The new Nissan Qashqai: It’s second to none
New Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Tekna
Price as driven: £24,840
This is the second generation of the family car that broke the mould and helped create a whole new segment of ‘crossover’ vehicles, which put a 4×4 shape on the frame of a hatchback.
Changes here are evolutionary, not revolutionary. But it’s a marked step up from an already very high base and comes equipped with a lot of clever high-tech kit – from selfparking to dozy driver alerts.
Good looks, strong stance, plus practical design and execution. Will Sunderland be able to keep pace with demand?
250,000 first-generation Qashqais have been sold in Britain since its launch in 2007 and it’s consistently the UK’s sixth best-selling car.
Built in Britain, where Nissan is now making more than 500,000 cars a year, it had its global launch in the UK.
Good looks, strong stance plus practical design and execution – but with lots of new features.
Light, airy and upmarket interior, plus a vast panoramic glass roof. Mood lighting and downlighters.
Smooth, comfortable drive in supportive heated seats designed by NASA.
More head and leg room, plus a bigger boot, at 430 litres, 20 litres more than on the outgoing model.
Willing, quiet, frugal, efficient and award-winning 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine linked to a six-speed manual gearbox in two-wheel drive mode. Passable pace. Truly low CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
All engines have ‘stop-start’ as standard. The basic 1.2-litre four cylinder turbo petrol manages 50.4 mpg and 129g/km of C02. A 1.6-litre diesel returns 64.2 mpg and 115g/km CO2.
Choice of six-speed manual gearbox or a new seven-speed automatic. The 1.6 diesel engine is also available in four-wheel drive.
Around two inches longer, nearly an inch wider and just over half an inch lower than the present model.
Prices from £17,595 for Visa trim level, rising through Accenta, Accenta Premium and range-topping Tekna, from £23,145.
Designed at Nissan’s European design centre in London, engineered at its technical centre at Cranfield, Beds, and built in Sunderland.
Executives claim it’s already ‘the best self-parking car in the world’. It features a 360-degree camera that gives a top-down bird’s eye view of the car and its position, as well as Intelligent Park Assist, which steers it into a parallel parking bay.
Engineers say the sophistication of self-parking and allied technology means the car already has the building blocks required for Nissan’s intention to produce a fully self-driving car intended for launch by 2020.
Lane Departure warning sounds if the driver drifts out of a motorway lane without indicating. Blind Spot Warning alerts the driver to overtaking vehicles that are out of view.
A front Collision Avoidance system scans the road ahead using radar and can bring the car to a halt if a collision is imminent and the driver takes no action. If an impact is unavoidable, automatic braking mitigates the crash, reducing damage and injury.
Sleepy drivers are given a wake-up call by monitors that check the driver’s steering activity and warn if he or she is about to drift off.
Other safety systems include traffic sign recognition, which flashes up road signs such as speed limits on the dashboard and Moving Object Detection, which warns if objects cross the vehicle’s path when reversing.
All vital information and settings are viewed and managed on a 7 in touchscreen, including satnav, phone and Bluetooth music streaming.
The Qashqai was voted Car Of The Year by What Car? magazine.
It’s no sports car; rest to 62 mph takes around 12 seconds, though it feels pacier.
At first blush, prices look high. But there’s plenty of bang for your bucks – it’s a fully-loaded car that keeps costly extras to a minimum.
Will Sunderland be able to keep pace with demand?