Nissan Qashqai long-term test: report 7
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 13,450 List price £32,595 Target price £29,979 Price as tested £33,050 Test economy 42.5 mpg Official economy 44.3 mpg
17 July 2022 – Parker, fetch the Qashqai
When chauffeuring kids around (the bread and butter daily chore of many a Nissan Qashqai), there’s little need to wear a peaked cap and white gloves. Your children are probably less likely to be concerned about their journey to school being smooth and graceful than they are about knowing whether it’s pizza or chicken dinosaurs for school dinner that day.
However, I recently had reason to transport a pair of bona fide VIPs in my Qashqai, and that task exposed the car’s shortcomings in this elevated role. The first issue seems to relate to the car’s stop-start system, and flares up when rolling along on the approach to a red light, and gently applying the brake in anticipation of having to come to a halt. If the light changes to green when I get there, the Qashqai meets this sudden change of circumstances with a violent shudder, which would be more than enough to wake a sleepy executive.
It seems to be a case of clever technology actually making things worse. Indeed, one feature of the Qashqai that I was looking forward to using was its ProPilot package of driver assistance systems, and the adaptive cruise control part of the package does trim some of the workload when loping along on a long trip. However, my relaxation – and that of anybody else on board – is often rudely interrupted when one of the systems panics unduly.
With the unpredictable nature of M25 traffic, blind-spot warning is an invaluable feature. However, when the Qashqai slams the brakes on to avoid a non-existent obstacle in my peripheral vision, it’s more a hindrance than a help. The system is equally irascible, too, on badly marked country roads. If it can’t see the white lines, or is suddenly confronted by one that it wasn’t expecting, it panics and applies the brakes so you won’t crash into what isn’t there.
With my high-profile guests in the back, I felt inclined to keep pointing out “it’s not me, it’s the car”, but the fear of being seen as a bad workman blaming his tools, I kept a lid on the Qashqai’s indiscretions. And at any rate, I knew that I’d have the opportunity to impress them at journey’s end, courtesy of the surround-view parking assistance.
With this system, the car appears on the infotainment screen as if it was being filmed from a helicopter, but instead of showing me fleeing a crime scene, it provides an overhead vista of all the obstacles that could cause a hazard when manoeuvring into a space. It even provides guidelines to help me steer an appropriate course. It's brilliant, but alas my passengers appeared unmoved by my apparent skill.
With plenty of space in the back and a generally pliant ride, the Qashqai works well as a people-mover. Just so long as your passengers aren’t grading you on finesse.
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Nissan Qashqai long-term test review
The Nissan Qashqai is one of the best-selling family SUVs, but is its popularity deserved? We're living with one to find out