the 2012 X-Trail. Before you buy however, make sure that the car is in good condition and have it checked mechanically. Avoid cars with smoking engines and any rattling noises should be a red flag. Try to avoid the 2WD option unless you’re absolutely satisfied with its off-road limitations. The 2WD option should always be cheaper in the market compared to the 4WD.

Where to Buy the 2012 Nissan X-Trail in Kenya
If you are looking to either import or buy the X-Trail locally, we can help you with this process. Over the years, we have developed a network of trusted dealers both in Kenya and Japan who supply us with exceptional cars. Simply call us or send us a message through our contacts below and we’ll get you the right car at the right price.

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You can get more about this Nissan X-trail