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Can the rest catch Qashqai

Created on 13/03/2018 @ 19:42
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Test Drive by Graham Breeze

We’ve become a motoring nation obsessed with the Crossover sector and all the leading manufacturers are trying to catch up with Nissan and the outstanding Qashqai.

You only have to look at what’s happened in the design studios of Mazda, Seat and Peugeot to appreciate how important this group is and while CX-5, Ateca and 3008 have all clearly become contenders there’s little doubt that Nissan is still dealing the best hand with Qashqiai.

There are five well equipped trim levels available, Visa, Acebta, N-Connecta, Tenka and the flagship Tenka+ which we have just put through its paces with an on-the-road price of just over £30,000.

It’s the all-round deal that is keeping Qashqai ahead of the game and there are more than one or two aces in the pack to ensure none of the rivals in the game can fully trump this offering.

Qashqai may not handle as well as some of the rivals but it’s certainly more spacious and comfortable and comes with outstanding economy.

Tenka+ is powered by a 1461cc diesel engine with a six-speed manual box helping produce a top speed of 113mph and 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds but it’s the combined fuel consumption figure of 74.3mpg that really catches the eye, along with impressive CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.

The Qashqia is a good looker. It stands on stunning 19 inch diamond cut alloys and comes with body coloured bumpers and handles, chrome glass surround, silver roof rails, a matte black rear diffuser, a panoramic glass sunroof, rear privacy glass, roof spoiler, silver rear styling plate and a V-Motion front grille.

And you can’t help being impressed once inside the cabin too. Black leather trim with 3D quilting and a carbon-effect dashboard trim are joined by chrome door handles, memory function door mirrors, a D-shaped leather steering wheel, electrically adjusted lumber support, electric driver seat with memory function, electric passenger seat, Monoform sports seats and a leather gear lever.

A lot of things you normally pay for as extra come as part of the package. These include folding door mirrors, auto wipers, colour front, side and rear cameras, speed sensitive steering, heated front seats, stop/start, automatic dipping, rear seat armrests and cup holders, split folding rear seats and a heated front screeuch

There’s one of the best sound systems you’ll encounter on a car at this level with an AM/FM/CD audio system with DAB radio linked to NissanConnect and Bluetooth to keep you in touch while on the move. The navigation and entertainment system is displayed neatly on a seven inch screen.

The great-looking panoramic glass sunroof does eat into a little bit of head room but not enough for you to be too bothered because like all crossovers the Qashqia stands high and proud.

Crossover owners tend to need every inch of available space to tuck away the essentials for that long journey and they won’t be disappointed. There are useful storage points and while not a fan of the automatic handbrake its absence does create even more room for the odds and ends.

Security and safety figures highly. You get ABS with EBD brake assist, chassis control, all-round airbags, stability programme, engine immobilser, electric parking brake, puncture repair kit, rear door childlocks, central locking, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and moving object detection. A smart vision pack comes as standard on this model offering anti-dazzle rear mirror, traffic sign recognition, high beam assist, lane departure warning, emergency braking and front and rear parking sensors. You also get a Thatchum alarm system, three rear headrests and tyre pressure monitoring.

Putting things into perspective means the Qashqai is still out there as the benchmark for all the rest and the bosses at Nissan are determined to keep on dealing the best the game has to offer.

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