Used Nissan Qashqai long-term test review: report 1

For many years, the Qashqai was the go-to car in the family SUV sector. Can a used one convince us it's still worth a look? We've got four months to find out...

Used Nissan Qashqai long-term test review

The car 2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 140 N-Connecta Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here To find out if buying a used family SUV makes good financial sense, and to see if the venerable Qashqai is still a viable alternative to its younger competitors

Needs to Inject a bit of interest into suburban motoring, and cope admirably with a variety of uses, including daily commuting, motorway journeys, school runs and family life

Price when new £24,000 Price when new with all options £25,025 Value on arrival £19,995 Miles on arrival 2800 Miles now 3624 Official economy 53.2mpg Test economy 39mpg Emissions 121g/km CO2 0-62mph 10.5 sec Top speed 120mph Power 138bhp Insurance group 15E Options Blade Silver metallic paint (£575); Panoramic glass roof (£450)

6 June – I say hello to my Nissan Qashqai

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose. The Nissan Qashqai, progenitor-in-chief and one-time doyen of the family SUV class and, in its 2014 second-generation version, our overall What Car? Car of the Year, has in recent times been under attack from a rash of younger and better-looking arrivistes out to steal its crown.

Where once its rugged and practical approach won it admirers and sales in equal measure, now we reserve our highest praise for those upstart rivals with their tauter handling and better build quality, perhaps even for their more desirable badge. Indeed in our latest family SUVs Top 10 the Qashqai sits, somewhat forlornly, at a lowly position number eight.

Used Nissan Qashqai

So, is this fall from top-slot grace justified, or is there life in the old dog yet? To answer this I’m running a Qashqai on our long-term fleet for the next few months, to see if its blend of comfort and usability can still stand it in good stead when faced with its more fashionable contemporaries, cars like the Skoda Karoq and the Seat Ateca.

What I’ve got is a 1.3 DIG-T 140 N-Connecta model with a six-speed manual gearbox. Now, I’ve actually run a Qashqai before as a long-termer and rather liked it, but that was a diesel-engined version and the tide seems to have turned there too, so this time I’ve picked a petrol-engined car. Ours comes with a 138bhp 1.3-litre engine that’s relatively new to the range, having just replaced the slightly asthmatic old 1.2-litre unit.

Our N-Connecta is roughly mid-trim level and brings with it all the goodies you could reasonably want in this class too, including dual-zone climate control, rear privacy glass, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a 7.0in touchscreen and front, rear and side view colour cameras. On top of that, our car has two optional extras fitted: the Blade Silver metallic paint, which contrasts rather well with this car’s many fancy exterior styling touches, and a panoramic glass sunroof with an electric shade that does wonders for lifting the mood in the car’s darker interior.

Nissan Qashqai

New, this car would have set you back £24,000 without the options, and £25,025 with them. Ours, however, is six-months-old and has a little over 3000 miles on the clock, and bought from a Nissan dealer it’d set you back around £19,995, which is a healthy saving on that new price.

So I’ve been here before, and running my old Qashqai was a pleasure, and I’m sure this one will be too. Indeed a long-term test might be a good opportunity to dispel any lingering worries about the Qashqai’s reliability, especially as it finished in bottom place in the family SUV class in our most recent survey.

Well, all I can say so far is if you hop into mine it all feels well screwed together. The dashboard uses soft materials in most of the visible areas, the sat-nav seems easy to programme and the buttons and switches operate with a reassuring action. The driving position’s commanding, and there should be enough adjustment built in to the steering wheel and seat for all sizes.

Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T N-Connecta - interior

Visibility out is pretty good, too, at least to the front, and as mentioned the all-round cameras with a 360deg bird’s-eye view should fill in those areas aft that are restricted by the rather thick but undeniably sturdy-looking rear pillars. It all feels, on first (re-?) acquaintance, roomy, comfortable and easy to get along with, which is pretty much what you want from this type of car.

On the road, my initial impression is how smooth that petrol engine is. At an idle, it’s barely audible, and if you run it up through the rev range it’s impressively refined, much more so than I remember the diesel-engined car being, and that was pretty good by class standards. All the driving controls are lightweight in operation and the steering is reasonably pleasing too.

 So, it’s early days, but the Qashqai’s impressing, especially for family duties - it brought my younger daughter and her two friends home from a doubtless sleepless sleepover in comfort and without any complaints, and for that in itself it earns my immediate respect.

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