We get to test all manner of new vehicles here at carwow, but some are more important to the average buyer than others. The new Nissan Qashqai is one of those cars.
As a result, we reckon it deserves more than just our standard “drive it for a week and give you our verdict” test. You’ll still get a full review after our week with the car, but we also want to share our first impressions – the sort of experience you might get testing the car for yourself at a Nissan dealer.
And visually, those first impressions aren’t bad. The new Qashqai is certainly a better-looking car than its slightly bland predecessor, though we’ll take issue with the colour right away. If you’ve read our guide to the new Nissan Qashqai’s colour options, you’ll be aware our test car’s Storm White paintwork, a pearlescent shade, costs 725.
It’s not worth it. As we noted in our guide, it’s not a particularly shimmeringshade – in fact, under the UK’s typical uniform grey skies, it looks no different at five paces from the refrigerator white offered free on most other cars these days.
The interior makes a much better start. It’s a decent quality leap over the old car, with soft-touch plastics over much of the dashboard (they’re harder lower down, though), some neat piano black trim and a splash of metal-effect trim around the vents. In Acenta Premium trim, a NissanConnect 7 touchscreen dominates the dash, with all the usual functions – navigation, digital radio, and CD, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity options. We’ve not explored its functions in full just yet, so we’ll bring you that in a later update.
Everything else is where you’d expect it. The driver’s seat is great – squashy and supportive, with decent adjustment. The steering wheel adjusts to a fair degree too so you’re sure to find a good driving position. We’d like the gearlever to be a little further forward though – a little arm contortion is needed to operate it smoothly. And we’re not Luddites, but will manufacturers please give up on electronic handbrakes? The Qashqai’s isn’t particularly troublesome but a proper lever is infinitely easier to control.
Our car is equipped with the usual Renault-Nissan 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine, and it’s a cracker. At 108 horses it isn’t that powerful, but there’s a useful 191 lb-ft of torque that comes in – both on paper and from the seat of your pants – at 1,750 rpm. It feels quite brisk from that point onwards. Quiet, too, and we’re returning 50-55 mpg in very early testing.
In fact, it’s quiet and refined in general. We’re yet to take it to motorway speeds but around town you’ll have little to complain about – and the high-profile tyres and tall-ish setup mean plenty of compliance over pretty craggy surfaces.
So, all good so far then – stay tuned for further updates, as we’ll be exploring the Qashqai’s various features all this week, before delivering our verdict later next week.
And if you’ve already made your decision, why not get quotes for the Nissan Qashqai from dealers all around the country, and see how much money you could save?