It’s no secret that the Nissan Qashqai is very popular in Britain. Now a regular feature of the top ten sales charts, the Qashqai is a very relevant part of the UK scene – even if quality hasn’t always been up to scratch.
This new facelift of the second generation offers more comfort and technological features, as well as an altered exterior and a new trim line that according to Nissan provides the “ultimate Qashqai”.
But how does this new version do and can it hold up its image as the king of the crossovers? We take a look…
Available with one of four engine options – two petrol and two diesels – the Qashqai offers affordable, easy-to-run units that at worst use 48.7mpg in the 160bhp petrol unit. With said engine, you can get from 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 124mph – which is about average for the crossover segment. It is only available with a six-speed manual.
In the top-end diesel unit – a 129bhp 1.6-litre engine, you can get four-wheel drive paired with the six-speed manual – while automatic options are available with the 1.6-litre diesel or the 114bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine. The smaller engines don’t quite give the oomph that you would want, but they are very economical – achieving upwards of 70mpg.
Ride & Handling
The Qashqai is surprisingly well-composed for a built-up car and handles twists and turns very capably – even if there is a hint of body roll whilst you’re going through. There’s plenty of grip on offer, while the steering feels well-weighted – even with the electric assistance. The Active Trace system – which brakes in the wheels so that you can stay on your chosen cornering line – could be better as the Qashqai doesn’t always feel settled when it’s in use.
In this update, Nissan revamped the suspension and chassis setup to be more predictable and stable – which it does feel like. When it smooths out for longer motorway drives, it is sorted out and feels like one of the best in its class, with the active ride control also refined further. Exterior noise and overall comfort is very good and again offers one of the best overall packages in the segment.
Interior & Equipment
You could say that this is where Nissan has concentrated the most in the update, as the Qashqai’s interior is rather good indeed when you consider the price point. You get a lot for your money whichever trim you get, including an electric parking brake, selectable steering with normal and sport modes, cruise control with speed limiter, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, USB and Aux connectivity, and 60:40 split rear seats – essentials for a family car.
The cabin space is also plentiful, with 430 litres of boot space with the rear seats up – not bad for a crossover – and 1,598 litres with the bench folded down. That is exactly what families require.
The new top-end Tekna+ trim adds quilted leather upholstery to sports seats, a panoramic glass roof and silver gloss roof rails to add to the Tekna specification that features a premium Bose speaker system, heated front seats, Nissan’s safety shield plus – which adds driver alert, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert – and a seven-inch touchscreen display.
You will find that the mid-range specs are you best bet, as they give you better value for money and give you most of the safety features you would want. Comfort equipment would also be at a good standard, so plump for either the N-Connecta or Tekna trims.
Prices for the Qashqai start from £19,925 – which puts it in the mid-range of the mid-size crossover segment. Although prices can inflate to £27,830 in the Tekna+ trim, rivals can get much higher in price, so the Qashqai could be the one that offers the best overall package.
Running costs are reasonable too, as emissions don’t get higher than 134g/km CO2 and fuel economy is quoted to be above 48mpg for all models – with a high of 74.3mpg in the smallest diesel engine. That means road tax would be of a reasonable level when compared to other crossovers and trips to the pumps would be few and far between.
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On this basis, the Qashqai isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It may not be the class leader in any area, but what it does do is be close to the pinnacle for them all so it can be a great overall package. With rivals being more specialised in certain areas, the Qashqai is a good all-rounder and could be the crossover you’re looking for in the market. Good looks and affordable options make it one to consider for all with interest in the segment.