Nis­san Qashqai

Ad­vice on buy­ing the best.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

Nis­san’s first cross­over model was also one of its most suc­cess­ful, with more than two mil­lion sold in Europe, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia and the US. It’s a hugely pop­u­lar sec­ond­hand choice. Rob Brad­shaw ex­plains how to get the best deal.

When it was first shown at the 2006 Paris Mo­tor Show, the Qashqai was quite a de­par­ture for Nis­san. Re­plac­ing both the Almera and the Almera Tino MPV, the new­comer was the brand’s first so-called cross­over model.

It was also the first Nis­san to be fully de­signed, en­gi­neered and built in the UK, with most of the styling work car­ried out at the com­pany’s de­sign stu­dio in Padding­ton, the en­gi­neer­ing at the Nis­san Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre Europe in Cran­field, Bed­fordhsire, and the man­u­fac­tur­ing at the com­pany’s plant in Wash­ing­ton, Tyne and Wear.

From the out­set, it was a huge suc­cess. Keenly priced, well laid out and de­cent to drive, it was the ve­hi­cle that kick­started a rev­o­lu­tion in the new car mar­ket, with buy­ers aban­don­ing tra­di­tional five-door hatch­backs in pur­suit of ever more life­style-based niches.

Three en­gines were of­fered at launch. A 1.6 petrol with 115bhp and a 2.0-litre with 138bhp, along with a 1.5-litre dci diesel, sourced from Re­nault. Both petrol mod­els could be or­dered with a CVT au­to­matic gear­box. With 109bhp, the diesel was only good for steady progress, but was soon sup­ple­mented by a new fam­ily of en­gines de­vel­oped in 1.6 128bhp and 2.0 147bhp units, of­fered as both two- and four-wheel drive.

In­ter­est­ingly, the Qashqai ac­tu­ally had less boot space than the Almera it re­placed, but fea­tured a num­ber of hid­den and clever stor­age ar­eas, such as a se­cret cubby box be­neath the main one in the arm­rest and, on some mod­els, a mo­du­lar boot floor with a sep­a­rate com­part­ment be­neath.

More seats op­tion

In 2008, Nis­san ex­tended the range fur­ther with the Qashqai+2. As the name sug­gests, this was a seven-seater, al­though legroom in the rear was ex­tremely cramped and only re­ally suit­able for chil­dren. For most Qashqai buy­ers, that was who would be sit­ting in them, so they serve a pur­pose.

In terms of trim lev­els, the range kicked off with the Visia, which was pretty well catered for with air­con, four elec­tric win­dows, a trip com­puter, Blue­tooth, six airbags, al­loy wheels and a CD stereo. The door mir­rors, han­dles and front grille were fin­ished in un­painted black plas­tic to re­mind you that it was the base model, but it’s not a bad pack­age and is more gen­er­ous than most Euro­pean ri­vals.

Pro­duc­tion line at the Tyne and Wear plant.

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