In terms of the exterior the good news is, there are very few issues that we would regard as common.
There are the odd sporadic reports of door lock actuators playing up and windscreen wipers having problems however again, not at all common.
The serious problems we did uncover were generally due to abuse off-road or dodgy repair work after having an accident or being abused off-road.
Inside it’s generally the same story, the occasional electronic gremlins but again, not what we’d call common issues as such.
Mechanically, the less popular 2.0-litre (MR20) front-wheel drive is very reliable. Worn & rattly timing chains and higher than average oil consumption can occur occasionally in poorly serviced examples but if these 2.0-litre engines are well maintained, it’s very uncommon to see serious mechanical issues.
The 2.5-litre (QR25) four-wheel drive is a fairly good unit too and thankfully does not suffer the same chronic head gasket issues these engines had in the older T30 X-Trail. However, head gasket failures are not completely unheard of, although it is nowhere near as common.
The QR25 does have an issue with the drive belt tensioner rattling at idle which is usually caused by a seized alternator over-run pulley and with the age of these now, equates to engine bay plastics (especially radiators) are likely to be getting quite fatigued.
The Renault M9R 2.0-litre turbo diesels, like most diesels of his era have the usual complications with DPFs & EGR vales & EGR coolers. They also tend to leak oil and there are a plenty of issues with the turbos too.
While the diesels are more fuel efficient than their petrol counterparts, the long-term higher cost of servicing and the more expensive repair bill when something inevitably breaks, means that the petrol’s just make far more sense.
Here’s a fun fact too, the petrol’s outnumber the diesels in Australia by nearly 5:1.
The Jatco CVT in these is the problem child in the T31 X-Trail.
Nissan do not schedule regular CVT oil changes at all and only recommend changes under “extreme conditions” (e.g towing or heavy off-roading) and even then, only recommend the fluids to be changed at 90,000km which is honestly, utter madness!
If you want to greatly improve the CVTs chances of it not having major issues, change the CVT and the transfer case oil every 40,000km.
If you’re looking at one to buy one, try and find some evidence that the CVT and transfer case fluids have been changed at least once at some point in the car’s life.