Qashqai Pilot One Edition dCi 130
twenty or so rivals,
Nissans Qashqai remains the
bellwether of the crossover
pack and now it looks and
drives even better...
THE QASHQAI is the best-selling urban crossover in Europe, bar none. Fresh from
significant upgrades to its looks, interior quality and driving performance,
along with innovative technologies such as ProPilot autonomous drive, there's
much to recommend it not least that it's built here in Great Britain,
at Nissan's Sunderland plant. So, Deal or No Deal (Brexit), you'll always be
able to buy one.
'Tech' is a big pull and the hottest feature at the moment has to be autonomous
driving. Nissan is already well advanced down the self-driving road and its
ProPilot semi-autonomous technology is now available on the Qashqai.
While other carmakers offer similar systems, the Nissan's is more polished,
scoring well for ease of use while taking the strain out of long journeys, particularly
motorway ones. Nissan is rolling out ProPilot first on the aptly named Pilot
One Edition dci 130.
in lustrous Storm White pearlescent paint, it looks like a machine you'd want
to fly in. Fronted by a sharply-creased clamshell bonnet and the brand's signature
thrusting V-Motion grille framed by sleek full-LED headlamp clusters, this latest
take on the Qashqai now measures 4.4 metres nose to tail.
the accelerator and
hear the 1.6 growl
soundtrack that in
everyday driving you
used it but still managed
44.4mpg during a hard
The smooth-flowing flanks are interspersed by attention-grabbing diamond cut
19-inch alloy wheels; 'kicked-up' rear shoulders are topped by an athletic coupe-look
glasshouse with a spoiler and shark-fin antenna. At the back are neatly integrated
wraparound 'boomerang'-style LED taillights but from whatever angle you view
this latest-generation Qashqai, it's got premium kerb appeal.
Under the dci 130's bonnet beats a muscular 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel,
and in the Pilot One Edition it comes partnered with Nissan's Xtronic CVT auto
(with a handy manual override). While oil-burners have had their fair share
of bad press of late, there's still plenty to be said in their favour
namely plenty of torque and flexible power delivery. Whether you suddenly need
to up the pace or just pull safely past some slower traffic the 128bhp dci feels
nicely willing courtesy of its 236lb ft, fully on song from 1,750rpm. Motorways
can be cruised with total ease, made even better by its quiet and refined gait
at (and beyond) the UK's legal limit.
Pin the accelerator and you'll hear it growl but it's a reassuring soundtrack
that in everyday driving you really don't notice. For fuel-conscious drivers
there's an Eco mode we rarely used it but still managed 44.4mpg during
a hard week's test driving. Without doubt the average driver will do better,
and should see the smiley side of 50+mpg.
Crossovers market themselves on the basis of having the driving dynamics of
a well-proven hatchback but not all do. The Qashqai, thankfully, does.
Retuned dampers and increased anti-roll bar stiffness ensure it's an even better
handling car than before; one that drives fluently and can be punted about when
the mood takes you. The electric speed-sensitive steering also offers a choice
between Normal or Sport weightings. Front-wheel drive is the default set-up
but if you feel you really do need drive to all four wheels then 4WD is available
on the dCi 130 turbodiesel with the manual six-speed stick shift.
Most of the time, though, you'll be more than happy with its reassuringly relaxed
manners (backed by a host of safety systems including Nissan's Safety Shield
with Forward Emergency Braking, Driver Attention Alert, Intelligent Emergency
Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, and Intelligent Park Assist) that let you
simply get in and drive, leaving the Xtronic automatic transmission to take
the sting out of today's often tedious and trying driving conditions.
then, of course, there's ProPilot. And it couldn't be easier to use simply
press a single button on the steering wheel when travelling at more than 37mph
and, like its smarter-than-average adaptive cruise control and it will maintain
a set distance from the car in front while automatically inputting subtle steering
adjustments to keep you within your chosen lane and braking oh-so-smoothly when
the traffic ahead stops or another vehicle cut in ahead of you. If you want
to change lanes just indicate in which direction and the system then ups your
speed although you still have to physically steer while crossing into the adjacent
themselves on the basis
of having the driving
dynamics of a
but not all do.
The Qashqai, thankfully,
and increased anti-roll
bar stiffness ensure
its an even better
handling car than before;
one that drives fluently
and can be punted
about when the
mood takes you...
To do its self-driving business it uses three onboard technologies; Lane Keep
Assist, Intelligent Cruise Control and Traffic Jam Pilot as well as using information
provided by its camera and radar that constantly scan the road ahead.
What ProPilot doesn't let you do at least not yet is lean back,
link your hands behind your head and close your eyes as the miles waft by because
this is still a 'hands and eyes on' technology: take your hands off the wheel
for more than a few seconds and you'll be warned audibly and visually to put
'em back don't and you won't go into the naughty corner but you will
feel equally embarrassed when ProPilot then brakes the car to a perfectly controlled
stop (as it also does whenever the traffic in front comes to a halt).
No doubt many drivers would like it to do more but even so ProPilot takes a
huge amount of stress out of long motorway trips, particularly in its experienced-driver-level
anticipation and reassuring sang froid even when, for instance, a carelessly
driven car overtakes you and slews back in too close to your nose (as too many
From the comfort of their seats, passengers will quickly appreciate the Qashqai's
agreeable ride, made even more soothing by the admirable body control over larger
bumps and all degrees of blacktop thanks to the car's Active Ride Control system
something which also benefits the handling when in press-on mood.
Building on the already feature-rich Tekna+ specification, the Pilot One Edition
comes with all the bells and whistles along with some very smart monoform sports
seats with supportive bolstering that not only contribute to a commanding driving
position (with a decent view down the bonnet) but, upholstered in Plum-coloured
soft Nappa leather with some flamboyant 3D quilting on the centre panels, are
front seats are power-adjustable and have two-stage heating; the driver also
gets an easy-entry facility that powers the seat back for hassle-free exits
and forwards again to your last used position once you thumb the Start Engine
button, a seat/mirror memory recall, and four-way power lumber as well as a
sporty, flat-bottomed steering wheel with a satisfyingly meaty leather rim.
well as being seriously multifunctional, with intuitive controls for the multifunction
driver's trip display set between the clear white-on-black dials
and the likes of the cruise, speed limiter, infotainment, etc, that make for
minimal 'eyes off the road' time, it also houses that all-important ProPilot
a tall front passenger will be able to stretch out without cramping those sitting
behind while enjoying a fist-and-a-half of headroom. Further enhancing the roomy
cabin's ambiance is a panoramic glass roof (with a one-shot shade) along with
a tastefully upscale dash treatment boosted by carbon-effect trim and satisfying
upmarket fit and finish.
that many motorists love
to hate but let the
Intelligent Park Assist
take over and tight spots
become something you
actually look forward to.
Even doing-it-yourself is
a doddle thanks to the
Intelligent Around View
Monitor that uses four
colour cameras to deliver
360° views making
reversing and parking so
Entertainment is very well served by an all-new eight-speaker Bose premium sound
system that features two 25mm tweeters at the base of the windscreen, a 165mm
woofer in each front door and a 130mm mid-range speaker in each rear door. Two
further 115mm woofers are housed in a 7.7-litre custom-engineered enclosure
mounted in the spare wheel well, plus there's a BOSE digital amplifier with
eight channels of custom equalisation and digital signal processing for clarity
of acoustics and minimal distortion at higher volumes to create a concert-like
Should you prefer, you can instead listen to the DAB digital radio or go on
the web using Nissan's Connect touchscreen infotainment and navigation set-up
that benefits from a smart new user interface now more intuitive thanks
to a more app-like appearance. The navigation is über-friendly with fast full
postcode destination entry.
Naturally there's Traffic Sign Recognition displaying the posted limit immediately
above your actual digital readout where you can't miss it between the main dials
and where a host of critical driving information can be shown according to your
And when it comes to swallowing bits and bobs the cabin lives up to its family-friendly
billing with large dual-usage cupholders and an adjacent open bin with another
lidded storage box in the central tunnel, plus a large glovebox with a damped
is something that many motorists love to hate but let the Qashqai's automated
Intelligent Park Assist take over and tight spots become something you actually
look forward to. Even doing-it-yourself is a doddle thanks to the Intelligent
Around View Monitor that uses four colour cameras to deliver 360° views making
reversing and parking so much easier.
Other essential kit includes keyless entry and locking (on the front doors and
tailgate) along with keyless start, dual-zone climate control, electric parking
brake, privacy glass, ambient cabin lighting, heated powerfolding door mirrors
(on-demand and automatically on locking and leaving), auto-dimming rearview
mirror, one-shot power windows front and rear (with remote global opening and
closing), handsfree Bluetooth with audio streaming, front and rear parking sensors,
and aluminium sports pedals.
Safety kit is comprehensive with a full suite of driver 'assists'. Chief amongst
these are Intelligent Emergency Braking (now with Pedestrian Detection that
helps to avoid or mitigate collisions with foot-traffic using a combination
of forward-facing radar and a camera), Moving Object Detection (when using the
Intelligent Around View Monitor, the system warns you if something is moving
around the vehicle), Intelligent Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Pilot, Rear Cross
Traffic Alert that warns of traffic crossing behind when you're reversing, Lane
Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and Blind
equally useful features include intelligent chassis control with active ride
control and an electronic stability programme, adaptive LED adaptive front lighting
with dynamic cornering lamps, signature LED daytime running lights and rear
lights, automatic self-levelling headlights, a heated windscreen, tyre pressure
monitoring, intelligent driver alert, automatic headlights and wipers, tyre
pressure monitoring system, height-adjustable front belts, six airbags and a
five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
enduring part of the
Qashqais appeal is its
passenger and cargo
versatility fold down
the 60:40-split back seats
and the 401-litre boot
expands to a very
1,569-litre loadbay with
a completely flat and
You also get Nissans
clever Luggage Board
system with dividers
than can be used to
partition up the cargo
area in sixteen different
ways to best suit
whatever it is you need
The Qashqai's cabin is good for singles, couples, triples, quartets and even
five-strong family units. Back cabin headroom, legroom and foot room is fine
for adults, with well-padded seats and backrests set at a relaxing angle, and
the upscale ambiance is made even better by that huge full-length glass roof
(as already mentioned, there's a powered 'blackout' sunblind for the times you
or your passengers aren't in a sun-worshiping mood).
views of the sky are first-rate, views to the front and side are equally expansive,
helped by the tapered shoulders of the front seats and the fact that you sit
about six inches higher than those in front. Those with youngsters will be glad
of the Isofix child seat anchorage points on the outer seats as well as the
remote rear occupant's seat belt monitoring.
Magazine pockets, usable door bins and a comfy drop down centre armrest with
built in cupholders add the finishing touches to what is a genuinely soothing
place in which to travel.
An enduring part of the Qashqai's appeal is its passenger and cargo versatility
fold down the 60:40-split back seats and the 401-litre boot expands to
a very accommodating 1,569-litre loadbay with a completely flat and seamless
floor. You also get Nissan's clever Luggage Board system with dividers than
can be used to partition up the cargo area in sixteen different ways to best
suit whatever it is you need to transport.
Another practical touch is the reversible finishes on the multi-configurable
luggage boards: carpet on one side; a wipe-clean finish on the reverse. More
good news: when not required the rigid lightweight luggage cover stores neatly
away under the boot floor. Further adding to the Qashqai's multi-usage credentials
is its ability to tow a braked 1,400kg.
With more than eighty awards won (including nineteen 'Car of the Year' titles),
the comfortable, easy to drive and versatile made-in-GB Qashqai deserves its
'rep' as one of the best crossovers on the market. And now it offers a 'self-driving'
feature, there are likely to be many more drivers keen to climb into its cockpit!
Nissan Qashqai Pilot One Edition dci 130
Maximum speed: 114mph | 0-62mph: 11.1 seconds | Test Average: 44.4mpg
Power: 128bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2: 122g/km