Nissan Qashqai – enhancing a reputation

Feels like a more premium drive than expected.

It’s rare for a car company to be able to lay claim to launching a segment, but one such company is Nissan. Back in 2007 they launched the Qashqai and it has gone on to popularise the SUV sector in the UK.

The Qashqai is generally recognised to be the most bought SUV in the UK, and there’s good reason that it has acquired such a loyal following. Offered in a variety of power options, two or four-wheel-drive over the years, in its latest guise with sharper looks and more eco power units it comes with a single petrol power unit of 1.3-litres, turbocharged and with mild-hybrid battery power.

Later this year a 1.5-litre e-Power unit arrives where unlike the traditional mild hybrid, here the petrol engine powers the battery and it’s the battery that actually drives the wheels. There is manual or automatic gears, two or four-wheel-drive and two power outputs of 140PS and 158PS.

There are five trim levels with prices starting at €29,818/£25,505 with an excellent range of standard equipment including powered and heated door mirrors, tyre pressure monitoring system, high beam assist headlights, automatic lights, LED front and rear lights, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, intelligent cruise control and air conditioning.

My test car was the top-of-the-range Tekna+ and as one might expect of a car costing €44,741/ £38,275 it wants for very little in terms of equipment. From a head-up display, keyless entry and start plus handsfree automatic tailgate through to wireless phone charging, navigation and a Bose sound system. The power adjustable, quilted leather seats offer good support and there’s space aplenty for all occupants along with a decent boot.

On the road the 1.3-litre mild-hybrid power unit is a smooth and refined affair with decent performance that never feels as if it’s struggling despite the size of the Qashqai. My test car was fitted with a CVT automatic gearbox and I’m not a fan generally due to the vocalness of these type of boxes when under anything other than mild acceleration. However, the Qashqai is one of the best I have tried and one of the few that I could live with on a daily basis. 

There’s a feeling of quality inside the cabin which added to that refined drive makes the Qashqai feel like a more premium drive than might be expected given its arguably more workaday badging.

It’s little wonder the Qashqai has proved so enduringly popular and this latest version will only enhance that reputation.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ 2WD automatic

Engine: 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol with mild-hybrid assistance

Gears: CVT automatic

Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) 9.2 seconds/Maximum Speed 199 kph (124 mph)

Economy: 6.5l/100km (43.8 mpg) Combined driving (WLTP)

Emissions: 146 g/km (WLTP)

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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