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REVIEW: Why we like the new Nissan Qashqai

2018-10-26 06:00

Janine Van der Post

nissan qashqai

Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post

The Qashqai is a wonderful car, always has been since the first-generation crossover rocked the local market. However, in the past, the Qashqai was akin to the less-confident cousin on a girls' night out - someone no one ever took note of but really should have.

With the launch of the new Qashqai earlier in January 2018, it's as if an epiphany has come over the compact crossover, akin to finally realising her self-worth. 

Upgrades to the new version include design tweaks, quality equipment and materials, and well as technology inspired by customer feedback.

Now, the Qashqai has come into its own with striking good looks, fuel consumption that is highly favourable in SA, along with comfortable, and enjoyable driving dynamics. 

I live a fair distance from work, and on any given day, a full-round trip could be as much as 150km depending on the route. That means a car that sips diesel as if it's a dainty cup at a High Tea, rather than a guzzling greedy monster, is much more preferable for the daily commute.

We sampled the 1.5-litre dCi and it took about 400km of driving before the needle moved even slightly from the full mark. Nissan claims the average fuel consumption for the urban crossover is only 4.2-litres/100km. On a good day, I managed to reach about 4.9-litres/100km, and even with more aggressive driving, it was only 5.9-litres/100km. For its size, and my driving style, that's blooming impressive in my book.

The diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and the gear changes are as smooth and delightful as new rose petals. It's not a sports car but it's dynamic and its handling is splendid. The 2WD Qashqai delivers 81kW and 260Nm, along with a claimed top speed of 182km/h.

My father, Marcus Gordon, is getting on in years but he still appreciates a good car. He is most definitely the biggest influence for the 'petrol' in my veins. We took a journey along the West Coast and my Dad came along for the ride.

He said: "Of all the cars I have ever driven in with you, ry hierdie kar die lekkerste (this car drives the best), it's so comfortable - even the way you sit in the seat, and the driving position is good too. I can see the entire road without struggling to look over the bonnet, even from the passenger side. And best of all, it's very fuel efficient." 

With another fuel hike looming in November, fuel efficient vehicles are the business right now. So far, the Qashqai is probably one of the best cars I have driven this year. If you're in the market, this has to be on your test drive list of potential option.


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