At RM 28k, a used 2nd-gen Nissan X-Trail is an underrated gem
Shaun · Jun 28, 2021 11:50 AM
If you’re looking for a used, spacious, no-frills SUV for your daily runabouts for under RM 40k, you might be looking at the third-generation Honda CR-V. But here’s an option that most might have overlooked, which is an even more refined car – a second-generation Nissan X-Trail (T31).
Overview of the T31-generation Nissan X-Trail
In 2010, the second-generation Nissan X-Trail (T31) was launched in Malaysia with only one variant available, a 2.0-litre engine codenamed MR20DE that is paired to a CVT. This powertrain is shared with the G11-generation Nissan Sylphy, although outputs are slightly different (139 PS/198 Nm in the X-Trail vs 133 PS/191 Nm in the Sylphy).
Equipment wise, the Nissan X-Trail T31 comes with powered front seats, keyless entry and start, and Bi-Xenon headlights with auto levelling. Safety kit includes 2 airbags, ABS, EBD and Brake Assist. No stability control here unfortunately.
The facelift exercise in 2013 saw a few new additions such as larger 17-inch wheels, LED tail lamps, new 2-DIN infotainment system, and a larger multi-info display for the instrument cluster.
Should I buy the facelift?
Given the rarity of the second-generation Nissan X-Trail in Malaysia and the subtle updates on the facelift model, we reckon that it’s not imperative to look for a facelifted model. We’d place higher priority on finding a well-looked after unit, preferably one with an extensive service history.
Why is it an underrated gem?
For one, it’s arguably more refined than the third-generation Honda CR-V (we don’t have the noise level figures for either, unfortunately). It’s relaxing at a cruise with relatively low levels of cabin noise and the smooth powertrain combo adds to the calm nature. The X-Trail also feels more suited to tackle rougher roads than the CR-V of that era.
Plus, as mentioned earlier, it’s rare sight on Malaysian roads. The second-generation Nissan X-Trail did not perform as well as its predecessor when it came to sales, so bonus points for exclusivity, and that doesn’t translate to inflated prices in this case.
If you perform a quick survey on the average listing price of a used second-generation X-Trail and compare it to the third-generation Honda CR-V, you’d find that the X-Trail is slightly cheaper. Being a Honda in Malaysia, the CR-V does retain more of its value, which means the X-Trail gives a bigger bang for the buck.
Ok, I’m interested, what should I look out for?
We contacted Mr Noel from Nissan specialists JTech Autoserv once again for their expertise. Since the powertrain of the T31 Nissan X-Trail is shared with the G11 Nissan Sylphy, Noel said that the common issues are shared by the two.
Engine mounts would've been worn by now and need replacing if they haven’t been already (RM 700). Similarly, the MR20DE 2.0-litre engine could start to show signs of oil leak. If it does, the associated seals and covers will need replacing, which costs in the region of RM 500.
Depending on the age and mileage, the suspension components such as absorbers, mounts, bushings may need to be replaced. These components will add up to around RM 3,000 - 3,500.
As for the CVT gearbox, Noel says there were instances of failure, though it is generally due to poor maintenance more than anything.
If such a case were to happen, a transmission replacement is recommended as a rebuild would cost more time and money. JTech can source a rebuilt or half-cut one for you, which costs around RM 2,000 – 4,000 depending on the condition of the replacement.
To summarise the cost of upkeep for the Nissan X-Trail, here are the prices quoted by Jtech Autoserv, which includes parts and labour.
Nissan X-Trail maintenance cost (RM)
(absorbers, bushings, etc)
Engine seals and covers
The second-generation Nissan X-Trail wasn’t a popular choice during its days. It carried on the formula of its predecessor but evidently, the market had moved on. The boxy and somewhat rugged design did not carry the appeal it was looking for.
But as a used unit that can be found listed on sale under RM 30k, it’s become somewhat of a hidden gem. It’s refined, comfortable, and has proven to be reliable. For a fuss-free SUV experience, there’s not much else to ask for.
The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.