Tom Scanlan tries out a second generation version of the ever-popular Qashqai
Travelling in the new Qashqai was a pleasure. This new version of a popular car has raised its own bar.
The seats are very comfortable with good lower-back support for the driver, who also gets a tilt/telescope adjustable steering-wheel. The instruments showed clearly, both in daylight and at night with pointers and numbering in the classical white on black. At night-time, there’s also pleasant ambient lighting. The headlamps are automatic, just one of many standard features on Premium versions.
The long list of such features is certainly one of the most impressive aspects of the car, priced at less than £22,000 on-the-road.
Take safety for example. On the prevention side, there’s Lane Departure Warning, Front Collision Avoidance (at speeds up to 19mph), Electronic Stability Control and Chassis Control; all of these automatic systems are designed to lessen the chances of an accident. Should the worst happen and there’s a crash, the front seats are protected by front, side and curtain airbags, plus pre-tensioner seat-belts and ‘active’ head-rests.
For convenience, a generously-sized screen is provided for the satellite navigation, whilst Bluetooth and a CD DAB radio linked to Nissan’s Connect system makes for good communication with the outside world.
The driver gets yet more useful features. These include a colour reversing camera, one-touch and anti-trap window operation, steering that’s selectable for ‘normal’ or the sharper ‘sports’ mode, on-board computer, and cruise control with speed limiter.
Air conditioning is of the dual-zone type and adds to the overall impression of quite a sophisticated car.
It could be expected that a car of this size powered by an engine providing 115PS from its 1197cc, four–cylinders, would be a reasonably good performer. Initial acceleration from rest is perfectly adequate, provided the accelerator gets a good push. Zero to 62mph take less than eleven seconds. About the only times this Qashqai struggled a little was on longer, steeper hills where it was of course a simple matter to drop down a gear or two to keep up the momentum. The engine itself feels smooth at all times and the car is perfectly relaxed on the motorway.
The 6-speed gearbox provided quick, easy changes overall.
The car handled nicely, holding on effortlessly around brisk bends. The brakes, discs at both front and rear, performed equally well, with smooth and powerful effect in emergency situations (as tested, but not actually experienced).
The steering, which is electrically speed-sensitive, was another positive feature.
The Qashqai, being a family car, is easy for passengers to get in and out of. It’s also very versatile for loads of various types. The rear seats are simple to fold down and back up again. The boot can be compartmentalised and its cover is much easier to remove than in some other cars. There is a full spare wheel under the floor.
Fuel consumption? The official Combined figure of 50.4mpg is, as usual, merely to be taken as a guide to compare against other cars. My own experience was about 47mpg on motorways, 43mpg cross-country and 32mpg in town.
The Qashqai was always a good car. Now it’s even better.
WHEELS-ALIVE TECH. SPEC. IN BRIEF
Nissan Qashqai 1.2 Acenta
Drivetrain: Front engine, front wheel drive
Engine: 1198cc overhead camshaft, 16 valve four cylinder direct injection petrol
Power: 115 PS @ 4,000 rpm
Torque: 140 lb/ft @ 2-4000 rpm
0–62 mph: 10.9 seconds
Top speed: 115 mph
Fuel consumption, ‘official’ figures:
‘Urban’: 40.9 mpg
‘Extra urban’: 57.6 mpg
‘Combined’: 50.4 mpg
PRICE (‘On The Road’): £20,995 (without options)
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles; three years paint; twelve years anti-corrosion.