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MARCH 2018
MARCH 2018
Pat McCormack
The latest Qashqai aims to match the success
of its predecessors, writes
Bernard Potter
Over a decade ago, the appeal of Nissan's Qashqai played a key role
in kick-starting the demand for crossover SUVs that ultimately led
to the category's huge popularity today.
The original Qashqai's success was based on a multi-faceted
versatility that combined ample load-carrying capabilities, compact
dimensions, passenger comfort and an aura of assurance around its
performance and safety features. This iteration of the Qashqai aims
to live up to that pedigree.
Blueprint for success
The model under test, the SVE, is top of a range that also includes
the standard XE, the SV and the SV Premium. The new model looks
good in a family-friendly, don't-frighten-the-horses sort of way. A
little extra sleekness has been added without significantly altering
the Qashqai's iconic profile. Innovations are subtle not dramatic,
reflecting the design and engineering approach taken to all aspects
of the latest model. Nissan's engineers are not straying too far from
the existing blueprint.
Inside the SVE, typical enhancements include understated tweaks
to the cabin trim and slyly stylish flourishes like the D-shaped
steering wheel. The dashboard incorporates a drive-assist display
that's practical and easy to use. The drive assist pack includes blind
spot warning, moving object detection and intelligent park assist.
Reassuringly familiar
Premium Nappa leather driving seats are typical of the attention
to driver and passenger comfort in the SVE and will not come as a
surprise to owners of the previous model. Driving the new Qashqai
is a reassuringly familiar experience, with dependable steering
and excellent cornering. As with previous models, the priority is
to ensure that, in so far as is possible, the Qashqai motorist has an
uncomplicated and stress-free drive.
Non-believers may feel the Qashqai's sense of adventure is
constrained by the pressure to live up to its previous successes but
a loyal Irish fan base (the Qashqai was the third highest-selling car
here in 2017) is unlikely to be disappointed.
SVE Qashqai
1.2 petrol
Fuel consumption (combined) (manufacturer's figures)
emissions (manufacturer's figures)
New Qashqai: An iconic profile, with extra sleekness.