Cleverly keeping up with the Jones, the revised Qashqai

 

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Flashback to 2007 – Nissan launched what is debatably the world’s first compact/mid-sized crossover - if you ignore the Toyota RAV4 in the equation. A roaring success, the Qashqai has sold over 3.3-million units globally since its launch.

 

And for good reason – the Qashqai is a very considered vehicle – its looks, versatility, practicality, comfort, and pricing are all on point. Only now, the Qashqai is even better.

 

The obligatory mid-life facelift has struck. The urban warrior not only looks more modern and distinctive with upgraded quality and technologies, but it is also “City-proof” with a host of very handy safety features.

 

Keeping up with the Jones’, the Qashqai introduces innovative technologies, known as Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) to vehicles currently available locally. The Patrol and X-Trail, which were launched last year, have several NIM features, and the new Qashqai benefits from these technologies too.

 

NIM features include:

-          Intelligent Blind Spot Warning: Alerts the driver of a vehicle in the adjacent lane during lane changes.

-          Intelligent Emergency Braking: Helps avoid collisions by detecting the distance of the preceding vehicle and activating the brakes, if necessary.

-          Intelligent Forward Collision Warning: Sensors analyse the relative velocity of the preceding vehicle as well as the vehicle in front of the preceding one. If the system detects potential risks, it alerts the driver to slow down with visual and audible alerts and will also tighten the seat belt.

-          Around View Monitor: Using five cameras positioned around the vehicle, this technology provides a 360-degree view of your surroundings.

-          Intelligent Cross Traffic Alert: When backing out of a parking space, this feature can detect and warn the driver of vehicles that are approaching behind the Qashqai.

-          Moving Object Detection: Linked to the Around View Monitor, the system analyses video signals in an image-processing unit from the cameras attached to the front, rear and both side-view mirrors of the vehicle. It is then able to detect certain moving objects around the vehicle in real time.

On the inside of the Qashqai, you’ll feel cosy with its wrap-around driver-oriented cockpit. There is a new stylish D-shaped steering wheel which has a horizontal base to make entering and exiting easier. There are also four-way controllers on the wheel for more intuitive use that reduce eyes off the road.

 

There are interior quality enhancements like fancier door handles and air vents, and new stitching that has been added to the centre console armrest, enhancing the Qashqai’s upmarket feel.

 

That cosy feeling continues with the redesigned seats that feature tapered shoulders to offer additional support while also improving visibility for rear passengers.

 

On the tech-side, the NissanConnect touch-screen satellite navigation unit has a smart new user interface, albeit not on the standard of one found in a German rival.

 

Not forgetting practicality, the Qashqai offers loads of clever storage solutions situated throughout the vehicle and a handsomely sized 430-litre boot which increases to 680 litres when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded flat.

 

Appealing to the young at heart, Nissan received feedback from its customers regarding the Qashqai’s sound system. They wanted something extra. Nissan listened and installed a new seven-speaker BOSE Premium sound system with tweeters, woofers and a digital amplifier. Customers who choose the comprehensively specced Tekna model will now enjoy concert-like listening experiences while blazing a trail through the chaotic city.

 

On the outside, you’ll notice there’s an integrated new front bumper and face with the latest incarnation of Nissan’s iconic “V-motion” grille. The halogen headlamps feature a “boomerang” Daytime Running Lamp signature. The clam-shell bonnet and rear bumper have also been redesigned.

 

There are sexy new 17-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels, designed to reduce drag, making the Qashqai more streamlined, and all the enhancements result in an increased overall length of 17mm to 4,394mm while the width (1,806mm) and height (1,595mm) remain unchanged.

 

 

On the road, the Qashqai’s ride handling and steering have been improved in line with customer feedback for increased comfort and a calmer ride. This has been achieved by adjusting the car's dampers (shock absorber). 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.

 

Almost as quiet as a church mouse – there have been significant improvements made throughout the new Qashqai to improve noise, vibration and harshness levels. They include more sound insulation material, additional sealing and the rear door glass is thicker to improve the rear passenger experience. There is also less engine noise thanks to powertrain calibration improvements.

 

Hard to fault, the Qashqai is a winning formula that keeps getting better. If you like it, buy it!

 

Plus +

Good looks.

Great all-rounder.

Good value for money.

 

Minus –

Turbo lag from 1st to 2nd gear.

CVT gearbox.

 

The competition:

Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson, KIA Sportage, Mazda CX-5 Peugeot 3008 and Renault Kadjar

 

 

Pricing

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

 

 

Service and Warranty

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.

 

My choice

1.2 T Acenta                           R367 000

Or

1.5 dCI Tekna                         R434 000

www.nissan.co.za

 

 

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