‘City proof’ Qashqai
ALWYN VILJOEN goes to the Big Smoke to experience the facelifted Qashqai on dirt and tar
NISSAN has “cityproofed” the Qashqai. By this the Japanese manufacturer does not mean no one will steal the vehicle, but that the popular crossover has been given a facelift.
However, with theft statistics an important consideration when buying a new car, it is reassuring to know that the Qashqai does not top the most stolen lists at insurance companies. The facelift focused on connectivity and higher levels of interior quality, improved performance and a contemporary exterior design.
Owners of the 2016 year models will notice the a bigger touch-screen satellite navigation unit and that the roof antenna is now in the shape of a shark fin, as well as a new D-shaped multi-function steering wheel.
One-touch power window switches are now available across the range and all windows can now be opened and closed remotely via the key fob.
The front seats have been completely redesigned with tapered shoulders to offer additional support while also improving visibility for rear passengers.
The cabin has space for bottles, cups, keys and phones. A 430-litre boot increases to 680 litres when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded flat.
Adapting to customer suggestions for excellent audio quality, the Nissan Qashqai now has an all-new sevenspeaker BOSE Premium sound system with tweeters, woofers and a digital amplifier.
Customers who choose the comprehensively specced Tekna model will get enjoy concert-like listening experiences while blazing a trail through the chaotic city. People who choose the entry-level Visa still get good sound, but no satnav nor power sockets for charging the cellphones.
While on the topic of satnav, it is out of date — like most of the optional maps sold with the car be it Audi or Nissan, so I’d recommend stickiong to Google Maps.
From the front, daytime running lights show the new model best, although experts will notice the clamshell bonnet and rear bumper have also been redesigned.
The Qashqai rides on either 17inch or 19-inch alloy wheels, designed to reduce drag. City slickers who will only ever use their Qashqai on tar will be well served by the firm ride of the 17-inch with its lower sidewall, but anyone who faces potholes or stones will do better with the higher sidewalls of the 19-inch alloys.
From the two options, my choice goes to the diesel, but those who don’t like to drive stick have the CVT 1,2 to experience.
Yes, the “stretchy” feeling of variable transmissions takes getting used to, but these systems are cheap and efficient and do keep the revolutions in the optimum powerband, unlike manual transmission systems where the drivers almost always rev too high or too low to get optimum power from their engines.
The new Nissan Qashqai maintains its five-star Euro NCAP Safety Rating and is backed up by Nissan Assured including 24-hour roadside assistance and has a class-leading six-year or 150 000 km warranty, and a comprehensive three-year or 90 000 km service plan. It competes against a raft of crossovers from every manufacturer in SA, but to my mind the competitor that matters most is the new Haval, which is taking on all comers with keen pricing.
1.2 T Visia R334 900 1.2 T Visia + Alloys R346 700 1.2 T Acenta R367 000 1.2 T Acenta CVT R381 000 1.2 T Acenta Plus CVT R394 000 1.5 dCI Acenta R394 000 1.5 dCI Acenta Plus R407 000 1.5 dCI Tekna R434 000
Curvaceous from any angle, the new Qashqai aims to be a bargain buy for city slickers,