Surprisingly the Nissan X Trail has been around for as long as 17 years and is regarded among the best of the 4x4 crossovers.

Coming in at around £23,000, although you can buy a model costing £37,000, its main competitors are the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.

These are the mid-size crossovers and it would be difficult to pick one from that trio because each of them are excellent vehicles.

But with the X Trail you can choose one with seven seats if you have a large family and that puts you in the queue along with the SEAT Kodiaq and the Kia Sorento.

The towing capacity is between one and a half and two tonnes and the fuel economy varies from between 50mpg to 60mpg depending on the engine you have.

On the diesel front there is the choice of a 1.6 engine or the 2.0 litre number while there is also a 1.6 petrol unit. The two litre engine was brought in last year at the latest refreshment stage and that has made all the difference because the 1.6 is generally a bit under powered.

The 1.6 petrol number is just for the two wheel drive option while the 4x4 is available with both diesel engines.

Nissan don’t penny pinch with their kit and even the entry level model has bags of kit. There are four levels to choose from.

The top level Tekna has got an enormous amount of technological kit making it one of the best 4x4s around and now the X Trail is pretty good looking as well – the boxy look has smoothed to a more rounded finish.

The Tekna has a seven-inch touchscreen interface, called Nissan Connect which controls the navigation and entertainment commands and it allows occupants to access their social media accounts on the move, and makes parking a doddle with the ‘Around View Monitor’ camera system.

This uses cameras in the nose, tailgate and both door mirrors to create a birds-eye view of the X-Trail.

The X-Trail’s all-wheel drive is an adaptive 4x4 system which means it can be switched between the fuel-saving front-wheel drive, an automatic mode, which only sends drive to the rear wheels under hard acceleration or in slippery conditions, or a 4x4 lock mode, which is ideal for the worst weather and off-road situations.

The X-Trail is easy to handle despite its size due to light steering, an excellent six-speed manual gearbox and plenty of safety stuff.

There is an active trace control which constantly monitors your speed and steering, adjusting your line through a corner if the car feels you’re going to run wide.

It also uses braking to assist on bumpy roads, or over those sleeping policemen.

Performance doesn’t vary that much between the diesel and petrol models 0-60mph in around 10 seconds and a maxium speed of around 120mph.

On the new 1.6-litre diesel the CO2 emissions are 129g/km and are 148g/km for the two litre model.

The X-Trail is good on insurance and the new model has dropped 10 insurance groups compared to the previous model.

The rows of seating are arranged in a tiered theatre-style system, where every row sits a little higher than the one in front, for extra visibility. But the third row costs an extra £700.

The X-Trail has an enormous spacious boot and when the seats are folded down you’ve got almost 2,000 litres of space which is better than most of the competitors. The boot floor also moves up and down to create extra loading areas.

All Nissans come with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty, which is about average for this class and offers fixed-price servicing that starts from £149 on petrol models and £159 on diesel cars.