Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but can the Nissan Qashqai keep ahead of rivals asks Suzanne Keane
What is it? The Nissan Qashqai’s success may have earned it the nickname “Cash Cow” but since the original version was launched plenty of rivals have appeared on the scene.
Who is it aimed at? The reason the Qashqai has been so successful comes down to its versatility – it offers a practical family car with 4×4 styling and plenty of space.
Styling? The 2nd generation Qashqai has a more aggressive stance with sharper lines to keep up with the competition.
Under the Bonnet? Our car was powered by a 1.6 diesel engine. Also available is a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.5 litre diesel.
What about inside? The previous model Qashqai had a very practical and basic feel to the interior but this has been vastly improved in the latest edition. The dashboard design and finish is great and the lighting along the gearstick ads a futuristic feel in darkness. There’s plenty of space for 5 adults and the leather seats finish off the cabin but the seat squabs on the front seats did feel a little too short.
On the Road? The Qashqai is quite impressive on the road – despite being a practical family car it tackles bends and bumps effortlessly and the 1.6 diesel engine is well able to keep up on both motorway and winding roads. Around town visibility can be a little poor but at low speeds the camera can be turned on via the touchscreen system to alert you to any obstacles.
And Safety? No shortcuts have been taken as far as safety is concerned and the five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating is reassuring. There are also an abundance of items including ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist system, six airbags, vehicle dynamic control, hill start assistance, an electric parking brake and Isofix child seat anchor points.
Options? The base model XE comes with LED daytime running lights, Cruise control and Bluetooth while the SV trim ads dual zone A/C, 17” Alloy wheels and Automatic wipers and headlights along with a panoramic glass roof.
The SV Premium model gets you the Nissan Connect Pack (7” display, rear view camera) and the around view monitor which gives a birds eye view of the car and its surroundings. It also comes with privacy glass, 18” Alloys and a full leather interior.
The range topping SVE will upgrade you to 19” alloys and LED headlamps with the DAP pack adding a blind spot warning and park assist. There are also a full range of accessories available to tailor a Qashqai to suit your exact needs.
Economy? Depending on your wheel size the 1.6 dCi engine will produce either 116g/km or 120g/km of CO2. The model tested will cost €200 per year on road tax.
Verdict? The previous model Qashqai was a success due to its versatility and practicality. With this new model, especially in SVE trim these attributes have been retained but this time in a much more luxurious package.
Why you’ll buy one? Reliability, Practicality, Looks
Why you won’t? Can be a little pricey at higher trim levels
2016 Nissan Qashqai 1.6 DSL SVE DAP
Engine: 1598cc turbodiesel 130bhp
Max speed: 190km/h
0-100 kph: 9.9 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 120 g/km (€200)
Model price range: €25,245 – €38,345 (Test Car – €35,845)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.6 l/100km
Boot Capacity Seats up(down) : 430 litres (1585)
Car Seats: 3 Isofix fittings in the rear
Wheelbase: 2646 mm
31st March, 2016