Qashqai Tekna 1.3 DIG-T 160 DCT
gratifying about driving a car made
in your homeland. And if that car
happens to be a made-in-Britain
SUV wearing a Qashqai badge,
so much the better...
IN THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT the longest-serving MP is accorded the honorific
of 'Father of the House'. Not because of any particular talents they may have
but purely because they've been around longer than their peers. Unlike the Qashqai,
which has earned its 'Father of the Crossover' moniker the hard way by
being one of the first of an entirely new breed of car that is, more than a
decade on and in a market awash with crossovers and SUVs, still the go-to crossover
Measuring a city-practical 4.4-metres between bumpers and sporting the brand's
signature V-Motion grille, the Qashqai, after thirteen years in the job, still
cuts a dash. The sharply-creased clamshell bonnet with sleekly cut-in full-LED
headlights looks bang up to date, while the sculpted flanks and standout diamond-cut-faced
black 19-inch alloy wheels, 'kicked-up' rear shoulders and rakish glasshouse
with spoiler and roof-mounted shark-fin antenna keep it all visually interesting.
with a recent makeover, helping extend the Qashqai's long-time popularity are
two economical new powerplants. Replacing the previous 1.2-litre and 1.6 petrol
engines are a pair of turboed 1.3-litre, four-cylinder, petrol units with outputs
of 138 and 158bhp.
with a recent
makeover, helping extend
long-time popularity are
two economical new
the previous 1.2-litre
and 1.6 petrol engines
are a pair of turboed
petrol units with outputs
of 138 and 158bhp...
Qashqai cabins have always scored with their agreeably un-flash but decidedly
well laid-out architecture and the 2019 models are even better.
The mix and textures of finishings, both upholstery and other cabin trim, is
tasteful and everything meticulously put together. Switchgear is exactly where
you would expect to find it. All of which creates a satisfying upscale 'hit'
the moment you climb aboard.
The Tekna's Monoform sports seats, upholstered in soft leather and fabric, benefit
from comfortable bolstering and are supportive in all the right places. The
driver's seat is power-adjustable; both front seats also adjust for height and
both have adjustable lumbar support and two-stage heating. The sporty, flat-bottomed
steering wheel's leather rim is agreeably meaty and good to hold plus you'll
enjoy fine visibility and a commanding driving position.
The wheel is, as you'd expect, seriously multifunctional including controls
for the five-inch multi-mode driving information display between the white-on-black
dials, plus cruise, speed limiter, infotainment, etc, and makes it easy to stay
in control while keeping your eyes on the road (or 'watching out for the other
Bs', as my driving instructor was fond of saying).
Even taller front passengers will be able to stretch out without stealing legroom
from whoever is sitting behind them, and with a fist-and-a-half of headroom
hat-wearers will also feel at home. The panoramic glass roof is another big
Whether your priority is finding your way or being entertained, the Qashqai's
seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system is really easy to use. The Tom Tom-based
SatNav is a breeze, with fast full-postcode destination entry. And to help keep
you legal, Traffic Sign Recognition shows the posted limit alongside the digital
road speed readout in the instrument panel.
hand for smartphone linkage and handsfree calling is Apple CarPlay and Android
Auto; traditional entertainment is well sorted with a high-spec, eight-speaker
premium Bose sound system capable of delivering a concert-grade listening experience.
Should you prefer, you can listen to the DAB digital radio, connect up to an
MP3 player, or partake of some Bluetooth audio streaming... it's your life
is finding your way
or being entertained, the
is really easy to use.
The Tom Tom-based
SatNav is a breeze, with
And to help keep you
legal, Traffic Sign
Recognition shows the
posted limit alongside
the digital road speed
readout in the instrument
gives you quantity as well as quality with keyless entry and locking (front
doors and tailgate), keyless push-button Start, dual-zone climate control with
pollen filter, electric parking brake, ambient cabin lighting, heated powerfolding
(on-demand and automatically on locking and leaving) door mirrors, auto-dimming
rearview mirror, one-touch power windows front and rear with remote opening
and closing, 360-degree parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors,
and rear privacy glass. And, as you'd be expecting from its family-friendly
billing, plenty of useful cubbies.
Other safety features include Chassis Control with Intelligent Ride Control
and an Electronic Stability Programme, adaptive LED front lighting with dynamic
cornering lamps, LED daytime running lights and signature rear lights, automatic
self-levelling headlights, a heated windscreen, tyre pressure monitoring, auto
lights and wipes, height-adjustable front belts, and a full set of airbags.
Slotted into our Tekna's engine bay was the most powerful 1,332cc engine, the
157bhp (160PS) DIG-T if you regularly fill all the seats or plan
on carrying heavy loads, it's the logical choice. While oil-burners have had
their fair share of bad press, their strongest points were unquestionably their
gutsy torque and superior economy. The good news is that this new 1.3 turboed
petrol engine isn't short of torque and, partnered with the seven-speed double-clutch
autobox, the power delivery is flexible.
So whenever you decide to suddenly up the pace, or just want to scoot safely
past some slower-moving traffic, the muscular 199lb ft on tap ensures smooth
and linear acceleration; enough to put a grin on your face. Around the houses
it's perky and responsive with ample oomph available without the need to pile
on the revs. Motorways, too, are cruised at a relaxed and refined canter, whichever
side of the UK's legal limit you're on for the record, top speed
neither does the 157bhp DIG-T disappoint when it comes to stretching a gallon
of unleaded. Officially the Combined Cycle figure is 49.4mpg; in real-life,
our hard-driven week behind the wheel saw an overall average of 48.9mpg recorded.
Given our punishing test demands, we'd be very surprised if the average Joe
(and Joanne) doesn't regularly see the smiley side of 50mpg.
to its compact
footprint, higher ride
height and commanding
driving position and
the fact that its a very
agreeable drive the
Qashqai is a highly-rated
player with the
But guys, dont let that
put you off because this
crossover drives fluently
enough to be punted
down the road when
youre in the mood
and the kids are safely
The USP for Crossovers was always that they blended the driving dynamics of
a well-sorted hatchback with a healthy dose of high-riding versatility and,
when equipped with four-wheel drive, would take you places where no hatchback
could dream of venturing. However, over the years a good number have failed
to fully live up to expectations but not the Qashqai, which has
always done exactly what its crossover body has promised.
to its compact footprint, higher ride height and commanding driving position
and also the fact that it's a very agreeable drive
the Qashqai is a highly-rated player with the 'mums.net' brigade. But guys,
don't let that put you off because this crossover drives fluently enough to
be punted down the road when you're in the mood and the kids are safely home.
At which point you might like to switch the electric speed-sensitive steering
from Normal to its Sport setting. Well weighted steering and front-wheel drive
lends the Qashqai a wieldy feel that will take you through corners at a greater
lick than you might have assumed.
While its reassuring road manners are a core factor in its wide-ranging appeal,
underscoring that for those with family responsibilities are safety systems
such as Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition
as useful on the daily commute as on the school run when an excited child could
easily dart out in front of you.
Additional standard-fit safety assists include Moving Object Detection (when
using the Intelligent Around View Monitor, the system alerts you to anything
moving near the Qashqai), Rear Cross Traffic Alert that warns of traffic crossing
behind when reversing, Lane Departure Warning, and Blind Spot Warning (especially
useful this, lighting up in the door mirror anytime you're not clear to turn
due to an upcoming vehicle about to pass you).
present is Intelligent Driver Alert, Intelligent Cruise Control, High Beam Assist,
and Intelligent Park Assist for some auto-jockey wheel-twirling assistance when
squeezing into tight bays even though doing-it-yourself is a breeze courtesy
of the Intelligent Around View Monitor that uses four colour cameras to deliver
360-degree bird's-eye views that make reversing and parking oh-so-easy. All
of these 'assists' add to the Qashqai's relaxed driveability this
really is a car you can just jump in and go, leaving the autobox and comprehensive
safety kit to take all the stress out of today's unpredictable driving conditions.
for the weekly
shop is always
a significant factor for
family car buyers: not
only will a Qashqai carry
five, it also adequately
meets both shopping
and luggage needs.
Some heavy-duty cargo
to be moved?
No problem: fold down
the 60:40-split back seats
and the 403-litre boot
transforms into a
A crossover the Qashqai might be but that doesn't automatically mean a harsh
ride, not even rolling on the Tekna's 19-inch alloys wrapped in sporty 225/45
Michelin rubber. The comfortable seats play their part, of course, but the ride
is agreeably unruffled. Body control over buckling blacktop and bigger bumps
is managed effectively by the Intelligent Ride Control.
The Qashqai's cabin is intended for real-world passenger-carrying of up to five.
Adults will be more than satisfied with the head, leg and foot room in the back
and should travel without complaint in the calm and quiet rear cabin. A comfy
drop-down central armrest with built-in cupholders makes travel-for-two even
more civilised, and then there's that full-length glass roof it's
a real bonus, flooding the cabin with light (unless you want to ask the driver
to press the button and let the sunshade close itself).
rear seats are set about six inches higher than those in front and combined
with the tapered shoulders of the front seats this ensures views to the front
remain interesting. Pouches on the front seatbacks plus usable door pockets
help keep odds and ends neatly contained, while Isofix child seat anchorage
points on the outer seats will be appreciated by those needing to transport
Space for the weekly shop is always a significant factor for family car buyers:
not only will a Qashqai carry two plus three, it also adequately meets both
shopping and luggage needs. Some heavy-duty cargo to be moved? No problem: fold
down the 60:40-split back seats and the 403-litre boot transforms into a 1,598-litre
loadbay with a completely flat and seamless floor.
Adding further versatility is Nissan's well thought-out Luggage Board system
that allows the cargo area to be partitioned sixteen different ways
so no worries about the shopping and the baby's pushchair being jumbled up at
the first corner. And if loading to the roof, the lightweight luggage cover
can be stored beneath the dual-level boot floor. Should you have towing on your
mind, this Qashqai will be happy to haul a braked 1,500kg.
With diesel's star irreversibly on the wane, the Qashqai's new petrol engines
are a worthy alternative, boosting the appeal of what has for many years been
Britain's best-loved family chariot. Easy to like, easy to drive and easy to
live with. ~ MotorBar
Nissan Qashqai Tekna 1.3 DIG-T 160 DCT
Maximum speed: 123mph | 0-62mph: 9.9 seconds | Test Average: 48.9mpg
Power: 157bhp | Torque: 199lb ft | CO2: 131g/km