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Sunday, 01 August 2021
THERE can be no doubting the
success of Nissan in the crossover SUV (sport utility vehicle) market, which has grown in tandem with motorists’ ever-changing taste in the cars they desire to own.
Once upon a time this so-called 4x4 market was cornered almost exclusively by the big SUVs that still sell in abundance around the world.
It seemed when Nissan launched the original crossover Qashqai in 2007 that a car with such a tongue-twister of a name would never catch on.
Yet word soon got round among motorists that this was a real contender. The Qashqai has proved to be a great success and a drive in one in the dying days of 2016 proved to me that this is an SUV that is here to stay.
Not only is it a willing performer but it has all the attributes of larger SUVs that would cost you the proverbial arm and a leg.
The second-generation Qashqai was launched in 2014, offering greater practicality, lower running costs and higher equipment levels than the original.
I have been driving the top-of-the-range model, a Qashqai Tekna, and I have to say it has been a pleasure. Not often with cars are they pleasing as soon as you get behind the wheel — but the Qashqai is the exception.
The Qashqai comes in four core trim grades: Visia, Acenta,
N-Connecta and Tekna.
The Tekna model has features that are well worth having, as driving on our roads seems to become more hazardous.
So with the Tekna you get what are called Safety Shield Technologies, including: moving object detection, blind spot warning (to my mind essential), driver attention alert, 19-inch alloy wheels and a Thermaclear heated windscreen.
Also included is Intelligent Park Assist, Bi-LED headlights with auto-levelling, graphite leather trim, heated front seats and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat.
The Qashqai's powertrain uses a turbocharger to reduce capacity, emissions and fuel consumption while maintaining performance with CO2 emissions from only 99g/km.
Efficiency is further enhanced by a 40kg weight reduction over the first-generation car, despite the addition of extra equipment.
While front-wheel-drive variants account for the majority of sales in Europe, four-wheel drive all-mode 4x4-i versions are available, along with the option of Nissan’s Xtronic automatic transmission (two-wheel-drive only).
l Price range: £18,545 to £28,990
l 500,000 second generation Qashqai models built in record-breaking time for a UK built car, of 21 months
l Premium interior design, materials and specification
l Suite of technologies bring convenience, comfort and safety
l Euro NCAP five-star safety rating
l CO2 emissions from only 99g/km
l Four engine options — Xtronic automatic option and four-wheel drive
l Four trim grades: Visia, Acenta,
N-Connecta and Tekna