So, given a Nissan X-TRAIL, and a round trip to Maidenhead from Wombwell (some 7 hours driving), what better chance than this to write a review!
Outside of the Nissan X-TRAIL
The looks
Well, as you can see from the picture the X-TRAIL is a standard size 4x4, this particular model finished in a very nice metallic black. Details include the rear spoiler, and I have to say the overall look is great, a little aggressive, something a man can be happy to be seen driving, but also not too big to be a handful to park and get around town.
Score: 4/5

In the cabin everything is as you would expect in a Nissan, well put together, no rattles, all the buttons have a purpose, are intuitive, and feel right. Closing the door rewards you with a good clunk sound too. The chairs are fully adjustable, and the best bit is the driving position. As a first time drive in a 4x4, I found the ride height was actually really great, and gives you great visibility.
Inside the Nissan X-TRAIL
As for features, this particular model is stacked with them; 6 CD changer, electric sunroof, climate control, electric windows all round, power steering, it goes on and on. And the cabin has plenty of space for 4 adults, with loads of head height and boot space to spare.
Score: 5/5

The drive
And so to the drive. After seven hours behind the wheel of this thing, I have only a smile to show for it. It may be a diesel engine (I'm not sure on the engine size), but my God can this thing shift. It has the acceleration and power to match any petrol engine, and shows in my average speed on the motorways. (I won't put it on here for fear of being nicked by the police, but it wasn't slow.) Attached to the engine is a gear box that's as tight as a guitar string, and as precise as German, a joy to change gear. The steering was also good, I felt connected to the road, it wasn't too light, and it went where I pointed it - essential really! My two criticisms; the brakes felt a little light to the touch, and despite always stopping the car, giving me the confidence to drive as I did, I still prefer a weightier brake pedal, and the suspension; with any 4x4 its always going to be a trade off between ride comfort and roll through the corners, however I felt it could have been stiffened up a bit to reduce the roll without affecting the ride too much. Small points though.
Score: 3.5/5

So to conclude, this is a great looking car, packed with features, with plenty of room for a family and their stuff. The engine is superb, and with the Nissan badge you know it is going to be one reliable car. The drive was good, with only a couple of minor criticisms on the brakes and suspension. Overall, if I was in the market for a 4x4, I would seriously consider this car. Well done Nissan.
Score: 4/5