Ten years ago, the first Qashqai came out and took the motoring world by storm. Now it’s time for a change. But only a subtle one, mind. Tim Barnes-Clay was at the 2017 Nissan Qashqai UK launch.
The bizarrely named ‘Qashqai’ wasn’t going to put people off way back in ’07. And that’s because it was one of the first family-focused cars to amalgamate a 4×4 look with non-luxury hatchback thriftiness. This recipe rapidly turned the Qashqai into a cash cow for the Japanese automaker, and it even initiated a new car subdivision, branded the ‘Crossover’.
Forward-wind to the present and the well-liked motor has been given a mild beautification. The 2017 Qashqai has been given a ‘V-Motion ‘face, which is in line with the fresh Nissan Micra’s looks. The car also has reshaped daytime running lights and large, 19-inch, alloy wheels.
Inside, there are now more tactile materials and hide on the centre console, doors and dashboard. This makes everything feel sophisticated. But, not a lot else has changed – and that’s not a criticism. There is still enough space to keep four tall adults cheery for lengthy journeys, and a smaller fifth occupant can cram in for fleeting trips. Furthermore, the Nissan Qashaqi’s boot is conveniently square and can devour two bulky suitcases.
The fresh, top of tree, Tekna+ trim, driven for this review, has been ushered in by Nissan because today’s car buyers are going for motors with more tackle shoe-horned into them. And so, this new trim variant comes furnished with electric heated seats, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, a panoramic glass roof and quilted leather seats. It also comes equipped with pedestrian detection, rear-cross traffic alert and a 360-degree parking camera.
In company with kit and visual refurbishments, the new Qashqai has taken delivery of several technical tweaks to help perfect the drive. Different springs and dampers, as well as alterations to the car’s Active Ride Control system, aim to cut back on body movement. Additionally, revisions to the steering rack heighten accuracy. On top of that, Active Return Control has been brought in to make the steering’s ‘self-centering’ feel less simulated.
Ride and Handling
Certainly, the new Qashqai is a fine choice if being comfortable floats your boat. Body control is up to standard and the Crossover never feels wayward. It soaks up the unpleasant thumps and clatters snazzier sprung vehicles give when travelling on our cratered roads. It’s also a tranquil car, keeping out wind and road din efficiently. Undeniably, the up-to-the-minute Qashqai is even more muted in the cabin than the outward-bound version. This is due to top-quality soundproofing and better door seals.
The 2017 Nissan Qashqai’s engine ensemble is the same as the exiting model’s, with only the 1.6-litre oil-burner, reviewed here, here getting minor changes to amplify refinement. The car provides considerable pulling power and wholesome efficiency, though the more economical 1.5-litre Qashqai will offer enough pull for most buyers. This 1.6 dCi 130 Tekna + Qashqai costs in excess of £30,000, however, putting it within the territory of larger SUVs, such as Kia’s Sorento. The mid-spec N-Connecta trim level offers the best halfway house between cost and kit.
While Nissan’s efforts to rejuvenate the Qashqai are more thorough than some other car makers’ latest overhauls, nothing has been profoundly altered. The increased cabin quality, improved design and safety tech is agreeable, though it doesn’t feel all that different to the withdrawing car. Even so, the Nissan Qashqai in the flagship Tekna + trim is still a cheap to run and classy family vehicle – even if meeker versions of the same model offer more metal for your money.
Come and test drive the new Nissan Qashqai at Perrys today.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Stylish √
- Economical √
- Comfy √
- Equipment √
- Dear X
Fast Facts (Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi 130 Tekna + as tested)
- Max speed: 118 mph
- 0-62 mph: 9.9 secs
- Combined mpg: 64.2
- Engine layout: 15985cc four-cylinder diesel turbo
- Max. power (PS): 130
- CO2: 116 g/km
- Price: £30,830