Nissan Qashqai SUV Review
|Topics: Nissan Qashqai
March 21, 2013
The Nissan Qashqai
The idea of Crossover Utility Vehicles isn't particularly new to the scene, with Nissan having produced models that qualify for that tag since 2007, but the new models of the compact Nissan Qashqai (known as the Nissan Dualis in Japan and Australia) have definitely moved things up a level.
Since replacing the off-road capable body-on-frame Mistral, the continuing popularity of the Nissan Qashqai in the UK and worldwide sales figures of more than a million shows how well it covers all of the most important bases.
The 'crossover' aspect really means that the appeal of a raised ride-height SUV needs to be neatly combined with the low running costs and compact design of a family sized hatchback, and this is exactly where the Qashqai makes its mark.
A slight redesign in 2010 means that the Qashqai still looks the part and the fact that it is only a little bigger overall than a Volkswagen Golf means that it is perfectly suited to in-town use, with parking manoeuvrability far greater than a larger traditional SUV.
All models come with alloy wheels whilst the choices in upgrade n-tec+ and Tekna models include different styling options such as 18-inch alloys and panoramic sunroof.
There is also a seven-seat Qashqai+2 version, which fulfils all the roles that a full sized SUV can provide but at the sacrifice of the ease of use aspects inherent in the 'compact' version.
The Qashqai is possibly the best example of a Nissan interior at this price point, with attention paid to the kind of details a buyer looking at a CUV will have at the top of the list. The high window line and chunky centre console give a feeling of security and safety, whilst the modern clean lines give a sparse modern feel that also provides excellent views all round.
Equipment wise the in built sat nav performs perfectly and has a well considered high mounted location, making for great ease of use.
However the plus points offered by the 'compact' selling point do come at a slight trade off. Rear cabin leg room is on the short side and taller passengers may feel a little claustrophobic. For short journeys it is fine, but as the rear seats don't slide, recline or tumble, comfort can be an issue.
With a five-star rating from Euro NCAP the Qashqai's safety record is beyond question and for a family vehicle this is often the number one priority. Six airbags, ESP, ABS and brake assist all come as standard.
Fuel consumption is good across the range of diesel engines and the 1.6 dCi has a stop-start system, does 63mpg and with CO2 emissions as low as 119g/km has appeal across the whole usage spectrum.
Although it qualifies for a low insurance group, the price is only slightly cheaper than the premium Volkswagen Tiguan so there might need to be a certain weighing up of figures when it comes to fitting a Qashqai to your own budget.
However, the ongoing popularity of the range and the undoubted appeal in what is a highly defined class of vehicle means that resale values are good.
All in all, if you are looking for something to fit into the niche between a around town SUV and a more sturdy family hatch The Qashqai continues to be on the top of the list.
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