The Nissan Qashqai has been quite successful in the ever popular crossover market, especially here in SA. It has always been a value for money proposition and its built quality has always been exceptional.
The facelifted Qashqai was launched recently and in my opinion is going to give the rest of its rivals some stiff competition.
On the outside the front end has been redesigned to look a bit more modern and aggressive (I say aggressive in a good way). The back end has also been redesigned and I must say I like the overall look and premium presence the Qashqai has.
The interior looks totally different, it is now fitted with a sporty steering wheel. The flat bottomed steering wheel reminds me of the ones found in the Mercedes AMG’s, then an added bonus is the use of better quality materials used to enhance the overall inside feel of the Qashqai.
Even the seating is more comfortable than before, the seating gives better back support and hugs you a bit more when cornering. It offers plenty of storage space and a clever boot for easy loading.
If you compare the Qashqai to a typical medium hatch like for example a Golf 7 the Qashqai is doesn’t offer much more outright room. The big difference is the extra height. Where the Golf is 1,452mm tall, the Qashqai is 1,590mm tall, this extra height translates to easier access and an elevated driving position which adds to the feeling of safety.
The boot offers a generous 430 litres of space, which increases to 680 litres with the 60:40 split rear seats folded flat.
I am not even going to start commenting about all the tech available for the Qashqai, too much to mention. The tech list is literally as long as my arm, which is great. Well done to Nissan.
One tech feature which is available which I want to mention, just because I love the feature, is the Around View Monitor. The system uses five cameras to give an all-round view of the vehicle’s surroundings, with the assistance of the Moving Object Detection system the Around View Monitor can detect objects when parking. This system will work great especially on the school runs.
I drove the 1.2 T Acenta Plus CVT, I must say it handles well and in general it feels solid and comfortable, this is thanks to the upgrades done to the shocks and anti-roll bars. Nissan also upgraded the sound deadening materials which adds to the quite-ride.
The Nissan Qashqai scored the full five stars in independent Euro NCAP crash-testing, which is good news for the families that make up the bulk of Qashqai buyers.
Under the bonnet the Qashqai is powered by a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 85 kW and 190 Nm of torque with either a 6-speed manual transmission or CVT on offer. There is also a 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine available with 81 kW and 260 Nm of torque.
Pricings starts at around R335k for the entry-level and goes up to around R435k for the range topper.
All models comes standard with a 6-year/150 000 km warranty and a 3-year/90 000 km service plan and 24-hour roadside assistance.
The updated Qashqai remains a versatile all-rounder and should be considered for your wish list.