Nissan Qashqai is a highly specified small SUV – great as a second vehicle for the family with 2.4 kids, an excellent school transport, and weekend sports vehicle

What is it: The motoring world has changed. Once where Toyota Corolla, Mazda 2, Holden Astra, Mitsubishi Lancer and the like were selling like hotcakes, the finish time of the small sedan and hatch is fast approaching. There’s still a market for these passenger cars, at least for a while, but the era of the small and medium SUV is upon us. Nissan threw the keys to their Nissan Qashqai to me and I’m pleasantly surprised.

 Key Competitors: Nissan Qashqai falls into the SUV Small category and there’s a plethora of competition in this category. Mitsubishi ASX has been market leader, albeit on price, but here’s the list of brands and models that Nissan is up against

Fiat 500X, Ford Ecosport, Haval H2, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Jeep renegade, Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX, Peugeot 2008, Renault Captur, Skoda Yeti, Ssangyong Korando, Subaru XV, Suzuki Ignis, Suzuki S-Cross Suzuki Vitara, Toyota C-HR, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and probably MG GS.

Base Price:  $32990 plus metallic paint will equate to around $37260 drive away in Queensland. On road costs will vary depending on the state you’re in

Nissan is offering drive away deals on 2017 plate Series 1 vehicles.

QASHQAI MANUAL ST $23,990.00 Driveaway
QASHQAI CVT ST $26,990.00 Driveaway
QASHQAI MANUAL TI $32,490.00 Driveaway
QASHQAI CVT TI $35,490.00 Driveaway
QASHQAI CVT TS DIESEL $30,990.00 Driveaway
QASHQAI CVT TL DIESEL $36,990.00 Driveaway

Check the end piece for a list of Nissan dealers that meet my ‘buy from’ excellence standard

Front

Nissan Qashqai has the familiar Nissan front including the grille typical throughout the Nissan SUV range. Not too much more to be said other than daytime driving lights are standard. It’s a design that most of the population buying into this category won’t be too alarmed with

Under the bonnet

Nissan Qashqai comes with a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder engine, producing 106kw of power and 200 Nm of torque. What does that mean? The engine is more than sufficient for the typical user of Qashqai – around the city and suburbs commuter vehicle still providing that wonderful visibility. Nissan Qashqai offers a 6-speed manual transmission in the base ST model and has a CVT transmission for the ST-L and N-Tec models. The CVT transmission which I drove is smooth and reliable which is smooth and reliable.  A little bit heavy on fuel usage around town, with 9.2 litres per 100klm, it averages a respectable 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres in combined figures.

Down the Side

Key Competitors

Arguably the most competitive segment in the Australian car market, the medium SUV market is crowded with excellent vehicles. Even the Chinese brands Haval and MG are producing very good cars. It’s almost impossible for anyone to assess these brands and all the models within each model range, so affordability and brand reputation will undoubtedly come into play. Of course, there are a few brands that exclude themselves due to historic service and warranty concerns – Ford, Holden, Jeep, and Volkswagen may be suspect, but the others are all worthy of your consideration.

Ford Escape             Haval H6                   Holden Equinox                  Honda CR-V         Hyundai Tucson      Jeep Cherokee        Kia Sportage                        Mahindra XUV500

Mazda CX-5             MG GS                       Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross       Nissan X-Trail           Renault Koleos        Skoda Octavia         Subaru Forester

Suzuki Grand Vitara          Toyota RAV4           Volkswagen Tiguan

The first Outlander introduced onto the Australian market was just downright ugly with a big ‘nose’ leading the vehicle. In 2018 however that ‘nose’ has had a rhinoplasty and the grille and bumper are typical of all the other entrants.

 

Down the side

Nissan Qashqai comes with a suite of active and passive safety systems, including but not limited to the following

Driver and front passenger SRS Air Bags

Driver and front passenger Side Air Bags

Curtain SRS Air Bags

Anti Locking Brakes

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution

Intelligent Emergency Braking

Dynamic Control with Active Traction Control

Hill Start Assist

Forward collision warning

Adaptive Crusie Control

Blind Spot Warning

Rear Cross Traffic Alert

Lane Departure Warning

 At the back

 

Nissan Qashqai

Reverse Sensors and a Reverse Camera with predictive path display are standard features adding to the overall safety package.

Give that this Qashqai ST-L is a five-seater, the luggage area is large. Golf clubs, pram, shopping, market-day purchases – if you can’t fit everything into the space, you need a bigger vehicle. Capacity with the second-row seats up is 430 litres, with the second row down, 1598 litres.

If you want to tow with the Nissan Qashqai, your load with electric brakes fitted runs to 1200kg which is sufficient for a small tinny, or even a pop top campervan or medium-sized trailer. Without electric brakes, your capacity drops to 729kg but even that is more than capable of towing the weekend box trailer.

Drivers Side

Nissan QashqaiFrom the Nissan Qashqai brochure: “The new Nissan QASHQAI combines stunning, sophisticated looks with efficient aerodynamics. Step inside the Nissan QASHQAI and you’ll soon discover a suite of intelligent technologies that make you more confident behind the wheel.”

Alloy wheels are standard on all models from 17” on the ST, 18” on the ST-L and 19” wheels on the N-TEC. The Nissan Qashqai design cues are similar to all the other competitors in this segment. Rear passenger access is excellent and there’s plenty of room to boot, even for the middle seat passenger.

 

 

 

Driver’s Seat

Nissan QashqaiThe Nissan Qashqai is surprisingly comfortable for a small SUV. Nissan have up-spec’d the drivers position with very nice standard features, particularly in this ST-L

Leather steering wheel and gear shift knob

Heated Front Seats

Pollen Filter

Tilt and Telescopic steering wheel

Driver footrest

Central Door Locking

Push Button Start

Folding door mirrors

Automatic Rain-Sensing Wipers

Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection

Illuminated Glove Box, Illuminated Sun Visors, and map lights

Bluetooth

Nissan QashqaiWith this ST-L you’re getting up in spec compared to the base ST. Rear view camera, Intelligent Emergency braking, leather-accented steering wheel and Around View Monitor, Satellite Navigation, heated front seats, part leather seat trim and 18” alloy wheels.

If you take one more upgrade to the N-Tec, you add a Panoramic Glass Sunroof, Adaptive front headlight system, intelligent park assist, dual zone climate control and 19” Alloys. The price difference between the three models – ST starts at $29490, ST-L adds $6695 whilst the N-Tec goes up another $3605. ST-L is the value for money model in my opinion.

 

 

 

On the road

I’ve driven various SUV’s recently – Kia Sportage, Suzuki Vitara Turbo, Haval H6, Land Rover Discovery, Nissan X-Trail, Mazda CX-5 and others. The Nissan Qashqai is as good if not better than all of these in so many ways. It’s smooth on the road, handles extremely well it’s spacious and has all the technology you’d want to keep your family safe. And it’s quiet as well.

You’ve got to remember that this is a passenger based SUV. It provides a comfortable ride for the driver and front seat passenger, but anyone bigger than children will be a bit cramped in the back. Even so, it’s a comfortable 4 seater, a bit squeazy 5 seaters with arguments sure to break out as to who gets to sit in the middle back seat. On the road, Qashqai is smooth and refined. Little or no body roll at highway speeds, good brakes, and excellent steering. Whilst it’s 35 degrees in southern Queensland, the air conditioning works a treat – no climate control in this model, but it’s not hard to make the cabin cool. For winter or colder times, the front seats are heated and that’s a nice thing.

The parking brake is electric, whilst auto hold for hills is standard. One good thing about this aspect for the Nissan Qashqai is that the park brake will automatically let itself off when you move forward, even if you’ve forgotten to press the button.

Green Vehicle Guide

The Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide website uses politically correct terminology to determine fuel economy. Urban, extra urban and combined. I’ll call it the way it is – City and suburbs, Highway and still use combined.

You might recall that these tests are conducted in a laboratory to Australian Standards so don’t expect to achieve City and Suburb results the same as these. In my experience, I’ve found that the highway test is closest to the actual economy you’ll get, but the city results can be undercooked by about 20%. Hopefully, real-world tests and results will be provided this year.

Combined Cycles (Highway and City)                         6.9 litres per 100klm

City Cycle                                                                           9.2 litres per 100klm

Highway Cycle                                                                  5.5 litres per 100klm

Air Pollution Standard                                                    Euro 5

Tail Pipe Co2                                                                     194 Grams per kilometre

ANCAP Safety

These ANCAP safety tests were conducted in December 2017. So just before the new standards were introduced. I’d be comfortable in saying that if tested under the new regime, it would still achieve 5 stars.

Nissan Qashqai ANCAP

I’ve stated before in these articles, that there really isn’t a bad car being sold in Australia. That being said, if the vehicle you’re looking at doesn’t have a 5-star ANCAP rating, move on to something else.

Where to buy:

Vehicle provided by Nissan Australia. If you’re in the market to buy a Qashqai, pick your dealer carefully. When I want to check out the ‘worthiness’ of a dealer, I Google ‘Nissan  Dealers Brisbane” where the city is the one that you live in or around.

From a South East Queensland perspective here’s the dealers I’d visit

North Side                         Aspley Nissan                         4.8 Stars

East Side                            Cleveland Nissan                   4.5 Stars

South Side                         Springwood Nissan               4.1 Stars

West Side                          None to recommend

Sunshine Coast                 Cricks Nambour Nissan       5.0 Stars

Gold Coast                         von Bibra Nissan                    4.7 Stars

Surprise and Delight

I’ve had automatic windows in my last few cars. And BMW and Volkswagen at least have them as standard throughout their range. What am I talking about?

When you’re approaching your car, assuming it’s been sitting in the sun for a while, by pressing the ‘open’ button on the keyfob, the windows will lower, allowing some fresh air to enter the car. Reversing that procedure – if you’ve forgotten to check all the windows are raised, and rather than walking back and around the Qashqai, simply press and hold the lock button on the keyfob and up go the windows. I love this – it’s not expensive from a manufacturers viewpoint to ad it, but it does make me happy. Best idea, people at Nissan, is to let your salespeople know about the feature. It really is a surprise and delight

Pro’s and Con’s

I like:                     Auto Windows up and down

Power of the engine

Smooth Transmission

I don’t like:          Fuel economy around the city

 

Bob Aldons

Bob Aldons is The Car Guy.

Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large. He’s spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. Bob knows cars.

Find One – Obligation Free

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Australian Road Safety Foundation

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