Nissan Qashqai review

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What is?

Well, the Qashqai is not so much a crossover as the crossing. Nissan can rightly claim that its 2007 original invented the idea of ​​a tall hatch, rather than a lower SUV. His proposal: more space and image than a sedan, for little sacrifice in terms of economy and dynamics. But no one knew if it would succeed, least of all Nissan.

History shows that the idea simply caught fire. Rivals have arisen. These days, about half of the cars sold this size are crossovers. And despite all the competition, Nissan is still the best seller among them.

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Even if you think the Qashqai is a bit of a boring car, it’s an incredible social phenomenon. Great influence. Responsible for thousands of jobs in the UK, where it is designed, manufactured and built. And it has accounted for one in five cars of all cars made in this country since 2007.

So what’s up?

Almost everything except the engine. But they were careful not to upset a winning formula. So it’s bigger, but only a little bit. Sharper to the eye, but still recognizable. More sophisticated in its electronics and driving aids, but still simple and intuitive to use.

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Since Qashqais are everywhere, you can see who is using them. Families. Therefore, it is obsessively developed to fit into urban family life. It’s not too bulky and it has full parking assistance. The boot is large, versatile, easy to clean and suitable for strollers. The rear doors open exceptionally to allow small children to wrestle in the child seats.

Diesel engines are a thing of the past. At launch, all the hard work is done by a 1.3 petrol, now with mild hybrid assistance. It’s available in 138 and 156 hp, the lower with manual FWD, the higher with manual, or a new automatic CVT. This car can take FWD or 4WD.

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Next year, for lovers of torque and economy, comes the substitute for efficient diesel. It is a serial hybrid. The gasoline engine drives the generator. The generator charges the hybrid battery. The electric motor drives the wheels. So it should look like a pure EV, but it doesn’t need a plug. E-Power, they call it.

The new platform has a slightly longer wheelbase than before and a bit more room in the cabin, as well as room for those hybrid battery packs. But the bodywork is 60kg lighter: the bonnet, doors and front fenders are aluminum and the tailgate is plastic.

How is it mounted?

The little engine is gutsy enough in the form of 156 hp. The 0-62 is 9.5 seconds. Down below, the smooth hybrid kick hides the delay. Higher up, you’ll be racing in the freeway passing lane as long as you keep your cool.

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The all-new CVT is designed to feel brisk at city speeds, but it feels more like an automatic transmission when you’re pushing hard on the open road, and it pretty much is.

The suspension is taut, the ride is bumpy but not harsh. There is also lateral movement on rough roads. Maybe he’ll calm down when you’ve loaded him up with kids and pets and all.

Either way, the FWD version isn’t awkward in the corners, resisting body roll and squeaking quite well. Not that it gives much pleasure to its driver. But for a crossover, it’s more than adequate.

The best thing is solidity. The suspension does not shake, the body does not shake, the seats and the steering wheel are assembled together with integrity without wobble. Road noise is low on most surfaces. All of this gives it a premium quality that even some of the “premium” crossovers can’t match.

Nissan still loads its cars with driver assistance, and as long as you have the automatic transmission, the Qashqai brings the next step up in ProPilot. As before, this is an active cruise and lane keeping system. This time, the novelty is a navigation link, so you will slow down when approaching roundabouts and corners. It is easy to use, with a self-explanatory interface. But it’s good to give you a boost if you rely on it too much.

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A large head-up display, matrix headlights, and wireless Carplay help up the tech count.

Our choice of the range.

Nissan Qashqai 2021 Top Gear
1.3 DiG-T MH 158 N-Connecta 5 Doors

What’s the verdict?

One of Britain’s best-selling cars, the Qashqai is also quiet, comfortable and home-made.

In the third generation, the Qq remains, like even its best rivals, a car for owners rather than drivers. If you want to have fun, spend the same money on a hatch or a van.

Meanwhile, rivals have mustered their forces to deal with it: the Peugeot 3008 in cabin quality, the Skoda Kamiq in practicality, the Citroën C5 in family seats, the Mini Countryman in driver attraction.

The Qashqai is the establishment and is no longer an undisputed leader. But it is also difficult to oppose. More than ever, this new generation is meticulously designed and executed with laser focus.

Also, a large number of existing Qashqai owners are ready for a trade-in. It does not disappoint them.

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Nissan Qashqai 2021 Top GearNissan Qashqai 2021 Top GearNissan Qashqai 2021 Top Gear

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