Qashqai Tekna+ 1.5 dCi 110 2WD
Qashqai is Nissans
successful model to date with over
one million sold since launch and,
better still, its DBGB Designed
and Built in Great Britain...
SO SHOULD WE ALL, in the words of The Vapors, be turning Japanese? Actually,
when you look at what you get then the answer, certainly for most car-owners,
could very well be Hai! (Yes!).
The Qashqai is the UK's fourth best-selling car (and the only crossover/SUV
in the top ten) with getting on for 60,000 bought in the past twelve months.
These latest five-seater Qashqais are bigger and roomier than any that have
gone before, and earlier this year benefited from a facelift.
This latest Qashqai is a bold looking machine, fronted by a stylish 'V' chrome-and-black
grille and wraparound headlight units capped by a strongly profiled clamshell-style
bonnet that in turn runs back to a steeply raked screen. The flanks are sculpted,
and the waistline rises to a kicked-up rear-three-quarter glasshouse treatment
that adds a flourish of coupe. Finished in Vivid Blue metallic paint and riding
on 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, the Qashqai undeniably stands out from
the crossover crowd.
fuel you favour there's a Qashqai to suit: choose between two diesels (110hp
1.5-litre and 130hp 1.6-litre) or a pair of petrol-drinkers (1.2-litre with
115hp and 163hp 1.6). And if you'd like your crossover with four-wheel grip
or just plain ole (but perfectly fine) two-wheel drive, again the choice is
for one very good reason:
their torque takes the
strain out of hauling full
loads peeps or cargo
while going easy
on the fuel.
And unless youre giving
it some wellie, the four-
pot 1.5-litre diesel under
the Qashqais bonnet
is fairly discreet; at times
you barely hear it at all.
Its also green-hued
enough to make a
difference, emitting just
99g/km of CO2...
There's much to recommend the 1.5-litre 108bhp (110hp) diesel, not least the
191lb ft of torque that's on tap from 1,750rpm and which contributes to its
willing nature; it's nicely responsive, picking up crisply in traffic. Top speed
is 113mph and it will kick the dust up to hit the benchmark 62mph from standstill
in 11.9 seconds. It's also green-hued enough to make a difference, emitting
just 99g/km of CO2.
Diesels remain popular for a very good reason: their torque takes the strain
out of hauling full loads peeps or cargo while going easy on the
derv. If you regularly drive solo or two-up, so much the better. And unless
you're giving it some wellie, the four-pot 1.5-litre diesel under the Qashqai's
bonnet is fairly discreet; at times you barely hear it at all. Obviously with
only 108bhp you'll be best served making proper use of the gears in overtaking
situations if you really need to scoot past not a problem because the
six-speed manual gearbox is an easy-changer.
Cruising motorways it's more than happy at the legal limit. Cars generate a
lot of wind noise, most of it from air streaming under the floorpan, but the
Qashqai has a solution that makes use of underbody Vortex Generators to sort
things out. And it works inside the cabin you won't hear much of any
noise, wind or engine.
These days more drivers are more impressed with miles-per-gallon than miles-per-hour.
Officially, this 1.5-litre unit is good for 74.3mpg. At the end of a hard week's
testing over a mix of roads from single-track lanes to four-lane motorways and
plenty of urban (but decidedly not urbane) stopping-and-starting in between,
our Qashqai had recorded a real-world average of 55.7mpg for a decent-sized
family-friendly car this is more than acceptable. There is, of course, a fuel-saving
idle stop/start system fitted although we do tend to keep them switched off
so the mpg figures we get are worst-case.
And for many drivers, the Tekna+ version's cabin will be as equally appealing
as its engine's restrained thirst. Taking up a usefully compact 4.4-metres of
road space, the Qashqai's interior is genuinely accommodating; it's also well-designed
and upscale attractive with ambient lighting, metallic and high-gloss
black finishing, Monoform sports seats with quilted centre panels upholstered
in black Nappa leather, well stocked with kit, and open to the skies…
almost the standard-fit full-length glass roof makes for a great cabin
ambiance, and there's a powered one-shot blackout shade for when things get
sit high off the floor, so that sought-after 'commanding' driving position is
a given, along with good visibility in all directions and a proper view down
the bonnet it also makes getting in and out physically easy. Once in
there's generous headroom, and you'll find the seats long-term supportive (especially
around your shoulders) with bolstering that keeps you nicely located.
days more drivers
are more impressed
At the end of a hard
weeks testing over a mix
of roads from single-track
lanes to four-lane
motorways and plenty of
urban (but decidedly
not urbane) stopping-
and-starting in between,
our Qashqai had
recorded a real-world
average of 55.7mpg
for a decent-sized
this is more than
The driver gets a meaty-rimmed, flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel,
powered seat adjustment with powered 4-way lumbar and a memory function that
includes the door mirrors (the front passenger also enjoys a power-operated
seat but with manual lumbar adjustment); both front seats are also heated (very
effectively too), while height-adjustable front seatbelts ensure a nice fit
when you're belted-up.
Making life even easier for the driver is a hassle-free auto releasing electric
parking brake that self-applies when the engine is switched off and can be set
to automatically hold the car when stopped in traffic (don't worry, it then
auto releases as soon as the accelerator is pressed). All of which makes the
Qashqai is a very easy car to just get in, start and drive away perfect
in our hectic and complicated world.
The instrument panel has very clear, white-on-black, reflection-free dials covering
speed and revs, separated by a multifunction driver's information display that
shows, at your fingertip's command via the multifunction wheel, everything from
your road speed to traffic signs recognised by the onboard camera (helpfully,
any conditional speed limits appear alongside the official posted speed limit),
cruise and speed limiter info, trip control data, turn-by-turn navigation prompts,
tyre pressures, and vehicle settings, to the status of your Qashqai's driving
aids (lane departure, blind spot, emergency braking, etc).
In-cabin storage easily passes muster with a very deep and sizeable bin (and
inner upper tray) beneath the wide-enough-to-share padded armrest between the
front seats, large cupholders, another deep open tray ahead of the gearlever,
and a usable damped glovebox.
The Tekna+ specification is at the top of the tree in the Qashqai line-up and
it wants for nothing in-car entertainment highlights include a Premium
Bose audio system with eight speakers and a dual-driver subwoofer, digital amplifier,
and DAB digital radio with CD audio system that's linked to the NissanConnect
7-inch touchscreen navigation and entertainment system.
this includes smartphone integration to keep you in touch with the likes of
Facebook and Twitter and makes easy work of using Google search (even easier
using voice commands!) and Trip Advisor. Plus, not only is it easy to find your
way around the 3D SatNav but there are some really useful features such as 'sharp
bend' and 'over speed' warnings; you can even find your destination on your
laptop then send it to the Qashqai's SatNav long before you set out.
with essentials such as automatic dual-zone climate control with pollen filter,
ambient lighting, keyless entry and locking, push-button engine start, a smart
parking jockey to do it all for you, electric one-shot windows, powerfolding
heated door mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control and speed
limiter, Bluetooth with audio streaming, Aux and USB ports, and rear privacy
glass, the Tekna+ also comes with a panoramic glass roof with a one-shot sunblind.
will be to your
most road surfaces are
ridden over without
any sort of disturbance
which is good news.
Equally, the handling
will satisfy the driver;
overall the Qashqai feels
planted and handles
Safety-wise there are driver and passenger side and curtain airbags, a Smart
Vision Pack (includes traffic sign recognition, auto dipping headlights, lane
departure warning, and Intelligent Emergency Braking that assists in avoiding
collisions with autonomous braking activated should the driver ignore the warnings),
as well as Safety Shield Plus (driver alert system to make sure you're not nodding
off, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and a system that detects
moving objects ahead, particularly foot traffic, and chassis control to improve
ride comfort and handling).
You also get an Electronic Stability Programme, front and rear parking sensors,
tyre pressure monitoring, puncture repair kit, LED headlights with adaptive
front lighting and automatic levelling, LED signature daytime running lights
with directional indicators, LED signature rear lights, heated windscreen, rain-sensing
wipers, front, rear and side view cameras that provide a 360-degree colour view
of what's around the car it's triggered automatically when reversing
or you can select it manually. All of which cover your back (and front and sides)
and make for relaxing and reassuring driving on today's dicey roads.
Travelling in the back of any car was once bad news. Not any more and definitely
not if you're in the back of a Qashqai where you'll be well accommodated in
the head, legs, knees and feet departments. The backrests are set at a relaxing
angle and thanks to the extensive glass roof panel that stretches all the way
to the rear headrests the rear cabin is brilliantly light and airy. Enhancing
comfort is a drop-down centre armrest with twin cupholders along with padded
interest are the wide-ranging views out, including forwards between the front
seats helped by front seatbacks that are not the usual tombstone shape but more
rounded. And Yes, a third in the middle is doable. Those needing to carry young
'uns will be glad of the Isofix child seat anchorage points and the seatbelt
monitoring that alerts the driver to any belt being unbuckled.
Qashqai's ride comfort will be to your passengers' liking, even with the large
19-inch wheels (they're shod with 225/45 Michelin Pilot Sport rubber). Most
road surfaces are ridden over without any sort of disturbance which is good
news for passengers.
out the loadbay
swallows 1,569 litres of
in its standard boot
the rear seats in use.
Adding plenty of
versatility is a height-
adjustable floor and a
Luggage Board system
of shelves and dividers
that allows the boot
to be configured eighteen
different ways so
theres a place for
everything can be in
And as the ride quality will satisfy passengers, so too will the handling satisfy
the driver: body roll is well managed, the brakes (discs at each corner) provide
reassuring stopping, and the steering is sharp and precise. Overall the Qashqai
feels planted and handles with confidence.
In town, and when grabbing that last (but inevitably tight) parking space, you
can enjoy the lighter-weighted 'normal' steering; out on the open road you might
prefer to select the heavier 'Sport' setting for a better sense of control.
out the loadbay swallows 1,569 litres of cargo (401 litres in its standard 'boot'
configuration with the rear seats in use). Adding plenty of versatility is a
height-adjustable floor and a Luggage Board system of shelves and dividers that
allows the boot to be configured eighteen different ways so there's a place
for everything and everything can be in its place.
The Qashqai makes use of a lightweight rigid parcel shelf for its luggage cover;
it rises with the light-to-lift keyless-op tailgate for quicker access to the
boot than a roller blind, and takes but a jiffy to store under the floor. The
boot sill is level with the loadbay floor and with the 60:40-split backrests
folded down you get a flat and seamless cargo bay floor. The gloss silver roof
rails (that match the gloss silver door mirror skins) aren't just for show
you can carry more on top, or you can tow a braked 1,350kg.
The satisfyingly practical Qashqai is the perfect fit with most drivers' motoring
needs and makes a serious do-it-all family car; smart-looking, it's comfortable,
roomy and refined, and easy to drive spend just a day behind the wheel
and you'll understand perfectly why it's so popular (these past twelve months
it's even been outselling VW's Golf). And no doubt at all it will continue to
trump its rivals. Turning Japanese? I think I already am! ~ MotorBar
Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ 1.5 dCi 110 2WD
Maximum speed: 113mph | 0-62mph: 11.9 seconds | Test Average: 55.7mpg
Power: 108bhp | Torque: 191lb ft | CO2: 99g/km