- Low running costs
- Comfortable ride
- Smaller boot size than rivals
- Restricted rear visibility
- Interior may feel dated
What's the Nissan Qashqai like?
A new Nissan Qashqai has been launched, but the popularity of the outgoing model is such that I doubt there will be the dip in prices that so often happens at such a time.
The Qashqai will still almost certainly be sought after by many looking for a family-friendly high riding estate with plenty of interior space.
There are a number of people who've owned or still have one of Nissan’s best-selling cars, and they've all been delighted with them.
The Qashqai was the first company to really capitalize on the genre of a high-riding front-wheel drive (FWD) SUV for the road.
Almost all the completely British-built Qashqais sold have been FWD. Nissan knows its market, and realised early on that the majority of owners don’t want the extra expense and running costs of a 4x4.
They want the high driving position and the feel of something more substantial around them, while only having to pay the running costs of a family hatch.
In fact, in the range up to this year, there are only a couple available with all-wheel drive. First was the 130bhp 1.6-litre diesel, and this was replaced by a 1.7-litre with 150bhp in a major 2017 update. But although it’s quicker and has lower emissions, it's less economical.
The 1.6-litre is capable of 61mpg, while the 1.7-litre is rated at 58mpg, and they cover the 0 to 60mph sprint in 9.6 and 9.2 seconds respectively.
There's one other diesel engine - and it’s the best seller - a 1.5-litre borrowed from partner Renault with 110 or 115bhp and rated economy of between 67 and 74mpg. It takes 11.9 seconds to get to 60mph.
There are also three petrol offerings – used at different times in the model’s life – 1.2-litre, 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre turbos.
The 1.2-litre, with 115bhp and the 1.6-litre, with 160bhp, were available alongside each other in earlier models and are rated at 48 and 47mpg respectively. The 1.2-litre reaches 60mph in 10.6 seconds, while the 1.6-litre brings that down to 8.8 seconds.
Latterly, just the one 1.3-litre turbo was on offer, with two power outputs – 140 and 160bhp. The 140bhp reaches 60mph in 10.6 seconds and is capable of 49mpg, and the 160bhp matches that economy and gets to the benchmark in 8.6 seconds.
Interior and Driving Experience
The interiors are a little behind the times, with some switchgear common to cheaper models in the Nissan range, and technology that didn't keep up with that available on some of the opposition.
All are very comfortable over all surfaces, and come with safe, sure handling helped by positive and informative power steering.
The clutch is light and easy, the gear change slick, and there's plenty of legroom front and rear.
While comfort is very good, the front seats are too deep, which means the front is too high behind the thighs for shorter drivers who might well need a cushion since the adjustment does not allow for this angle to be changed.
Equipment is good even in base Visia models, which have audio remote, split fold rear seats, front electric windows, heated electric mirrors, remote locking, traction control, air conditioning, and cruise control.
Mid-range N-Tec adds alloys, height and lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat, parking sensors and sat nav.
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If you're looking for a practical SUV that handles the adventures of family getaways as well as taking on your daily duties, the Nissan Qashqai is a great choice. Offering welcomingly low running costs, superb comfort, and oodles of equipment, it's a car that will hardly disappoint.
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