The Nissan Qashqai has to be one of the most popular crossover SUVs ever built. The last model was a massive success in Ireland and since the introduction of the second generation, sales have been swift for the manufacturer. The Qashqai won the APMP Irish Car of the Year award in 2015, and with good reason too.
Our test model housed a 1.5 litre diesel engine that offers 109 bhp. This isn’t the most powerful offering in its class but the engine power is smooth and efficient. The official figure for accelerating from 0-100 km/h is 11.9 seconds. The quickest engine variant available is the 1.6 litre DCI engine with two-wheel drive. This offering can bring you from 0-100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. If your mileage dictates that you should be opting for a petrol engine there is a 1.2 litre DIG-T available as well as a 1.6 litre option. The 1.2 will bring you to 100 km/h in 10.8 seconds, whereas the 1.6 will cover the same distance in 9 seconds.
The steering is well weighted within the Qashqai and it deals well with corners well. The Qashqai is surprisingly good in holding back on body roll in corners – especially when you consider the size of the vehicle. The Qashqai soaks up bumps well and is particularly smooth on motorways.
The diesel engine that we tested is brilliantly refined. It stays hushed even when putting pressure on the accelerator. In terms of road and wind noise, the Qashqai is nicely insulated for sound which is again surprising considering the dimensions of the vehicle. It’s clear that Nissan took great care in designing the cabin of this vehicle.
This generation of Qashqai is much more comfortable than the outgoing model. Everything is laid out in a way that’s driver focused. The dash and centre console are chunky and the interior feels padded and enclosed without feeling claustrophobic. The driver’s seat and steering wheel offer a good range of movement, so it’s hard not to get comfortable in here. The Infotainment system is easy to use too. The first generation Qashqai was a great car but somehow Nissan managed to make the new version even better. In terms of style it became a much more attractive package and when you throw in all of Nissan’s latest technological equipment into the mix this SUV becomes nearly irresistible.
Safety is taken very seriously by Nissan and their vision for the future is to have zero accidents in their vehicles. To promote this the manufacturer now incorporates what they call “Nissan Safety Shield” into their vehicles. This includes aids like Front Collision Avoidance, this warns drivers if they are getting too close to the car in front and if necessary it applies the brakes automatically. Other aids include Driver Attention Support, which checks the drowsiness of drivers. This works by monitoring the driving style of the first ten minutes and then the system reacts to changes in driving.
Head and leg room to both the front and rear is excellent in the Qashqai. The boot offers 20 litres more than the outgoing model and it now has a capacity of 430 litres whereas the new Renault Kadjar offers 527 litres. The back seats fold flat, which means that the Qashqai can be versatile too when it comes to load space.