Qashqai 1.6 dCi N-Tec+ Stop-Start 2WD
credited with starting
sector, the British-
built Qashqai is currently Nissan
fastest-ever selling model
and theyve just made it even
SECRET OF ITS SUCCESS is that it 'crosses-over' the ever-blurring
perimeters for SUVs, MPV people carriers and medium-sized family hatchbacks
while at the same time offering buyers a wide range of model options with both
two- and four-wheel drive allied to five- and seven-seater layouts.
Five-seat models cost between £16,495 and £27,095; and £17,895 to £28,445 for
the seven-seater Qashqai+2. Depending on the engine, there are five trim and
spec choices: Visia, Acenta, N-Tec+, Tekna, and Pure Drive.
With the latest introduction of a smaller capacity but more fuel efficient 1.6-litre
diesel engine, the power unit options now include two petrol and three diesel
units; many with either manual or automatic transmissions, as well as 2WD or
majority of UK Qashqai buyers opt for 2WD, diesel power and five seats
so the new pick of the bunch, as reviewed here, is the 1.6 dci N-Tec+ Stop-Start
2WD model costing £23,045 (4WD adds £1,550). Both versions have a six-speed
manual 'box and, as yet, there's no auto option.
Replacing the 2.0 dci unit in manual guise,
the 1.6-litre diesel not only boasts CO2 emissions of just 119g/km but
also offers the same level of performance as the bigger engine...
The 2012 range saw the introduction of the Pure Drive version equipped with
a new state-of-the-art 1.6 dci engine with the Stop-Start system previously
introduced on the 1.6-litre petrol model. This advanced new engine lets drivers
enjoy the best of both worlds: greatly reduced emissions with apparently improved
Replacing the 2.0 dci unit in manual guise, the 1.6-litre diesel not only boasts
CO2 emissions of just 119g/km but also offers the same level of performance
as the bigger engine. Thanks to its 128bhp, it's the most powerful of its size
in the world, while its impressive 236lb ft maximum torque figure is exactly
the same as the 2.0-litre's. Furthermore, the 1.6's peak torque is developed
at only 1,750rpm with some 80% of that available from just 1,500rpm.
The resulting performance lifts this Qashqai above the 1.6-litre class
top speed is 118mph with 0-62mph taking 10.3 seconds for the most popular 2WD
model. And this performance gain is not at the expense of the environment: combined
consumption is 62.8mpg as against 47.9mpg for the 2.0 dci that's an amazing
The CO2 figure of 119g/km is also good news a first year road tax bill
of £0 and then only £30 for the second year onwards. For company and business
car users, of whom there are many, the Benefit-in-Kind tax penalty is just 17%;
in 4WD spec the CO2 figure is 135g/km, pushing BIK up to 21% and road tax to
£120 for every year.
This latest Qashqai has also benefited from a number of innovative items of
equipment including, for the first time in its class, Nissan's Around View Monitor
and it's fitted as standard to all N-Tec+ and Tekna variants.
discreet external cameras, Around View Monitor makes manoeuvring and parking
as safe and easy as possible by giving the driver a real-time, bird's eye view
of the surrounding environment.
Nissans Around View
manoeuvring and parking
as safe and easy
as possible by giving the
driver a real-time,
birds eye view of the
Working seamlessly with the popular Nissan Connect touchscreen navigation system,
Around View Monitor adds three additional cameras to the Qashqai's existing
rear-view system to create the ultimate 360° overview.
My N-Tec+ test car was well-appointed: kit and equipment included SatNav, the
all-seeing Around View system, power windows and door mirrors, AirCon, full
audio system with Bluetooth, rain sensing wipers and auto lighting, on-board
computer, a set of 18-inch alloys and five comfortable seats with the rear three
folding for extra load space.
With the back row seats in position the boot provides a reasonable 410 litres
but fold them down and this mushrooms to 1,513-litres, making it easy to see
why this roomy vehicle is so popular with families and active empty-nesters.
Unfortunately you don't get a spare wheel fitted as standard, just one of those
dubious inflation kits. But at least a spare wheel is available and can be accommodated
beneath the load floor although the extra peace of mind will cost you
Another key purchasing point is the Qashqai's easy-to-drive nature. The command
seating position provides excellent visibility out and the controls are all
easy to see and to use. The seats and wide-opening doors allow hassle-free access
and, I'm told, it's easy to load children into these seats. Even the even less
able will have no problems getting in and out.
The Qashqai's suspension is set up to give a comfortable ride (even with the
18-inch wheels) rather than a firm one, such as that of many other big-wheeled,
hard suspension crossovers. The only downside to this softer setting is that
due to the height of the vehicle there's some bodyroll during faster cornering.
Me, I can live with comfort rather than driving thrills as can most real
biggest reasons to choose the new 1.6-litre turbodiesel are because of its low
road tax and excellent fuel economy my test drive covered the usual motorway
journeys, local trips and stop-start traffic and saw the Qashqai return 53.1mpg.
Impressive even though some way down on the official 62.8mpg figure.
My test drive covered
the usual motorway
journeys, local trips and
stop-start traffic and saw
the Qashqai return
even though some way
down on the official
128bhp engine pulls strongly and is responsive through the mid-range
but let the revs drop too low and the response is flat, and changing down several
gears is necessary to bring the engine back into its power band.
Reasons to buy include the fuel- and tax-efficient new diesel engine, roomy
and comfortable cabin, and ease of driving. Overall, the Qashqai is a well packaged
and versatile vehicle.
And some reasons not to: bland styling, new engine lacks low-down grunt, significant
price premium over the 1.6-litre petrol, and no spare wheel as standard.
This new engine will appeal financially most to high-mileage drivers, especially
so to company car users. Lower mileage retail users might choose to save up
to £3,000 and buy the 1.6-litre petrol version instead although annual road
tax will be £135 instead of £0/£30 and fuel consumption will be in the order
of 45mpg instead of around the 53mpg I saw on test. As they say in America:
Do the math. David Miles
Qashqai 1.6 dci N-Tec+ 2WD | £23,045
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 10.3 seconds | Overall test MPG: 53.1mpg
Power: 128bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 119g/km