Nissan's capable, comfortable Qashqai crossover smart choice
The new Nissan Qashqai has landed in the UK. Simon Davis drives the latest version of the original, pioneering crossover to see how it fares.
Nissan will tell you the Qashqai is the original crossover. Since the first-generation was launched in 2007, it has sold 2.3 million in Europe alone. And Nissan is confident the latest Qashqai will be able to continue on that success.
From an aesthetic point of view, not a lot has changed with the new Qashqai compared with the second-generation model launched in 2014. There’s a slightly revised front end, with a larger ‘V-motion’ grille, sleeker head and tail lights and extra chrome brightwork on higher-specication models for a more upmarket image.
A new Tekna+ top-flight trim has been introduced to appeal to buyers after a more premium crossover, the cabin’s more refined but the biggest headline is Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology. Available from 2018, it will allow the Qashqai to control its steering, acceleration and braking cruising in a single lane on motorways and in traffic.
Under the bonnet
A popular choice will be the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine, developing a modest 110PS and 260Nm of torque. While performance might not be this engine’s forte, its economy and emissions are impressive.
Other options are 115PS 1.2-litre and 163PS 1.6-litre turbo petrol and 130PS 1.6-litre turbo diesel, the latter also available with four-wheel drive.
How does it drive?
The Qashqai is capable but it’s not going to set your heart racing with outstanding dynamic abilities. It’s predictable through corners with some body roll but not enough to feel unsettled.
As a long-distance cruiser it makes a great deal of sense. Even on 19in alloy wheels, it deals with road imperfections rather well, and there isn’t much road or wind noise. The seats are impressively comfortable – soft and supportive.
Space and comfort
Nissan has worked hard to make the interior appealing with the Tekna+ test car having plush quilted leather seats, a premium Bose stereo system and smart gloss black panelling around the infotainment system. However, some surfaces remind you it isn’t quite a premium crossover.
As for interior space, the Qashqai will easily meet the needs of most families. There’s more than enough room across the back seat for three children, or two taller adults can ride in comfort. Boot space is 430 litres with the rear seats up, 1,598 litres with them folded.
Tekna+ offers plenty of kit, including electrically-adjustable driver’s seat and a panoramic glass roof, but starts at £27,830.
Most customers will opt for mid-range N-Connecta, from £23,805, which includes seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, 18in alloys and intelligent emergency braking and lane departure warning.
The new Nissan Qashqai may not be the most exciting crossover but it’s incredibly capable while more affordable mid-range models are better value.
SPEC AND TECH
Price: Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ 1.5dCi 110PS £29,580 (range from £19,295)
Engine: 1.5-litre, 110PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel
Performance: 0-62mph 11.9 seconds; top speed 113mph
MPG: 74.3 combined
CO2 emissions: 99g/km