This week, carwow is testing a Nissan Qashqai. And as we mentioned in our first impressions story, the car’s importance in the UK market – it’s built here, and is a top-ten seller – we think it deserves a more thorough assessment.
Since our first few miles in the car, the Qashqai has been a predictably easy companion. It really is very comfortable indeed, from the relaxed driving position and soft, enveloping seats, to the way its chassis seems untroubled by ripples in the road.
While it lacks the magic carpet glide of a Rolls-Royce – and we’d be surprised if you expected such a thing – it’s about as good as family cars get right now. Sensibly tall tyres seem to take the edge off the smallest ripples (and cut down on road noise, too), while ample suspension travel and a stiff bodyshell deal with the rest.
And while we’d never advocate flying over speedbumps, it seems to take those in its stride too. Perhaps that’s down to Nissan’s clever Body Motion Control technology, which dabs the brakes as you go over bumps and ridges to minimise forward and backward rocking movements.
We’re less keen on one of Nissan’s Smart Vision Pack features, Lane Departure Warning. You never notice how many times in average, day-to-day driving you need to stray outside of a lane boundary until there’s a safety nanny beeping at you for doing so – think narrow country roads, or passing rows of parked cars, for example. We’ve not yet found the button for turning it off, but that’s becoming a priority…
The headlights are also a little unimpressive. For a car that sits so high – the front of the car seems particularly chunky – its headlights are no better than average. Their reach seems fine, but it’d be nice to have a little more illumination. Perhaps Nissan should take a leaf from the Leaf’s book and offer full LED headlights, at least as an option on higher trim levels?
A better feature is the Qashqai’s boot. There’s 430 litres of space, which is decent but not spectacular, but it’s certainly usable. The split-level floor can also be split horizontally, using lift-out dividers – great for those shopping trips when anything less than a boot-full would slide around with abandon.
So far, we’ve just loaded it up with middle-class guilt, also known as an excess of old, no-longer-wanted clothing, which is all going to a nearby charity shop. Hardly a trying load, but a test’s a test…