Launch: Qashqai get’s a prettier face for 2018
The Nissan Qashqai is considered as the car that pioneered the crossover segment and has been around for a decade in South Africa. Since then it has been sold more than 30,000 times within our borders alone, thanks to the appeal of an SUV with the efficiency of a hatchback. The 2018 Qashqai receives some incremental changes as the year begins. We headed to Johannesburg to drive it.
The exterior design of the Qashqai is sporty, and this effect is continued throughout the entire model range. Daytime running LED’s, 17”-alloys and gloss black details give the crossover a premium appeal, while new front and rear bumpers with integrated fog-lamps give it a sporty look.
The interior is equally as impressive. Buyers can choose from either leather or cloth seats, depending on the spec. Both options are comfortable and supportive. The infotainment system allows Bluetooth, USB, SD card and aux connectivity and displays this to the driver through a pleasant touchscreen-display. One of the highlight interior features of the new Qashqai is the optional seven-speaker Bose sound-system which sounds incredibly premium.
The interior also feels very roomy. This can be attributed to the increased length of 17mm compared to its predecessor. A panoramic sunroof adds to the perceived space, giving the Qashqai a nicely-lit and open cabin. Long-distance travellers will also enjoy the increased boot capacity, which is now capable of holding 680-litres with the seats folded down and 430-litres when they are folded up.
We got behind the wheel of the 1.5-litre diesel as well as the 1.2-litre petrol spec Qashqai’s, which are impressive in their own way.
The diesel combined with the manual-gearbox is sublime on the road. The engine produces 81kW of power and 260Nm of torque. Shifts are smooth and relaxed, and if you drive it like a regular-person and it will give you fuel-economy of around 5.0-litres/100km. The torque of the diesel motor really shines on the uphill roads of the city.
The petrol-engine is nippy, however the CVT gearbox that it was paired to tended to let it down once in a while. What we did enjoy about the CVT gearbox, however, was the simplicity behind the operation of it. It will undoubtedly be a popular option with drivers who don’t enjoy the labour that accompanies a manual gearbox. This model produces 85kW of power and 165Nm of torque.
Both models were incredibly refined and composed on the road, treating us to some of the smoothest and quietest rides we’ve had this year. The improvements made to the dynamics of the car, such as the stiffness and dampers, really go a long way. Fuel consumption on the diesel model was impressive however, the petrol-CVT model sipped on a bit more fuel.
Our choice would definitely be the 1.5-litre diesel engine with the manual gearbox. It’s responsive, smooth and efficient, which is everything the average buyer is looking for in a crossover like the Nissan Qashqai.
1.2 T Visia – R 334 900
1.2 T Acenta – R 367 000
1.2 T Acenta CVT – R 381 000
1.2 T Acenta Plus CVT – R 394 000
1.5 dCI Acenta – R 394 000
1.5 dCI Acenta Plus – R 407 000
1.5 dCI Tekna – R 434 000
Prices include a 6-year/150,000km warranty and a 3-year/90,000km service plan.