Our cars: Used Nissan Qashqai - February 2012
Week ending February 24
Driven this week 102 miles
Used Nissan Qashqai review
I climbed back into my Qashqai this week and instantly remembered why people spend good money on cars with high driving positions. After recently being behind the wheel of Hyundai’s i10, Seat’s face-lifted Exeo ST and a Lexus CT200h, the Qashqai’s superior visibility is one of its major strengths.
Of course, there’s no need to spend good money on a used Qashqai as there are plenty of great deals to be had. But I’m still not convinced the 1.6 Visia is the safest investment.
I’d been managing to average around 38mpg until now, but a quick flick through the trip computer revealed that figure had dropped to a worrying 33.6mpg. That’s 8.6mpg off Nissan’s claimed combined economy figures. I’ll be trying to get this improved over the coming weeks.
Week ending February 17
Driven this week 153 miles
The only thing small about babies is their actual size. Everything thing else related to them seems too be big, expensive and unwieldy. Take the Jumperoo (no relation to an Australian marsupial). I borrowed one from and friend and, being time-poor like most parents, I would have loved to just chuck it in the boot, without having to disassemble the beast.
Because of the sloping roofline of the Qashqai, however, its boot just wasn't tall enough. Although from the outside the Nissan looks practical enough, a conventional mid-sized MPV with a deeper boot would be more useful for hauling round the bizarre bits of kit you seem to need for a baby.
I have previously been impressed by the Qashqai's nimbleness, but this week I noticed an ominous whine from the steering column when performing low-speed manouevres. I originally thought the noise was coming from the baby, but it's too plaintive even for junior - think it's time for our local dealer to investigate.
Week ending February 10
Driven this week: 300 miles
The recent snow seemed to affect the South East more than anywhere else; my home town in Essex had a full six inches of the stuff.
Good job, then, that I had our long-term Nissan Qashqai for the weekend. Despite it being a front-wheel-drive – not four-wheel-drive – model, it was the only car in my cul-de-sac that made it out onto the roads once the snow had settled.
The wide, high-profile tyres and more-than-adequate ground clearance meant I was able to go about my weekend business, whereas my neighbours failed to dig their cars out and ended up asking me for a lift to the shops.
Used Nissan Qashqai review
Week ending February 3
Driven this week 150 miles
I've switched to the Nissan Qashqai and unlike my usual long-term test car, the Ford Focus, the Qashqai does without the parking sensors, so I was ready for parking to be a bit more of an effort. Yet I had nothing to worry about.
Its turning circle is shorter than the Ford's, which all makes it feel very nimble. The Nissan's steering is positive and direct, and it has a lightness that makes manouevring what looks like a big car into place. In reality the Qashqai is not even all that big - it is shorter and thinner than the Focus, yet its square design feels more practical than the Ford. Not having to bend to fitting the a car seat has been a blessing for my back.
One tiny criticism? It would be helpful to have an interior light in the rear, the front light does nothing to pierce the gloom of the cavernous rear quarters. Not ideal when you're trying to get a crying baby out of a car seat.