Qashqai looks to win back its crown in small SUV segment

android, first drive: nissan qashqai
android, first drive: nissan qashqai
android, first drive: nissan qashqai
android, first drive: nissan qashqai
android, first drive: nissan qashqai
android, first drive: nissan qashqai

First Drive: Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai instigated the mainstream family SUV trend when the first model wearing the badge launched in 2006. It pretty much had the segment all to itself, for a while, until more and more manufacturers started challenging its reign.

With the ever-growing popularity of compact crossover SUVs, particularly in South Africa, packaging Nissan's excellent prestige into a consumer-friendly contender may just be a recipe for showroom triumph. Good build quality, spacious interiors, and frugal engines have changed the game locally, with crossovers offering the ideal proposition for families who want a car that can double as a family carrier and weekend warrior.

Enter the third-generation Nissan Qashqai, which packs an array of amazing features, a nicely matched CVT transmission and a sweet 1.3-litre 4-cylinder turbo engine. It brings with it an added amount of value in a segment where the likes of the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Peugeot 3008 compete. Sold in three variants; Visia, Acenta and top-of-the-range Acenta Plus, we slotted behind the wheel of the latter at its launch in the Mother City.

Handsome SUV

android, first drive: nissan qashqai

We like the look of the new Qashqai…

As a handsome SUV of note, I challenge you to park it and then walk to your front door without turning your head for one last gaze before walking away. It does have presence, thanks to more refined designed elements, a sharp headlight layout as well as a tweaked V-Motion grille, and sexy 19″ alloys in the case of our launch weapon.

Regarding the Visia and Acenta, they ride on a set of 18″ and 17″ alloy wheels respectively. Depending on your colour preference; the Acenta can be had in a two-tone exterior shade for an added fee.

While the new Qashqai looks a tad more compact than its predecessor, on paper at least, its proportions have grown significantly. We're talking about an overall length of 4,425 mm, a width of 1,838 mm, and a height of 1,635 mm versus the old car's 4,394 mm, 1,806 mm and 1,595 mm, respectively.

Upwards trajectory

The Acenta Plus' interior features a substantial upgrade in terms of quality courtesy of soft-touch materials on the dashboard and door panels, with our test unit, further boasting leather upholstery, and electronically-adjustable front seats with heating, massage and memory functions.

The Acenta and Acenta Plus boast an intuitive 12.3″ display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto smartphone pairing, a 10-speaker BOSE Premium sound system, electric speed sensing power steering, and a built-in sat-nav. There are a reasonable amount of physical buttons for various functions, and we laud Nissan for its consistency with the volume knob.

android, first drive: nissan qashqai

Everything looks to be where it should be…

It's worth noting, though, that the Visia variant is still generously equipped with an 8″ display audio system, cruise control, a 4-speaker sound system, multifunction steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustment, manual climate control, front and rear armrests with cup holders, cloth seat upholstery, electric windows and manual slide and lift seats.

The mid-range Acenta adds a 7″ driver display screen, leather steering wheel and gear selector, paddle shifters, electronic parking brake, drive mode selector, remote key and push-start button. Other features include Intelligent Cruise Control, a navigation system, six speakers, and full auto-climate control.

The Qashqai has decent amounts of space for adults of all sizes to sit in decent comfort and for those road trips, there are two cupholders in the front centre console as well as in the door bins for sizeable water bottles and cans. Then there's the boot space, which has now grown by a notable 74 litres to 504 litres. It can also be expanded to 1,593 litres by tucking down the 60:40 rear seats.

The matter of power

Powering the new Qashqai range is a sole 1.3-litre, 4-cyl turbocharged petrol engine that pumps out 110 kW and 250 Nm. Here's the thing; the Visia is the only variant in the range that is available with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the rest of the range can only be had with the XTronic CVT gearbox that propels the front wheels.

I sampled the Qashqai over Cape Town's scenic mountain passes and it delivers impressive shove in a reasonably classy manner, even though the CVT transmission is, expectedly, a little whiny under hard acceleration. Not to a point where it warrants serious complaining, though. It delivers a natural automatic transmission-like experience, thanks to a rubber-band effect that's been greatly reduced. If I am honest, this has to be one of the best CVT transmissions I've ever tested.

Handling? Well, the Qashqai is pretty comfortable, thanks to a compliant suspension that takes care of deteriorated road conditions in great comfort. Add to that an exceptionally light steering feel, making town driving especially easy. No complaints from me… Nissan quotes 6.1 l/100 km in the combined fuel consumption cycle, but our launch drive saw the numbers wafting around 6.8l/100 km. Still, it's not bad.

The Qashqai with e-Power is earmarked to join the range in March 2022, and if this tech delivers on its promise, it should be even more frugal.

Peace of Mind

You can rest assured on the safety front since the new Qashqai Acenta Plus rolls out with six airbags, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Hill-Start Assist, an Intelligent Around-View monitor with moving object detection, Blind Spot Intervention, Cross-Traffic Alert, Forward Emergency Braking, Predictive Front-Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and ProPilot which includes Autonomous Driving Level 1.

There is plenty of safety tech on the entry-level Visia that comes standard with six airbags, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Hill-Start Assist, a tyre pressure monitor, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, as well as an electric parking brake with Auto Hold.

android, first drive: nissan qashqai

There's a camera tucked away somewhere…

In summary, the new Nissan Qashqai continues to be a sensible small family SUV. There's more space, technology and useful touches that still allow it to be a formidable competitor in the increasingly competitive segment of family SUVs. At a price of R670,600 for the Acenta Plus two-tone, it's not exactly easy on the pocket and I reckon the mid-range Acenta priced at R639,300 is where the best value resides.

Pricing

  • Qashqai Visia: R568,200
  • Qashqai Acenta: R639,300
  • Qashqai Acenta two-tone: R644,800
  • Qashqai Acenta Plus: R670,800

Pricing includes a 3-year/90,000 km service plan, a 6-year/150,000 km warranty, and 6-year/150,000 km roadside assistance.

Keyword: First Drive: Nissan Qashqai

CAR'S NEWS RELATED

The Praga Bohema is a Nissan GT-R powered RWD hypercar – 0-100km/h in under 2.3 secs

Still in the final few months of development, the Nissan GT-R-powered Praga Bohema hypercar has been unveiled by the Czech Republic race car manufacturer. It will be the brand’s first road-legal car and only 10 units will be made in 2023 with the following four years seeing a production ...

View more: The Praga Bohema is a Nissan GT-R powered RWD hypercar – 0-100km/h in under 2.3 secs

Nissan Pathfinder returns to rugged roots

Tougher: The new Nissan Pathfinder is designed to appeal more broadly than its predecessor, providing a best-of-both-worlds solution to those requiring a more capable but still urban-friendly SUV.

View more: Nissan Pathfinder returns to rugged roots

What Is So Special About the R33 Nissan Skyline?

The R33 Nissan Skyline came with a series of improvements over the R32 generation The R33 Skyline was able to put its power to the ground more effectively New exterior aesthetics were the cornerstones of the updated R33 When car enthusiasts think of a Nissan Skyline, they likely picture ...

View more: What Is So Special About the R33 Nissan Skyline?

Someone Thought Turning a Nissan Skyline Into a 2013 Camaro Was One Good Idea

Why did the Skyline owner decide to do this? Are those cracks we see on the Skyline coinversion? Is this for sale? This is a “grass is greener on the other side” story. Here in the U.S., the R32 Nissan Skyline is a rare and highly desirable JDM lightning ...

View more: Someone Thought Turning a Nissan Skyline Into a 2013 Camaro Was One Good Idea

There's a Nissan Juke hiding in plain sight on Cambodian money

There have been entire television series and film plots built on conspiracies around the imagery on United States currency, but some countries don’t have such clandestine symbolism on their money. While looking closely at a Cambodian 500-riel note, Tire Meets Road found that the bill features an interesting little ...

View more: There's a Nissan Juke hiding in plain sight on Cambodian money

Is this Nissan's big SUV comeback? Brand says it can take down the Mazda CX-5 and target the Toyota RAV4 with the all-new X-Trail

Nissan’s X-Trail will come with an e-Power hybrid powertrain next year, with the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid right in its sights. Nissan says its new X-Trail SUV is good enough to snatch second-place in the mid-size SUV from the Mazda CX-5, which would leave it trailing only the seemingly unstoppable ...

View more: Is this Nissan's big SUV comeback? Brand says it can take down the Mazda CX-5 and target the Toyota RAV4 with the all-new X-Trail

Adding 4×4 Makes the 2023 Nissan Armada Crazy Expensive

How much does adding 4×4 to the 2023 Nissan Armada cost? Is the 2023 Armada worth buying? What comes standard with the Nissan Armada? It looks like the Nissan Armada isn’t giving drivers a break as prices continue to climb. It does offer a few extra standard features to ...

View more: Adding 4×4 Makes the 2023 Nissan Armada Crazy Expensive

Mercedes-Benz X-Class vs Toyota Hilux vs Nissan Navara: Which one has the best infotainment system?

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Toyota Hilux Nissan Navara Blurb: The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is no longer offered for sale in the new car market, but there are a few pre-owned examples listed for sale. How does the German bakkie's infotrianment system compare with two established double cabs, though? The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is considered a ...

View more: Mercedes-Benz X-Class vs Toyota Hilux vs Nissan Navara: Which one has the best infotainment system?

Nissan confident of X-Trail success

Rivian Now Sells More R1T Trucks Than Nissan Does Titan Trucks

Which Nissan NV200 trim depreciates the fastest?

The 2023 Nissan Ariya Review: a Stylish, Electric Rogue

Sick of waiting for that Toyota RAV4 Hybrid? Here's how long it will take to get the new Nissan Qashqai, X-Trail and Pathfinder

5-Star Euro NCAP Rating For Nissan Ariya

Nissan Aims To Entice EV Owners With New Customer Care Package

2023 Nissan Armada Starting Price Climbs To $52,095

Nissan Navara SL Warrior 2023 review

Nissan Qashqai e-Power 2022 first drive

Iwasa completes front-row lockout for DAMS ahead of Nissany

Nissan Qashqai: First Look

OTHER CAR NEWS

;
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network