We had been looking for a small SUV or Crossover for several months, and were not happy with the test drives, as the vehicles were either too harsh or too slow, or both, at any price. My wife insisted that she wanted a ride that was as close to her old Peugeot 405 SRI as possible. Then we decided to test a Nissan Qashqai. Small diesels are not normally available in Peru, due to the high sulphur content in diesel fuel, so we had to settle for the 2.0 litre petrol model. The 4WD was only available with the CVT transmission, and we had an option of either 17" wheels or 18" wheels in the high-end model, which also included a panoramic glass roof and rails. After testing the model with 18" wheels over potholes, we chose the model with 17" wheels, due to its softer ride. My wife and I have taken turns driving the Qashqai for 10 months, and we are extremely pleased. Turning diameter is surprisingly tight and the car is relatively short, so it is easy to park, despite the width. Although it feels a bit bouncy over bumpy roads and at motorway speeds, by comparison to a conventional automobile, the ride is far better than what other SUVs or Crossovers can offer. The body does roll, as reported, but this is not a problem for us. Fit and finish are good for a car in this price range, the seats are comfortable, and it has loads of space to put odds and ends inside the cabin. The motor and transmission are smooth. Our only complaint is that our vehicle did not include a Bluetooth system.
Bernardo Pizarro, Lima, November 13th 2012