Nissan X-Trail tyres

‘My dad had an X-Trail,’ one of our more chatty customers said recently. ‘Great car. Bulletproof. Never went wrong. Total reliability and a lovely high driving position.’ But he damned it with faint praise with his final comment: ‘Perfect car for a pensioner.’

Nissan has aimed in a different direction with the newest version of the X-Trail (above), launched twelve years after the original. Gone are the old school Tonka-toy SUV looks, the upright design and the redundant emphasis on mud-plugging ability. In their place is a car with the sculpted looks of the Qashqai but with a little more room to accommodate two extra optional seats in the boot. Unlike the old version, the new X-Trail is aimed squarely at the family car market. It has the handling of a big hatchback and a focus on two-wheel-drive on-road motoring rather than off-road versatility.

Something we’ve noticed with Nissan models is that they can sometimes be supplied with relatively unusual tyre sizes. The X-Trail hasn’t been exempt from this. It’s not a major problem but it does mean that tyre options can be a little limited compared to those for other similar cars. We wouldn’t recommend changing tyre sizes, though. This can be an expensive business, since all four tyres and the spare have to be changed in one fell swoop, quite apart from any safety or mechanical issue. Additionally, the ride quality of this car is good enough as it is and changing tyre sizes will often compromise that. The main reason for changing wheel or tyre sizes is to make a car look better. That’s something lads with small hatchbacks are always keen on but of course X-Trail drivers are an altogether different breed.

Dunlop takes high rank among the different brands of tyres fitted by Nissan to new X-Trail models. Its SP Sport tyres have proved popular for their durability, which comes from the stiffened sidewall. These tyres feature as original equipment on the new generation of the X-Trail.

Dunlop’s Grandtrek range is also common to many older models. These are designed to support occasional off-road use on muddy and gravelly surfaces but are equally suited to high-mileage motorway driving.

Similar comments apply to Toyo’s Tranpath and Open Country tyres, another range to boast factory-fitted status for the original X-Trail. For more serious off-road use, Yokohama’s Geolandar tyres and Bridgestone’s Dueler range will tick the boxes for many owners of older, more 4×4 orientated X-Trail models. Both of these are available in different tread patterns for optimum grip in a wide range of different off-road environments.

Pirelli’s Scorpion range comes in five different versions. Of these, the STR type, designed exclusively for on-road SUV use, has scored very highly in customer reviews. The ATR, in contrast, is an all-terrain tyre, one that’s very suitable for a mix of on-road and off-road driving. The durability and roadholding of Pirelli’s tyres makes these worth considering for the original X-Trail.

For all that, Continental’s CrossContact range is the most common factory fitting on the new X-Trail. They are also etyres’ best-selling tyres for the X-Trail overall, massively popular for the newer models. These tyres offer a good balance of comfort, economy and grip and are specially designed for SUV use. They also feature excellent safety and durability, with low noise emission ratings. As such, they come highly recommended for an X-Trail which spends all of its life on the road rather than occasionally venturing off it.