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Car Review: New Nissan Qashqai

Nissan brings the Qashqai back to the city…

Deep in the urban jungle

We’ve just returned from the very exciting launch of the new Nissan Qashqai, and having spent two days in the heart of Johannesburg’s CBD, Nissan wanted us to see exactly why Europe’s best selling crossover has claimed the hashtag #CityProof.

Design + Tech = #CityProof

According to Nissan, the basic formula is that innovative design + advanced technology = a city proofed crossover, and for the Qashqai, a couple of premium enhancements and ingredients have been added to Nissan’s popular vehicle.

With these new technology and design upgrades, the Qashqai  now offers more convenience, comfort and style, particularly in its urban environment.

Outside

One needs to be pretty familiar with its predecessor to be able to spot new enhancements to its exterior. On close inspection, the new Qashqai reveals new 17-inch and 19-inch alloys and body styling, with the most striking of all being its integrated front bumper and face with Nissan’s iconic “V-motion” grille and headlights. The new Qashqai’s nip and tuck also includes a set of new rear headlights.

Also read: Nissan unveils the all-new Qashqai crossover 

Six colours are available to choose from, including a new Vivid Blue, which really compliments its trendy and striking presence on the road.

Inside 

A new steering wheel, an updated infotainment system and soft-touch plastics around the cabin make up some of the Qashqai’s interior updates, but the real deal here is Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility System, which Nissan has been introducing to vehicles such as the new Patrol, X-Trail and now the new Qashqai. The introduction of NIM on the new Qashqai means that city driving is now safer than ever before.

NIM features include Blind Spot Warning, Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Around View Monitor, Cross Traffic Alerts and Moving Object Detection. Cruise Control comes as standard across the range, as well as Bluetooth and ISOFIX.

Best of both worlds

So what do we want from a city crossover? Well, for starters I think most of us city-goers look for something that’s small and nimble enough to get through heavily congested areas like Cape Town’s Strand Street (which is a nightmare in peak hours), but we also want enough space and room inside to feel comfortable while doing it – not fussy at all, are we?

The great thing about the new Qashqai is that it offers both. This also means that while its aimed at those who spend most of their time driving in urban areas, it offers more than enough to keep the family happy on long distance trips too.

The 430-litre boot increases to 680 litres with the rear seats folded down and there’s more than enough storage space around the cabin for things like water bottles, cellphones and keys.

Driving  

South Africa’s road surfaces, even in the city, have become a pretty dismal affair to deal with. Potholes and uneven road surfaces aren’t too kind for those driving in vehicles that aren’t well equipped for these sorts of conditions. Nissan took special care here and worked hard to enhance the Qashqai’s ride handling quality and to help drivers to easily avoid any discomfort or damage to the car.

“The Qashqai’s ride, handling and steering have been improved in line with customer feedback to offer sublime ride comfort and a calmer body motion,” says the automaker.

“The dampers have been retuned, the anti-roll bar stiffness has been increased to maintain handling performance and the NIM Active Ride Control System reduces body motion while going over large bumps.”

Power and performance 

Of the two derivates that we drove at the launch, the range-topping 1.5 dCi Tekna model, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, offered a refined and smooth ride quality and with 81 kW and 260 N.m of torque, it was easy to power up inclines and overtake slow-moving vehicles.

At the lower end of the range, the 1.2T petrol engine offers 85 Kw and 190 N.m of torque, which is all you really need from a city crossover, and it comes with a number of practical features as standard (multi-function steering wheel, electric door mirrors and LED daytime running lights).

Pricing 

The updated range is now priced as below:

1.2 T Visia  – R334 900

1.2 T Visia + Alloys – R346 700

1.2 T Acenta – R367 000

1.2 T Acenta CVT – R381 000

1.2 T Acenta Plus CVT – R394 000

1.5 dCI Acenta – R394 000

1.5 dCI Acenta Plus – R407 000

1.5 dCI Tekna – R434 000

The Qashqai is backed up by Nissan Assured including 24-hour roadside assistance and has a class-leading 6-year/150,000km warranty, and a comprehensive 3-year/90,000km service plan.

With so much to choose from in the Qashqai range, including enhanced technologies and a substantial warranty to offer peace of mind to its customers, it’s been worth waiting for the updated Qashqai to hit SA, and it is certainly a crossover worth considering in a competitive market.

Source: Nissan South Africa

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