1.3 DiG-T MH 158 Acenta Premium 5dr Xtronic
£24,550 - £38,840
9.2 - 10.2 seconds
122 - 128 mph
140 - 158 bhp
142 - 160 g/km
Fuel Economy (Combined)
40.4 - 44.1 mpg
Very comfortable and spacious; well equipped; economical engines.
Not particularly attractive exterior; slightly dull interior; unexciting to drive.
The new Nissan Qashqai is a larger and more efficient version of its predecessor. It has more space, better engines and an improved interior, making this practical crossover an ideal family car which is up there with the best. Strong resale values together with economical running costs could make buying a Nissan Qashqai a very sensible option. The Nissan Qashqai was awarded What Car’s 2014 Car of the Year.
The new Nissan Qashqai comes with three engines – a 1.2 litre (113 bhp) petrol version and two diesel versions. The smaller (1.5 litre, 108 bhp) diesel version, like the petrol, is only available with two wheel drive, although four wheel drive is available with the biggest, 1.6 litre diesel (128 bhp) engine. The two diesels are the economical choices, and give a refined performance with plenty of pulling power. As standard all come with a manual six-speed gearbox; there is an automatic option with the larger of the two diesel engines if wanted.
Unless you are looking for a really exciting drive (in which case this is not the car for you), it would be difficult to fault the Nissan Qashqai’s handling. It is quiet, almost purring along at motorway speeds – with excellent comfort levels and supportive seats. There is some controlled body roll, but it never feels unstable – and the suspension system does its job effectively and effortlessly, ironing out almost all the uneven surfaces the road has to offer. The Qashqai’s steering is light and responsive enough to make the car easy to manoeuvre in city traffic, more than might be expected from a car of this size and style.
The front of the Nissan Qashqai has quite an aggressive look about it – it’s chunky and probably an acquired taste. The Qashqai does have some stylish touches though, particularly as you move up through the range. Alloys and LED daylight running lights come with the Acenta model, and the Acenta Premium lightens things up a bit with a panoramic glass roof. The Qashqai is such an excellent car in so many ways though, that any exterior issues you may have are likely to be outweighed by all its other benefits.
The interior of the new Qashqai is an improvement on its predecessor, with a more upmarket feel to the materials and a more streamlined dash. A five inch screen, which is very user-friendly, shows much of the information you will need, while all switches and knobs are firm and solid. There is plenty of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel – although visibility is not the best due to chunky front and rear pillars. The large panoramic roof fitted on higher range models does a lot to brighten up an otherwise slightly dull interior; and while it intrudes slightly into rear passenger headspace, it does still leave plenty of room for all but the tallest of passengers
The new Qashqai’s boot has expanded by 20 litres, to make 430 litres with all seats in place and a hefty 1585 with seats folded. It’s not the biggest in its class, but is very practical with a boot floor which is made up of two panels giving the option of raising or lowering the floor or even acting as a separator creating two compartments. The Qashqai has a flat loading lip which makes putting awkwardly shaped items into the boot much easier. Plenty of cubbies and pockets can be found around the cabin, making it ideal for the family on the move.
The Nissan Qashqai comes with four trim levels, namely the entry level Visia, the Acenta, the Acenta Premium and the top of the range Tekna. The Visia’s equipment levels aren’t too bad at all, with plenty of safety kit, power windows, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, power steering (with normal or sport option), cruise control, stop/start system and Bluetooth technology. It is worth taking a step up to the Acenta though, to get dual zone climate control, alloy wheels and automatic lights and wipers. The panoramic glass roof is thrown in with the Acenta Premium; or if you want to spoil yourself you could go for the Tekna and get heated leather seats, LED headlights and front, side and rear cameras.
The Nissan Qashqai has not been NCAP tested since 2007, but it is fully expected that the 2014 model will be awarded the full five stars when its time comes. Six airbags are fitted as standard, as are various safety systems included in Nissan’s Safety Shield technology. These include front collision avoidance, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, drowsiness detection, parking cameras and park assist. If you invest in a Nissan Qashqai you are likely to want to hold on to it, so will be glad of the engine immobiliser to protect it from thieves.
While the Nissan Qashqai is not particularly cheap to buy, this is adequately compensated for by strong resale values, economical running costs and a good level of equipment. The 1.5 litre diesel claims 74.3 mpg and less than 100g/km CO2 emissions, making it a good bet as a company car as well as a family carrier. Both the other diesel engine and the petrol version have good figures as well, making the car a good option for anyone with economic issues uppermost in their mind when buying.
Reviewed by cars2buy
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