The Nissan Qashqai has been doing family duties for over a decade (when it was called the Dualis.)
We took the latest model on the road to test it out.
The biggest change to the outside of the Qashqai is the new ‘V-Motion’ grille, setting a modern face on the mid-range Nissan – complete with LED Daytime Running Lights standard across the range. Inside, where the previous model won awards for its presentation, the new model continues to be the standard bearer of spacious, practical interior design.
One drawback is Nissan’s persistence with using factory software in their multimedia systems – Toyota is another offender – refusing to adopt Apple Carplay/Android Auto in their models, despite the obvious integration benefits. It’s a small minus in what is otherwise a very capable and well-packaged car.
You have one engine choice in the Qashqai – a sprightly 2.0L petrol – with two transmissions: a six-speed manual only available in the entry ST and the xTronic CVT as standard in every other model.
Taking the mid-range ST-L on the road, the Qashqai is quick off the mark, with none of the whiny over-revving stereotyped to CVTs – probably because Nissan has been refining them for decades, and because of the lack of a predetermined ceiling on the amount of gears to change up into; the Qashqai’s performance isn’t stunted.
Driving around town, it’s a testament to the family friendliness of the Qashqai that it is well refined at lower speeds, handling well when manoeuvring in to tight parks and around short suburban streets. And when asked to turn the taps on out on the highway, it is never found wanting for performance. It’s small stature and swooping design gives it a boost over other blocky SUVs charging up the motorway.
The electronic steering is a little dulled, but certainly not enough to detract from the drive – just remembering that it’s not a sports car and treating it accordingly. Otherwise, the Qashqai is a smart package that is well thought out for families.
A snag for some will be the lack of a seven seat option (it used to have one in the Dualis+2.) Rather than fit a squished plus-two in the back of the Qashqai, however, growing families can look at the X-Trail or Pathfinder models in the Nissan showroom: the Qashqai does very well with five seats and room in the boot, thanks very much.
The benefit of not squeezing the bench into a third row means well thought out cabin space for the existing driver plus four passengers. Leg and headroom is ample for passengers of above average height, while the back seat can fit three actual adults across the pew.
In terms of tech, even without the inclusion of Apple Carplay/Android Auto, you get the standard Bluetooth/USB/Auxiliary connections and digital radio standard in the ST-L and Ti models.
Safety wise, dual front, side and curtain airbags are standard along with Intelligent Emergency Braking, Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warning all part of the package. The top shelf N-Tec (which will be replaced with the Ti) gets blind spot monitoring as well as Intelligent Park Assist – but no-one can argue that the ST and ST-L models are bare bones.
The Qashqai range kicks off at $26,490 for the ST Manual, topping out at $37,990 for the Qashqai Ti.
All prices quoted are before on-road costs such as registration, stamp duty and dealer delivery.
Vivid Blue is the only standard paint option, while metallic and pearlescent options are available for additional cost.
myNissan service certainty covers the Qashqai for six years/120,000kms, with major services at $404-$532 and regular scheduled servicing ranging from $224-$298. Scheduled services are due annually or every 10,000kms.
The Nissan Qashqai has come in for a revamp, while not messing with a recipe that has clearly worked for the last couple of years.
To test drive the Qashqai for yourself, see the team at Motorama Nissan.