20 Jan 2022

Kildare motoring review: The third time’s the charm

Motoring review: The new Nissan Qashqai is a reinvented vision of the original family SUV

Kildare motoring review: The third time’s the charm

The new Nissan Qashqai

It is hard to believe that the Nissan Qashqai is now in its third generation. First introduced in 2007, it started the trend for family SUVs, with virtually every car manufacturer having at least one SUV in their model range now.

The combination of an elevated driving position, rugged good looks and low running costs struck a chord with families seeking the stylish 4 x 4 look. When in 2014 the second generation was launched the Qashqai was even more popular with millions of Qashqai sold worldwide.

Now with the newest edition, the Qashqai boasts huge improvements with more space, better on-board technology and useful practical touches, but it is up against much tougher competition that its predecessors.

The new Qashqai brings a new vision to crossover/SUV design with muscular proportions, a vibrant colour palette (including new two-tone colours), brilliant LED lighting, and a host of other optional extras.

Mild Hybrid Technology

The Qashqai is available with Nissan’s 1.3-litre DIG-T engine — a 12V mild-Hybrid petrol unit with either 138bhp or 156bhp. There are a wide range of trim options available, from entry-level XE, to SV, SV Premium, SV Tech and top-of-the-range SVE.

Standard equipment across all trim levels includes a 7” colour TFT combimeter, i-key with engine start/stop button, intelligent front emergency braking (with pedestrian, cyclist and junction assist), Shark Fin Antenna, rear parking sensors and idle stop start.

Two or Four Wheel Drive

The new 1.3-litre mild hybrid petrol engine includes a Lithium-ion battery which stores energy recovered under braking, and then uses the energy harvested to feed the Qashqai’s electrical system.

There is a choice of either a six-speed manual or CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic transmission, with all trim levels available in a front-wheel-drive format, while four-wheel-drive is available as an option from mid-spec SV Premium trim.

Modern & Uplifted Interior

Everything about the interior of the new Qashqai feels advanced, modern and uplifted, with premium seat materials surrounding occupants in a comfortable manner.

The ergonomically-designed steering wheel, controls and console mean total driving comfort, while enhanced screen visibility and seamless tech integration makes for a relaxed driving experience.

Boot space in the new Qashqai is an impressive 504-litres with the rear seat backs in position, but when the rear seat backs are dropped this extends to 1,592-litres.

Two luggage boards (both with one fully wipeable side) offer 16 boot configurations for maximum flexibility whatever your cargo. Every new Qashqai is equipped with advanced safety technologies designed to watch the road, keep everyone safe and provide maximum peace-of-mind.

Safety systems include Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Prevention and Intelligent Emergency Braking as standard.

Test Car

My test car was a Qashqai SV Premium CVT (automatic) 1.3-litre mild hybrid, which was finished in dynamic Magnetic Blue Pearl paintwork. The CVT transmission allows the car to drive just like a regular automatic and, even though it doesn’t have actual gears, it is surprisingly smooth in its operation.

Manoeuvring the new Qashqai in and out of tight spaces is made simple thanks to light and accurate steering, along with the added benefit of front and rear parking sensors, and rear-view camera.

Refinement in the new Qashqai is vastly superior to the previous generation and, due to the a weight reduction of 60kg, it is now more agile than ever.

Producing 156bhp and 270Nm of torque, the 0-100km/h sprint can be completed in just 9.5-seconds, while consuming as little as 6.4l/100km on a combined WLTP driving cycle.

Verdict, Pricing & Warranty

Structural and engine optimization have been a key part of the development of the new Qashqai in order to deliver great driving performance, as well as improved fuel efficiency.

The stiffer structure offers improved dynamic performance and security, while the extensive use of aluminium body panels reduces overall weight for lower emissions.

The all-new Nissan Qashqai mild hybrid is one the most competitively priced crossovers on the market, and comes future ready in every respect.

Pricing for the new Nissan Qashqai starts at just €32,000 (ex-works).

A comprehensive three-year/100,000km Nissan warranty comes as standard.

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