This car does everything very well. My biggest gripe is the reverse gear which in the manual is way too tall- there's no need for such a high reverse gear and it necessitates a lot of clutch slipping when reversing up hill with a trailer.
Having said that- the rest of the gearbox is a pleasure to use and changes smoothly and feels strong with great ratios for all manner of normal driving. It copes with moderate off road as in basic beach runs etc.
The motor is the real highlight, its gutsy, economical and quite spirited for a diesel and given the size of the car is quite quick. Overtaking and hills are all too easy for this Renault sourced 2.0 diesel and my diagnostic gauge shows its a fairly high turbo boost which is responsible for the v6 petrol like acceleration. I get about 8.0 l/100km which is good given I live and drive around the Adelaide hills and have a bit of a lead foot. I'd be reluctant to upgrade to the new x-trail knowing its a smaller less powerful engine. Towing capacity for the diesel manual is 2 Tonne and the auto has this and power reduced- stick with the manual and learn to change gears as its a pleasure to drive
Cabin wise this car is super spacey and has a huge boot and very versatile layout. It has great fit out with electric leather seats (the odd bit of vinyl insert) and they're heated also. Huge sunroof, auto wipers and importantly cruise control. once you use these features you wont want another car without. The audio head unit with sat nav was disappointing so I replaced it with an 8 inch Alpine aftermarket unit, luckily you can still fit aftermarket in the vehicle. No can bus either.
Its unapologetically boxy but its like the tardis- lots of room and I prefer this styling to the new shape which appears very generic and lacks individuality.
Handling is good with the 18 inch wheels and I upgraded to a heavy duty solid rear sway bar to replace the hollow factory unit= much better cornering and it is a great car around the hills now
I am really fussy with cars but I love this and wont be upgrading any time soon. Highly recommend it