The third-generation Nissan Qashqai enters a market stiff with competition and the Japanese automaker has had to fend off competitors in every direction. We tested the new mid-size crossover SUV to see if it still has what it takes and we were pleasantly surprised.

In this article:

Squashing the competition

One could easily argue that Nissan was the progenitor of the crossover. First introduced back in 2006, the Qashqai instantly took off as many were taken with this quirky combination of a hatchback and the larger SUV with the proof being in the hundreds of thousands sold.

South Africa had to wait a few years as the third-generation Qashqai has already been on sale in Europe since 2020 but it would seem that it was all worth the wait as the new, to SA, model arrived with a host of new features that are set to take the fight to a very busy market segment.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Styling 

The Qashqai manages to pull off a fun yet professional appearance with its two-tone paint job, 19-inch wheels, and chunky cladding. Up front, the grille area is dominated by the large chrome v-shape that is matched by the deep v-shaped vents in the bumper. The new generation Nissan badging is present front and rear as well as sharp-edged LED lighting systems.

As a visual package, the new Qashqai not only looks aggressive and sporty but more than capable of taking on a heavy gravel road due to the black plastic cladding present over the wheel arches and under the front and rear of the bumpers.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

This is a very attractive vehicle that will look just as home in a suburban driveway as it will parked curbside outside a fancy bodega eatery. There are elements of seriousness and fun that will appeal to a broad swath of buyers and that is mainly why it is considered the granddaddy of crossovers.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Space & Interior 

Despite the gloomy appearance when first opening the door, the interior of the Qashqai is actually rather roomy and spacious. The black-on-black trimmings do keep things very dark but add to the feeling of luxury with the black leather seats with their quilted design and piano black trim panels giving the model a prestigious touch and feel.

The dark grey panel inserts on the door cards do aim to lighten things up but only just. Sliding in and getting comfortable one very quickly becomes aware of the sheer space around you whether as the driver or passengers front or rear. The boot is also rather large swallowing around 504l of luggage.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Comfort & Convenience 

Nissan has made some major strides here, offering a host of new driver assistance systems and user interface technology. Starting in the centre console you are now able to wirelessly charge your smartphone from the charging tray while it is connected to Apple Car Play or Android Auto. There is a push-button start along with individual zone climate control which takes us up to the 12.2″ infotainment screen.

The steering wheel is comfortable in the hands and the controls are sensibly laid out and control the Bose sound system which sadly didn’t sound as good as the equivalent system in the Mazda. There are plenty of 12v and USB outlets to keep everyone’s devices charged and lumbar massage function in the driver’s seat. (A surprise if you aren’t expecting it!)

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Performance 

The entire thrid gen Qashqai range is powered by a single drivetrain option. Under the bonnet, you will find a 1.3l 4-cyclinder petrol engine coupled to a stepped CVT transmission. The unit delivers 110kW and 250Nm and what is most surprising was indeed the performance. CVT’s usually sap power delivery away but in this power train, losses have been kept to a minimum and you can feel it underfoot.

Nissan provided three drive modes that being Eco, Normal, and Sport and unlike other vehicles where you cannot tell the difference between modes, in the Qashqai, you can definitely feel and see them in action. Sports mode livens up steering and throttle response and holds the CVT longer between “shifts”. We do have one small complaint here and that is the mechanical thump that shudders through the vehicle as the CVT disengages when coming to a stop under medium to hard braking.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Fuel Economy 

Nissan claims the new Qashqai should return 6.9l /100km on the average combined cycle. We can’t help but think it was achieved on a downhill with a tailwind as during our test we were unable to get remotely close to that number, even hypermiling in Eco mode we still only achieved a best of 8.7l/100km and averaged 11.2l/100km for the duration of the test in combined cycle situations.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Safety 

Nissan really has taken a giant leap here now offering Level 1 autonomous driving capability as well as a suite of driver assistance and safety systems. Front, rear, and side cameras can be accessed through the infotainment screen. 6 airbags keep occupants safe while the normal alphabet soup of systems such as ABS, TSC, and EBD take care of the underpinnings. Drivers can now also rely on lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control as well as tyre monitoring systems.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Price 

Nissan has kept the pricing on the new Qashqai as reasonable as possible. Sadly the cost of vehicles continues to rise globally and the half million rand mark is still fairly achievable by many South Africans.

Model Price (incl. VAT)
Nissan Qashqai 1.3T Visia R 568 200
Nissan Qashqai 1.3T Acenta R 639 300
Nissan Qashqai 1.3T Acenta Plus R 670 600

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Competitors 

This segment continues to be one of the busiest in South Africa. The Qashqai shares the space with Hyundai’s Tucson, Kia’s Sportage, Mazda’s CX-5, and Renault’s Koleos. There are a few others but these seem to be its biggest competitors and does well in terms of standard equipment across the range.

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Verdict 

There is very little to not like about the Nissan Qashqai. It’s good-looking, has plenty of premium fitment, is a fantastic drive is reasonably priced. It’s a pity about the clunky drive train and fuel usage but outside of that, it’s a magnificent vehicle that only seems to have cemented Nissan’s title of first and go-to crossover. We highly recommend checking out the Qashqai when shopping in this segment.

Lawrence MinnieLawrence has been involved with motorsports for almost 30 years. Whether it's two wheels or four, if it has an engine, he will try to race it. This love of motor vehicles has led him to ride, drive, film, photograph, and write about his passion. Freelance for a while but now a permanent fixture on the AutoTrader team for over 7 years, Lawrence contributes written, photographic, and video content for AutoTrader and AutoTrader Bikes.View News & Reviews

android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review
android, nissan qashqai 1.3t acenta plus (2022) review

Keyword: Nissan Qashqai 1.3T Acenta Plus (2022) Review

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