Nissan Qashqai 2019 – Popular Family SUV
The Nissan Qashqai began its life back in 2007 and has gone on to be one of the most popular family SUVs in the UK. It consistently ranks in the top ten best selling cars in the UK charts, with its high driving position, stylish looks and excellent value for money.
There is now strong competition in the family SUV market, so Nissan cannot afford to rest on their past success. Nissan has developed the Qashqai over the years, keeping it relevant to the customer. The new Qashqai has received various updates, from an upgraded engine line up, to interior refinement and quality. The Nissan Qashqai is available in 5 trim levels; Visia, Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna+. All trim levels offer a good selection of standard equipment; however, choose any of the models above the entry Visia, and the standard kit increases dramatically.
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Engines, Power and Performance
The engine selection across the Qashqai range has changed, and they have been modified to improve the economy and performance levels. There are four engine choices available, two petrol and two diesel options. All engines are fitted with a 'stop-start' system to help improve the economy and reduce emissions.
The diesel range kicks off with a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine (DCI 115) which develops 113hp and 285Nm of torque. Although it is not the most powerful or quickest, hitting 0-62mph in 12.3secs and going on to a top speed of 112mph. This engine is very smooth and economical, achieving a combined 53mpg.
The second diesel is a new 1.7-litre turbocharged unit (DCI 150) which produces 148hp and 340Nm of torque. It will get from 0-62mph in 9.5secs and go on to a top speed of 119mph. Having the extra power is particularly useful if you have a car full of passengers and luggage. The extra power does mean that the economy figures drop slightly, at a combined figure of 50.1mpg.
Both diesel engines are available with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). The smaller diesel version is only available with FWD, while the larger diesel has the choice of FWD or AWD.
The petrol engine is a 1.3-litre turbocharged unit (DIG-T), with a choice of power outputs, either 138hp or 158hp. The smaller DIG-T 140 (138hp) engine produces 240Nm of torque and will get from 0-62mph in 10.5secs and achieve a top speed of 120mph. It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and FWD, with no option to have AWD or automatic transmission. It is quite an efficient and economic engine, with a combined 41.4mpg.
The more powerful DIG-T 160 (158hp) unit develops 260Nm of torque and achieves a combined 40.8mpg. It will propel you from 0-62mph in 8.9secs and reach a top speed of 124mph. The DIG-T 160 can be paired with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission and is only available with FWD, no AWD option.
All engine variations are good and offer great all-round performance for either around town or on long journeys to the coast.
Interior Design and Technology
The interior of the new Qashqai is much better than the previous 1st gen model, which felt a little dated compared with its rivals. The entry-level 'Visia' gets a very basic infotainment system which includes DAB radio, Bluetooth with audio streaming and a 5-inch HD colour TFT screen combi-meter (located between the speedometer and rev counter). There is no touchscreen feature which is a little disappointing in this day and age.
There is a new 'D' shaped steering wheel, and all models come with adjustable front seats and a fully adjustable steering wheel, to make finding a great driving or passenger position easy. There's adjustable lumbar support for the driver seat found in all models apart from the entry-level Visia. The layout of the controls and position of the driver seat, pedals and steering wheel, in my opinion, are spot on.
All of the other trim levels get the new NissanConnect 7-inch touchscreen navigation and entertainment system as standard. Other standard features on these models include Smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, TomTom Connected Services, sat-nav and a 6-speaker sound system.
The dashboard and interior are made from much higher quality materials than those found in its predecessor, with more soft-touch plastics and durable, but plush looking buttons. It is a significant improvement but still falls behind the luxurious interior found in the impressive VW Tiguan, but it is undoubtedly heading in the right direction.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Nissan Qashqai is now just a 5-seater, and there's ample space in the front and rear for adults of all shapes and sizes. In the front, there's plenty of legroom and headroom for 6ft+ passengers. The seats are soft and comfortable, making them ideal for long holiday journeys. In the back, again, plenty of space for a couple of tall adults with good headroom and legroom. All around space in the Qashqai is pretty good. Certainly on a par with its competitors in the family SUV market. There are various storage cubbies throughout the cabin, such as door pockets, central storage compartment and a generous glove box.
The boot increases in size from the previous model, with a capacity of 430-litres, and up to 1598-litres with the rear seats folded down. There is a multi-positional floor in the boot in all models, apart from the entry-level model, allowing you to raise or lower the depth.
In terms of safety, the Nissan Qashqai scored the top 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP tests. Some of the standard safety features and assists found across all trim levels are ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), two Isofix points and multiple airbags. Choose any model above entry-level Visia, and you get features such as a rearview camera, lane departure warning and front and rear parking sensors.
The Nissan Qashqai is a great family SUV offering space, practicality and comfort at an affordable price. The SUV market is highly popular at the moment with families and company car drivers, so competition between manufacturers is fierce. The Qashqai is a great selling car; in fact, it was the fourth best selling car in the UK in 2018, even outselling the ever-popular Ford Focus. So far in 2019, the Qashqai is the 5th best selling car in the UK, proving just how popular it is.