Nissan Qashqai long-term test: report 8
The Nissan Qashqai is one of the best-selling family SUVs, but is its popularity deserved? We're living with one to find out...
The car Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta DIG-T MH 158 XTronic Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer
Why it’s here To see if one of Britain's most popular family SUVs can cut it as an all-weather, all-purpose workhorse
Needs to Carry heavy, bulky equipment all over the country while being comfy, safe and economical
Mileage 14,250 List price £32,595 Target price £30,081 Price as tested £33,135 Test economy 42.6 mpg Official economy 44.3 mpg
2 August 2022 – Power to the people
On the face of it, my Nissan Qashqai’s 1.3 litre engine doesn’t seem very big for a sizable family SUV like this. I was pondering this point after passing a line of lorries the last time I used the M25.
I had cause to marvel that my Nissan Qashqai’s engine is the same size as used to lug my parents’ old Vauxhall Chevette Estate around forty years ago. However, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, the Qashqai’s produces exactly 100 more horsepower than the Chevette’s did – for 156bhp in total.
And, if you do a lot of miles, having lots of power is key to a relaxing life on the road. We’re not talking about breakneck acceleration (my car’s 9.2sec 0-62mph time is swift, rather than sizzling), but enough urgency to get out of tight spots in a hurry – such as when you’re rapidly bearing down on a lorry while outside-lane traffic is rapidly bearing down on you.
It’s at times like this that I wish the Qashqai’s Xtronic automatic gearbox was a bit more alert. When I telegraph the engine room to demand more coal on the fire, there’s a good moment of shovelling before full steam ahead is achieved. There’s plenty of power, but you have to wait for it.
At least that power comes in with a bit of decorum when it does arrive; while some automatics – such as that of the Toyota CH-R – respond to the demand for speed with a Rob Roy battle cry, the Qashqai utters more of a surprised “oh, we’re doing this, then?”
A fortunate fringe benefit of having more than enough power, though, is that the engine doesn’t have to work too hard, and the Qashqai is pretty economical as a result, averaging 42.6mpg on a blend of urban and long-distance driving. Meanwhile, a 1980 brochure for my parents’ wheezy old Chevette says it returned 44.8mpg at a constant 56mph – but it would surely have been happier keeping pace with lorries than trying to overtake them.
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Nissan Qashqai long-term test
The Qashqai is one of the best-selling family SUVs, but is its popularity deserved? We're living with one to find out