Softroaders are immensly common these days. They are so popular and its easy to see why. Good ground clearance, lots of packing space and usually they seat five people comfortably.
The first con about a softroader is obviously that they are bigger and therefor they need to use more fuel. This is why most manufacturers usually offer one or other form of diesel softroader in their range. The Nissan Qashqai is offered in both a 2.0 and and/or 1.5 dci models.
The 1.5 Acenta is relatively well specced for their entry level model. It’s got all the nice mus-haves; from Bluetooth to cruise control and even rain-sensing wipers. The 1.5 engine may be small, but once up to speed this little Qashqai cruises along with no trouble at all. The 1.5 Turbo diesel eninge produces 78 kW and 240nm torque and, while it might not sound like much, it’s on par with that of the 2.0 petrol engine. The only real benefit here is that you have exceptional fuel economy for a vehicle of this size. Ground clearance is an industry standard of 200mm. This means you should easily take the paths less traveled, should you need to. Be prepared though, its only 2 wheel drive.
Fill up the 65l fuel tank and the range jumps to a wopping 980km. Drive it gently and I can’t see why you would not do that sort of economy. Under easy driving it’s easy to reach around the 20km/l mark and under normal driving, stopping and starting you’ll end up at 15km/l. Still very impressive. It does however require low sulpher diesel. Not an issue if you live in the city, but it might become a pain if you are further out in the country.
The Qashqai may be front wheel drive but it will handle dirt roads with ease, thanks to its rather large 215/65/16 rims and tires. Even the most corrugated roads are a breeze and if you are farm-bound and need an everyday vehicle, this would be a top choice.
The six speed gearbox is smooth and requires a couple of gearchanges before you hit the magical 100km/h mark, but it really does not matter as this is pretty comfortable and performance is on par with the bigger type SUV diesels. The only complaint is that the engine feels a little laggy before you get power and this is usually what happens with small capacity engines which are fitted with Turbochargers. The benefit is obviously fuel consumption when you are on the go.
The interior is large and comfortable. The front loading CD player works well and gives good volume. The Bluetooth hands free phone is also a breeze to setup and will connect to your phone automatically once paired. There is a line in for mp3 players but unfortunately no USB.
The Qashqai is a pretty safe vehicle featuring six airbags, driver, passenger, curtain and side airbags. There is unfortunately no traction control or stability control on this model. If that is an issue for you, I would suggest looking at one of the other higher specced models.
Service intervals are every 15000km and it is backed by Nissan’s 3 year, 100000km warranty. Included is also the 3 year, 90 000km service plan.
The Qashqai 1.5 dci retails for R277 925 and is available from your Nissan dealer nationwide.
For more info check out Nissan.co.za