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Although an 'extrail' sounds like something that would have you quickly flipping the page of Gray's Anatomy, Nissan's interpretation of the compact SUV theme is pretty inoffensive. The massive headlights are probably the most striking design feature, but the detailing is neat, the stance purposefully chunky and the bloodline looks more like a scaled-down Patrol than a latter-day Terrano II. With chrome touches on the grille, tail and door handles, the X-Trail leaps into a commanding lead over the Land Rover Freelander and Ford Maverick in the shininess stakes. Although it's tempting to bring a premature close to this contest with the Nissan ahead on points, it would be a same not to explore the X-Trail's potential a little further. Where the Nissan strides ahead of the Ford and the Land Rover is in terms of interior design. Yes, we appreciate that it's a Japanese car, and it's interior is expected to be about as chi-chi as a McDonalds staff room, but bear with us here. Loads of space, a big tick in the oddments space box and some beautifully judged trim colour combinations make the Nissan as good as it gets in this sector. The centrally mounted instruments give the fascia a wonderfully symmetrical look spoiled only by a steering wheel offset to the right (European and US buyers get theirs offset the other way!) and the centre console is trimmed in silver and features a drinks cooler that actually works.
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