With the understanding of money saving at the forefront of every South African’s way of life at the moment, we were excited when we rolled the all-new Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi into our driveway on day one of our 7 day test.
Not only is it a looker and a multi award-winning SUV in its segment, but its impressive new aerodynamic front end and all-the-way-through body styling ads to its great reputation for amazing fuel economy.
With a selection of every day mixed driving conditions, as well as both city and long distance hauls, we saw a healthy average of 6.5l/100, which is fantastic by any standard. Considering it’s a meaty little 6-speed diesel number, the grunt is there down low when you need it most and handling is spot on.
At first, pulling away and getting up to speed in the first two gears feels a little sluggish due to minor turbo-lag on the relatively small capacity engine kicking out 78kW, but then again you’re not looking to do robot to robot drags for pink slips in this vehicle.
Flick the Qashqai into third, however, and you find your power at around 2000rpm as the legs stretch along the 240Nm of torque.
It’s a sensible, yet fun, all round family SUV and it will get you where you need to be on time and comfortably.
Yet, what surprised us was how steady and confidently the Qashqai handled. Both city and long distance driving proved that, despite the fact that the focus is clearly on comfort here, handling was definitely a serious consideration, keeping the driving experience entertaining and far from boring.
What’s also not boring is the very modest and functional interior; a fully wrapped leather steering wheel comfortably fits your hands and offers all the necessities just a finger switch, flip or press away to control all you need from the on-board computer. The usual useful features found here are Bluetooth, Cruise Control, Traction Control, Air Conditioning, electric windows, all-round airbag positioning, CD/MP3/ USB connection and a few other creature comforts, depending on the model.
The instrument panel, with its state of the art liquid crystal thin film transistor, displays all you need both clearly and legibly ensuring you know what’s happening at all times.
Enjoying your choice of music is another plus when on the road in the Nissan Qashqai; featuring noise reduction with the state of the art 4-layer dash insulation and acoustic windscreens that optimise the engine noise isolation, you hear very minimal road noise and a whole lot of your favorite tunes.
Leg space throughout the vehicle is good, as well as boot space, creeping in at a comfy 410l, offering healthy luggage and packing space for weekend trips with the family.
The one thing we found regarding the boot, however, is that the boot lid doesn’t extend upward very high, so an adult of an average height of 173cm or taller will have to keep an eye on how they move about the back of an open tailgate.
All round, however, the Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi is definitely not the kind of vehicle you’d lump into the sleepy mommy wagon pile. It’s a healthy dose of comfort, space, good fuel economy and pretty lines and, at a price of only R 294,900, a service plan of 3 years/90 000km and intervals of 15 000km, you’ll be the envy of the suburban neighborhood for sure.
For more tidbits of info, visit http://www.nissan.co.za/en/web/models/QASHQAI/Exterior/109044_370009.htm