SMALL SUV BIG ON VALUE

The range is now com­plete with high-end of­fer­ing

The Chronicle - - Motoring - GRANT ED­WARDS

Un­likely to cause as much ex­cite­ment as a full set of those ridicu­lous minia­tures from the su­per­mar­ket, the com­pact Nis­san Qashqai line-up is com­plete.

Packed with the lat­est safety kit and as well as high-end Nappa leather-cov­ered seats, the Ti grade starts from $37,990 plus on-roads.

For those hunt­ing for value, there is cur­rently a deal of $38,990 drive-away for 2018 plat mod­els. That rep­re­sents a sav­ing of $1500.

There are some good deals on lower spec mod­els, in­clud­ing the ST-L for $31,990 drive-away and the base ST at $27,990 drive-away...but for those that can stretch, it’s the Ti which has all the best good­ies.

VALUE

Noth­ing is left on the op­tions list, and for the $9000 jump over the base ST model you get the spe­cial leather 3D quilted seats with elec­tric ad­just­ment for the front two chairs, key­less en­try with push-but­ton start, seven-inch colour touch­screen with sat­nav and dig­i­tal ra­dio, panoramic sun­roof, as well as dual-zone aircon.

The Qashqai was up­dated in De­cem­ber when Nis­san in­tro­duced more sound-dead­en­ing ma­te­ri­als and im­proved use of soft-touch ma­te­ri­als.

Stop-gap N-Tec mod­els are still be­ing phased out and while they are equipped sim­i­larly, the Ti adds the bet­ter seats, radar cruise con­trol and func­tion­al­ity that can steer the car if it starts to wan­der­ing out­side the lane without in­di­ca­tion.

Ser­vic­ing in­ter­vals are every 10,000km or an­nual, with the av­er­age price over 12 vis­its $315.

The war­ranty is three years or 100,000km, with road­side as­sist for the same pe­riod.

An ex­tended war­ranty deal is avail­able for an­other three years as long as it hasn’t cov­ered more than 150,000km.

DRIV­ING

Across the range is the stan­dard four-cylin­der petrol en­gine and un­for­tu­nately the Ti doesn’t gain any ad­di­tional zip.

That doesn’t mean it’s a slow­coach. The con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion works well in tan­dem with the en­gine (of­ten those trans­mis­sions can sound whinier than Phil Gould) but it lacks some punch for those who like more ur­gency un­der their right foot.

With a firm ride it bor­ders on sporty, although it mostly feels ad­e­quate in most de­part­ments — do­ing its in­tended job as a fam­ily hauler well.

Look­ing the part, the Qashqai has Euro­pean ap­peal, es­pe­cially im­pres­sive with the blue ex­ter­nal colour scheme and the 19-inch di­a­mond cut al­loys. Other colour op­tions are var­i­ous shades of grey, red, black and white.

Boot space is im­pres­sive by com­pact SUV stan­dards and good enough for a cou­ple of large suit­cases. Drop the rear seats and the 430-litre space ex­pands to just shy of 1600.

SAFETY

Only avail­able on this Ti model, the radar cruise con­trol func­tion can main­tain the Qashqai’s po­si­tion be­hind ve­hi­cles at three pre-set dis­tances that can be set by the driver.

It also comes with au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing which can ap­ply the brakes to avoid or lessen an on­com­ing ac­ci­dent, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, 360-de­gree cam­era view, blind spot warn­ing, au­to­matic high beam and rear cross traf­fic alert.

Avail­able from Armstrong Nis­san, 78 Neil Street, Toowoomba.

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