Nissan’s Qashqai hits bullseye

Nissa Qashqai 2014
Back in January I wrote an introduction to the new Qashqai as I attended its launch at the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

Back in January I wrote an introduction to the new Qashqai as I attended its launch at the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

Now I have had a chance to road test the new car on Irish roads and I have come away most impressed!

Nissan’s previously outdated model line-up is rapidly being transformed with the arrival of cars such as the revolutionary new Nissan Leaf electric car (it’s a gem. I’ve driven it!), the new Micra, and of course the uniquely styled Juke.

Anyway back to this weeks road test the new Nissan Qashqai 1.5 diesel dci.

Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, Qashqai is the best-selling Crossover in Europe and Nissan’s best-selling model in Europe, having created a brand new segment on its launch in 2006.

First Impressions.

The new Qashqai is 47mm longer than the current model and fractionally lower and wider, giving it a sleek, poised stance while maintaining the crossover style, compact dimensions and raised driving position.

Overall I think this new Qashqai is one of the most stylish of the SUV brigade.

Behind the wheel.

The new cabin is very impressive with an attractive design and quality to the fore.

Supportive seats give an excellent driving position and reach and rake adjustable steering comes as standard. The driving position does give a commanding view of the road and the instrument layout is clearly and logically laid out.

The new Qashqai offers drivers a comprehensive suite of advanced technology features enhancing every aspect of driving. Nissan’s Safety Shield technologies now incorporate

Forward Emergency Braking, Driver Attention Alert and Traffic Sign Recognition along with several other vital driver aids, while Intelligent Park Assist takes the stress out of city parking.

All models get air conditioning, alloy wheels, four electric windows, central locking, a CD player a multi-function steering wheel, and Bluetooth.

On the safety side things are no less impressive with ABS, stability control, multiple airbags, and ISOFIX. There is plenty of head and legroom both front and rear, but like most cars in this class the Qashqai sits four much more comfortably than five.

The boot which is accessed via the large rear tailgate is ample and of course the rear seats fold down to create even more space. I was impressed to see a spare wheel rather than that can of sealant many now supply.

Performance.

There are also a new range of engines which are more efficient than ever. Every engine now uses a turbocharger to reduce capacity, emissions and fuel consumption while maintaining excellent performance with class-leading CO2 emissions from only 99g/km.

While front-wheel-drive variants will account for the majority of sales in most markets, four-wheel-drive ALL-MODE 4x4-i versions will also be available to match a choice of six-speed manual or all-new Xtronic transmissions.

The Renault sourced 1.5 dci engine is very good indeed. Mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and with bags of mid-range torque performance is good.

Over my weeks test it returned an impressive 6.5 litres per 100km giving it a range of over 800km between refuels.

Acceleration while not earth shattering is acceptable and it cruises happily all day at motorway speeds.

Road Behaviour.

The suspension set-up is primarily for comfort and in that it certainly delivers. Road imperfections and bumps are all well dampened out and absorbed without a hint of drama. The handling is also good though you will get more bodyroll in corners than in a conventional hatchback due to it’s higher stance.

Levels of refinement are high with wind, road and tyre noise all very well suppressed.

Verdict.

Prices start at €24,495 for the 1.2 petrol turbo. The diesel entry price is €26,395 for the 1.5 dci reviewed here. In summary new Qashqai is one of the very best compact SUV’s/ Crossover vehicles currently available. Its brilliant!

The Qashqai delivers a very well rounded package. It is stylish, very compact and not too big like many SUV’s and 4x4 type vehicles. There is a comprehensive specification list, it drives well, has a reasonable degree of versatility and is well priced. Build quality is top notch and it feels quite classy inside. Because of all of that it will appeal to many families and I have no doubt you will see many more Qashqai’s on the school run in the near future.

Bullseye Nissan, I can give the new Qashqai my highest recommendation.