Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
Here it is, one of Ireland’s favourite vehicles that regularly sits on top of the sales numbers in this segment. Now with stiffer competition than ever, can the new Nissan Qashqai still roll with the best? Lets find out. The design for the all-new Nissan Qashqai came out of Nissan’s European Studio in London and although it's unmistakably Qashqai, this third generation is more beefy looking with sharper styling. With that said, it looks more evolutionary than revolutionary and the enhanced body stance now has an extended wheelbase increased by +20mm with the overall length increasing +35mm. The height also gets a marginal increase by +25mm and the width has increased +32mm for not just space, but better handling on the road. Looking at the front you get that family famous Nissan V-Motion grille, finished in chrome with a secondary pinstripe of satin chrome to grab further attention. Each side of the grille, slim full LED advanced matrix headlamps with boomerang signature daylight running lights look sharp and ultra modern. Looking down the side a single ‘fast line’ that runs through the car from the front to the rear, gives it a sleek look but doesn’t feel like its trying to hard to be something its not. Although our test car had a 19-inch wheels, this new generation Qashqai will be available for the first time with 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. These larger diameter wheels will no doubt fill the arches but be sure to test ride quality before you make a purchase. The new Qashqai is also available in 11 body colours with five two-tone combinations, creating 16 variations to choose from in total. With so many Qashqai’s on Irish roads, its nice to have the option to personalise yours!
Nissan have always been strong on the tech front and the Qashqai doesn’t disappoint with a connected, comfortable and commanding new cabin. Extensive attention has been paid to the touch and aesthetic quality of the switchgear and buttons with a premium quality, tactile feel giving buyers a nicer driving experience. You get an advanced infotainment system with a broad portfolio of connected services including seamless integration of smartphones, in-car WiFi for up to seven devices and NissanConnect Services, a dedicated app with which to interact with and monitor the vehicle. The larger, higher resolution 9-inch NissanConnect display screen is a digital gateway to navigation, entertainment and vehicle settings. It is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with wireless Apple CarPlay also introduced. The new high-definition, fully electronic 12.3-inch TFT multi-information screen offers a choice of configurable layouts to display navigation, entertainment, traffic or vehicle information, all controlled from a new tactile dial switch on the steering wheel. It’s super user friendly and even has ‘Home-to-Car’ skills compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices. Rear passengers are not forgotten about either with connectivity extending to all occupants thanks to front and rear USB charging connections with both USB-A and USB-C ports. Young and old will be impressed by the space, technology and quality of the interior.
The Nissan Qashqai will not only be available with a 1.3 DiG-T petrol equipped with mild hybrid technology, but it also hosts the European debut of e-POWER, Nissan’s innovative and award-winning powertrain that takes tech from the boffins who created the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. With both 2WD and 4WD variants, 6-speed manual or new Xtronic transmissions, and pure-electric motor driving courtesy of e-POWER, the all-new Qashqai’s powertrain options cater for every customer requirement. Touching more on the innovative e-POWER drive system we learned that it is a unique approach to electrification for Nissan. The Qashqai’s e-POWER system is comprised of a high-output battery and powertrain integrated with a category-leading variable compression ratio 154hp petrol engine, power generator, inverter and 140kW electric motor of similar size and power output as found in Nissan’s electric vehicles. It combines the enjoyable, seamless linear acceleration, which is characteristic of an EV, but without the need for charging. To meet the typical demands of European consumers and their daily drive, the e-POWER installation has been significantly upgraded for the new Qashqai.
The Qashqai has always done well in safety testing over the years and this vehicle is no different. The next generation of ProPILOT driver assistance brings greater support in nearly all circumstances. It comprises clever features like front collision avoidance (autonomous braking), lane departure warning, drowsiness detection, blind spot warning and traffic sign recognition. There are cameras to help you park and detect moving objects behind the car when you’re reversing. Other upgrades include a “flank protection” warning for urban situations, which alerts the driver of the risk of contact with an object on the side of the vehicle, typically when turning into a parking space. Aside from the vast array of tech you also get an extra airbag! The central airbag supplements the driver and passenger airbags, as well as the side and curtain airbags fitted as standard to the new Qashqai and means in the event of a side collision, there will be guard between you and your passengers.
Prices kick off from €30,500 plus delivery and related charges with our test vehicle coming in at €37,995. A top of the range CVT Premium will put you well into the mid 40’s on price but various finance and PCP options are available through Nissan's trusted dealer network.
With the arrival of the new Tucson the game has changed from what customers expect from a family car. Nissan had to have a vehicle to rival Hyundai and with this level of comfort, refinement and technology it will be not only a stiff competitor to the Tucson but also more comparable with more premium segment vehicles. Over the outgoing model the driving experience is significantly better for not just the person in control but also passengers alike. The power-steering set-up has been upgraded, offering improved response, better feeling around the central part of the steering range and it makes for a more engaging drive. Space is ample also and we really liked the powered hands-free tailgate, which makes accessing the boot effortless when hands are full. Overall luggage capacity has increased by over 50-litres from the previous generation model thanks in part to the cargo floor being lowered by 20mm and it’s a very easy vehicle to live with. We were lucky enough to visit the factory in Sunderland for the launch of the previous generation Qashqai, which went on to have serious success and we have no doubt this third generation will do likewise. The Qashqai has always, and by the looks of things, will always, be a clever buy in this segment!
A little bland for some.
To see our YouTube video review of the Nissan Qashqai please click here.
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