David Motton
Tow Car Editor

See other tow car reviews written by David Motton

Practical Caravan's expert team reviews the Nissan X-Trail 2.0 dCi 173 Aventura Explorer to see how it performs as a tow car


The Jaguar might be the star of this class, but the X-Trail is one of the best of the rest. There’s no problem coping with any suitable match, thanks to the brawny diesel engine. With 266lb ft of torque delivered at 2000rpm, the Nissan accelerated from 30-60mph in just 13.3 seconds.


The outfit needed 12.04 metres to stop from 30mph – respectable, but not as impressive as the Jag.

For a 4x4, stability in the lane-change test was good. However, the light steering gave little feel through the wheel and there was lots of body roll. At high speeds the X-Trail took a while to pull straight after sharp steering inputs.

The big disappointment, however, was the hill-start test. Normally this is easy meat for a powerful 4x4, but more than one judge complained that the handbrake initially held the outfit, only to let it roll backwards a second or two later.


Our practicality testers were impressed with the Nissan’s huge boot, which swallowed every item of luggage except the Aquaroll. Other thoughtful touches such as the 12V socket in the boot boosted the X-Trail’s score further.

Technical specs

Kerbweight1725 kg
85% KW1466 kg
Towball limit100 kg
Maximum towing limit2200 kg


Overall, we feel that this car is very good in most respects, but it disappointed in our hill-start test.



  • The boot is a very good size
  • It has a brawny diesel engine


  • Light steering and quite a bit of body roll