Time to be honest. The Nissan X-Trail and Citroen C-Crosser may have four-wheel-drive, and be capable of some reasonable mud-plunging - but most will never venture far from the silky smooth tarmac. Here, often on the demanding school run, both vehicles feel totally composed, have comfortable rides, and reassuring body control. Good thing too, as prices for the X-Trail start at £25,280 and the entry-level Citroen C-Crosser costs £25,410.
This brings us to an important issue, which is the best value for money? The Citroen C- Crosser has seven seats whereas the cheapest X-Trail only has five. In contrast, the Japanese mile-muncher has some extra toys, specifically Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity. Good stuff. Both hit 62mph in about ten seconds, but the Nissan averages 44.1mpg - 3.7 more than its rival. This Japanese 4x4 also has lower carbon emissions, so it is cheaper to tax. Unless you really need seven seats, the X-Trail offers a bigger bang for your buck.
Here is an interesting point. It is generally accepted that Japanese and German vehicles are among the most robust, and French and Italian machines suffer in comparison. Point to the Nissan then? Not necessarily. The Citroen C-Crosser is essentially a reworked Mitsubishi Outlander. As such it feels every bit as strong as its opponent. Great news for the French motoring manufacturer, let us hope this quality spreads throughout the range.