- The car Nissan Qashqai 1.2 N-Connecta
- Run by What Car? reviews team
- Why it’s here To find out if the Qashqai's facelift has improved its everyday driving experience
- Needs to Prove that a small petrol engine can be just as affordable as a diesel
Price £24,380 Price as tested £25,250 Miles 3549 Official economy 50.4mpg Test economy 35.5mpg Options fitted Heat Pack (£295), metallic paint (£575)
18 January 2018 – The Qashqai, Dexter and I
I’ll level with you: the Qashqai wasn’t my first choice on this occasion. Don’t misunderstand me, it is a jolly fine car, but I had a long drive ahead from London to the Brecon Beacons in Wales to a family farm, which concerned me.
Had our long-termer been a 1.5 diesel I wouldn’t have fretted, but would this 1.2 petrol really have the guts for (a), two-and-a-half hours of motorway driving and (b), pulling itself, and me, up a Welsh hillside?
As it turns out, yes it has. Okay, where the diesel would plod solidly to 70mph in sixth after a glum stretch of average-speed-supervised 50mph roadworks, the petrol won’t. In fact, it barely moves in sixth, so you learn quickly to swap straight to forth and then off it goes. And once at 70mph again, drop it into sixth and it’ll sit quiet happily in the outside lane, keeping up with the ‘big boys’ in their BMWs, Mercs and Audis. I had no problems getting up the steep lanes, either – although admittedly, I didn’t have the car fully loaded with people or luggage.
I did, however, have Dexter the dog with me. And despite being a good-sized black lab, he never once complained about getting in the boot. To be fair, I would’ve struggled to understand him if he did, but had I discerned any canine discontent I would have told him flatly to woof off, because the Qashqai’s gifted with a very useful boot.
It’s a supple-riding car most of the time, except over really pockmarked roads around town, and pretty quiet at cruising speeds, too. I am six-foot three and fitted behind the wheel very easily, and it feels plush inside, with good quality materials and swish ambient lighting to jazz things up at night.
The negatives? The infotainment system’s small screen and fuzzy graphics looks out-dated next to newer entries, such as the Skoda Karoq. And I do wish Nissan would give us a wheel to adjust the angle of the driver’s seat backrest more liberally than a ratchet lever allows.
But all-in-all the Qashqai, Dexter and I rubbed along swimmingly.