The Nissan Qashqai was released during a confusing time in the market. As new designs were appealing more and older structures decreasing in profit, car manufacturers had to come up with a new look that would appeal to the variety of target markets. The Qashqai stood out among the crossover vehicles that were released, with a crossover being defined as a family hatchback that has a slightly rugged and dangerous personality.
The Qashqai’s rounded shape is reminiscent of an MPV, but Nissan insists that it is the company’s latest release of a family car. Although the different impressions are rather confusing, the design does deliver where it matters. The driver enjoys a 20cm higher position and the 10cm ride height is actually more than the class norm. The boot at 410-litres is at the forefront of its kind. For added dimension, there’s the seven-seater Qashqai+2 that adds 75mm on the rear overhand and 135mm in the wheelbase. This is more than enough space for the middle bench to slide back and forth, thus offering more legroom between the third and second rows. The sliding also enables better access to the back. Small kids and medium framed adults will have no problems staying in these seats during short journeys.
The cabin impresses with a sleek design, while making individuals feel safe inside in its snug atmosphere. The interior sports a clean design, spare lines, and a robust finish. The front area has more than enough space, and drivers will have no problems taking in the entire view.
The Qashqai comes with several diesel and petrol engines. There are the 1.5-, 1.6- and then 2.0-litre diesels; the petrols include the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre models. The 148bhp turbodiesel comes highly recommended for its quiet state, low-end response, and revving at 5500rpm. Then there’s the impressive 1.5-litre diesel engine at 150bhp.
The Qashqai also rides quite well thanks to the struts found at the multi-link rear axle and up front. Body roll isn’t perfect during certain conditions, but the strategy of the car is to provide better movement at the wheel. At the same time the wheel is damped. Soft springs are able to control the roll in a different way, while the body movements are well-marshalled for a better feel of the chassis. Electric power steering lets drivers gain better control of the conditions underfoot. The +2 variation offers vast improvements on this experience via firmer damper and springs settings, substantial front brakes, and electric power steering. You definitely feel the difference in the +2 despite the vehicle getting more bouncy as it drives through bumps.
Although there are a variety of engines, power delivery can be a challenge for some of them. The diesels require you to keep pushing the accelerator so that enough of a rev results. If you want a smoother transition, then go for the 2.0-litre petrol at 138bhp that includes either a manual or automatic gearbox.
The 1.6-litre engine is quiet when driving around town but it does have its setbacks on the motorway. Refinement and economy could be better improved by a sixth gear.
What do you think?(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 2 )