For the past fifteen years Nissan has been at the forefront of an SUV revolution on our roads and we drive the latest incarnation of the pioneering vehicle which started it all.
The Nissan Qashqai was first launched in 2007; it was joined then by much more utilitarian yet more established vehicles such as the Kia Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson. But, it was the Nissan that soon became a family favourite thanks to having a much more quality feel about it.
The aforementioned Korean rivals have subsequently upped their game, forcing Nissan to do the same in an overcrowded market that also features the Skoda Karoq, Volkswagen’s Tiguan and the Ford Kuga.
A few years ago, when on the market for a family friendly SUV, it was the Tucson from Hyundai that earned its spot on our driveway. At that time the Nissan was crying out for an update and refresh, meaning it just didn’t float our boat.
This latest model certainly ticks all the boxes, though.
Priced from £26,045 the Nissan Qashqai ‘Visia’ features a 7-inch digital meter display, front and rear LED lights, intelligent cruise control with traffic sign recognition, rear parking sensors and a 504-litre boot capacity.
Also included is intelligent driver alertness, intelligent rear automatic braking, intelligent blind spot intervention, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, high beam assist, intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist recognition and junction assist, intelligent forward collision warning and intelligent Lane intervention.
An ‘Acenta Premium’ is priced from £28,645 and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-inch Nissan connect infotainment display, rear view camera, i-Key, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired only) as well as dual auto air conditioning.
Priced from £30,815 is an ‘N-Connecta’ which features 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, 12.3-inch Nissan connect with connected services including wireless Apple CarPlay, around view monitor, front parking sensors and ambient lighting centre console.
A ‘Tekna’ is priced from £33,355 and adds 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, ProPILOT assist with navi-link or drive assist, 10.8-inch head-up display, glass roof and roof rails, hands-free power tailgate and wireless phone charging pad.
The range does not stop there, as a ‘Tekna+’ starts from £36,865 and adds 20-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, quilted premium leather front seats with 3-mode massage function, advanced i-Key with driver seat and exterior mirror memory, Bose sound system and LED front fog lights.
Engine wise there are a few options depending on your selected trim.
The range starts with a 1.3-litre 4-cylinder mild-hybrid petrol engine producing 140ps which is paired only to a 6-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels. 0-62mph is achievable in 10.2 seconds with a claimed combined economy of 44.5mpg.
Also available with 158ps, the higher powered version comes with the option of an automatic transmission as well as four-wheel-drive. All configurations seem to have a 0-62mph time of less than 10 seconds with a combined return just shy of 45mpg.
A range topping 1.5-litre 3-cylinder e-POWER engine produces 190ps and is available as a front wheel drive automatic only which will see you from 0-62mph and 7.9 seconds claimed combined return of 53.3mpg.
The model tested and pictured is a dual-tone paint schemed Tekna, equipped with the 158ps engine which is paired to the 6-speed manual gearbox. Although named a sports utility vehicle, these family transportation devices are by no means sporty.
Like most new vehicles, they do exactly what they say on the tin, and they do it to a standard that is more than adequate. Not only is the Nissan Qashqai easy to get in and out of, but it is incredibly easy to drive, too.
Comfort and convenience aplenty, the Qashqai offers an abundance of space for four adults travelling on a long journey, as well as a boot capacity that will cope with a week’s family shopping and some gym bags.
Sharp angled styling on the exterior is complemented with a quality feel inside the cabin. This latest Nissan Qashqai is a far cry from its previous generation. This is a good thing.
Nissan offer a 3-year / 60,000 mile warranty what’s the service interval of 12-months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Words and Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
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