QUASHQAI TENKA+ NISSAN
ASK anyone at Nissan and they’ll tell you that the Qashqai is the original crossover vehicle. The first-generation model was launched back in 2007, and since then the Japanese manufacturer has gone on to sell around 2.3 million examples in Europe alone. Now in its second generation, Nissan is confident that the latest Qashqai will be able to continue on the success of its predecessor.
From an aesthetic point of view, not a huge deal has changed with the new Qashqai compared with the secondgeneration model that was launched in 2014. There’s a slightly revised front end, with a larger ‘V-motion’ grille, sleeker headlights and taillights and more chrome brightwork to help give the Qashqai a more upmarket image.
A new top-flight trim level has also been introduced – called Tekna+ – which Nissan hopes will appeal to those buyers after a more premium crossover. There’s also greater emphasis on refinement in the cabin.
The biggest headline with the new Qashqai, however, is Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology. This will be available from 2018, and will allow the Qashqai to control its steering, acceleration and braking in a single lane on motorways at cruising speed and in heavy traffic.
We were handed the keys to the rangetopping Tekna+ model, which was fitted with Nissan’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. This power plant develops a modest 109bhp and 260Nm of torque, which allows for a 0-60mph sprint time of 11.7 seconds and a top speed of 113mph.
While performance might not be this engine’s forte, it’s certainly impressive as far as economy is concerned. Nissan claims the 1.5-litre diesel unit can manage a combined fuel consumption figure of 74.3mpg, while CO2 emissions stand at 99g/km.
To say the Nissan Qashqai is an exciting car to drive would be an overstatement. It’s certainly capable, but it’s not going to set your heart racing with any outstanding dynamic abilities.
Through the corners, it’s predictable and while there is a bit of body roll, it’s not enough to make you feel unsettled.
While the Qashqai may not be at home on a winding country back road, as a longdistance cruiser it makes a great deal of sense.
Even on those large 19-inch alloy wheels, our test vehicle dealt with imperfections in the road rather well, and there wasn’t a great deal of road or wind noise that made its way into the cabin.
The seats are also impressively comfortable, combining a good amount of softness and support.
Compared with its predecessor, not a great deal has changed. The front end has been touched up a bit, while the back end of the car has also been slightly revised.
There are new headlight and tail lights, while the V-Motion grille at the front end of the car has also been enlarged. Higherspecification models feature a greater amount of exterior chrome brightwork to help give the new Qashqai a more upmarket look.
While these changes certainly aren’t drastic, they do help the Qashqai look fresh when compared with its immediate rivals. That said, they don’t go far enough to making the Qashqai look truly desirable. It’s certainly not unattractive, but it’s not going to excite anyone, either.
You can tell that Nissan has really worked hard to make the interior of the latest Qashqai an appealing place to sit. Our top-flight Tekna+ model featured plush quilted leather seats, a premium Bose stereo system and smart-looking piano black panelling around the infotainment system.
However, while these features might go some way to lifting the appeal of the Qashqai, there are still a number of surfaces that remind you it isn’t quite the premium crossover it’s cracked up to be.
As far as interior space is concerned, the Qashqai will easily meet the needs of most modern families.
As you would expect from a top-level trim, Tekna+ offers Qashqai buyers plenty of kit for their money. Prices start at a fairly considerable £27,830 and will get you standard equipment such as full Nappa leather upholstery, a premium Bose sound system, electronically adjustable driver’s seat and a panoramic glass roof.
However, the vast majority of Qashqai customers will likely opt for the midrange N-Connecta models, which start at £23,805. Standard equipment with this trim level includes a seven-inch touchscreen with sat nav, 18-inch alloys, and a range of driver assist systems such as intelligent emergency braking and lane departure warning.
While the Qashqai may not be at home on a winding country road, as a long distance cruiser it makes a great deal of sense
The Nissan Qashqai now has new premium crossover enhancements that offer outstanding technology and steady on-the-road performance