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Published on April 26th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Used 2003 Nissan X-Trail review

Throughout the ’90s, the Nissan Terrano 2.4 reigned as Tan Chong’s only selling urban 4×4. But the new millennium heralded the arrival of a newcomer more finely tuned to the needs of the urban family warrior, housewife flood forger and weekend outdoor sports utility vehicle owner. Whereas the Terrano was developed from the as a rudimentary 4×4 vehicle, the X-Trail had been designed from the wheels up to be a urban vehicle that will spend 99 percent of its life on smooth paved roads but may make an occasional run into the family ‘dusun’ or visit an extended family still living in a village of the main highway like Sungkai or Parit Buntar.

As such it is not a “real” four-wheel drive; no ladder-frame chassis, no large wheel travel to soak up holes and no fancy oversized bull bars. But it is thanks to these omissions that X-Trail handles more like a family station
wagon than a Tour bus on an open highway. The car’s performance could almost be described as sprightly and it grips the road far more confidently than some sedans.

The X-Trails boast an excellent record of mechanical reliability. They also have very few weaknesses: look out for excessive wear on the front tyres, which can often be caused by the front track going out of adjustment; beware, too, of seized drum brakes on the rear of early models -usually the result of inadequate maintenance and wrong product purchase form spare part dealers. Always better to service and maintain your cars at the approved service centers even if a little more expensive. Chassis, paintwork, panels and interior trim are all hard-wearing, and only abused or neglected examples should show problems in these areas. A used seven year old X-Trail 2-liter can be yours for as low as RM60,000 with mileage still between 85 to 105,000 kilometers. Spares are not a problem and the earlier model looks for me are better than the newer facelifted models. On the inside of a used X-Trail the interior trim still looks good where the leather seats or even better the heard wearing cloth should still look good and all the electronics work without a hitch, however the in car entertainment could have suffered some speaker fatigue from some abuse which is common. The interior plastics and the rest of the trim would have stood the test of time and passenger abuse. Some trim bits will not test time and the soft comfortable leather might deteriorate if care is not cared by the owner. It’s interesting to note that the enormous luggage can be accommodated in the rear. For the used asking price you get a family SUV that could well see you another 5-6 years of motoring bliss as long as a proper maintenance regime is followed.

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