PROS: The 2.0 litre petrol engine has plenty of punch and is one of the most powerful in the range. Tekna trim adds leather seats, a panoramic sunroof and a reversing camera to the standard features.
CONS: The 2.0 litre petrol engine will incur some hefty fuel bills so the smaller 1.6 diesel would seem to be the best pick.
The Qashqai’s 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder, 16V petrol engine produces a sufficient amount of power to give this car a great top speed of 114 mph whilst accelerating from 0-62 mph takes just 10.7 seconds. This is thanks to the strong power credentials which offer 138 bhp of power and 145 lb-ft of torque.
The Qashqai also offers a choice of four other engines: the 104 bhp 1.5 litre diesel is competent but both this and the 1.6 litre petrol need to be pushed hard to achieve the best results. The 1.6 litre diesel is more powerful and refined than those two engines and more comfortable with everyday driving, making it the prefered option whilst those looking for more clout are likely to choose the 148 bhp 2.0 litre diesel engine that is available only with an automatic gearbox.
The strong suspension deals easily with bumpy and uneven surfaces, resulting in a smooth and comfortable ride. There is a fair amount of body lean through corners, but the steering offers plenty of feel. The Qashqai is extremely refined and there is little noise disruption from the engine, suspension, wind or road.
The Qashqai has a well-crafted exterior but unfortunately this does not continue into the interior where cheap plastics lower the overall quality of the cabin.
All Qashqais are generously equipped and as the top of the range model this Tekna comes with a great range of features. Entry-level Visia models come with alloy wheels, four electric windows, electric mirrors, a CD player and Bluetooth connectivity. The Acenta trim offers climate control, a CD changer, parking sensors, cruise control, and automatic headlamps and wipers on top of this whilst the N-tec cars get sat-nav and a panoramic sunroof and the Tekna models benefit from leather upholstery, xenon headlights and a reversing camera in addition to the other features.
The dashboard is clear and well-organised. The steering wheel adjusts for both height and reach, and the driver’s seat alters for height and offers good support. The elevated driving position delivers excellent front visibility.
The Qashqai seats four comfortably, but room is tight with five people. The rear headroom does not match some rivals but the boot is large with a capacity of 410 litres even with the seats up and 860 litres when they are folded down.
The car features an impressive safety kit that includes six airbags, stability control and active front head restraints to reduce whiplash. The car comes with an immobiliser to deter thieves and reliability should not be an issue as Nissan have an impeccable record in this department and the Quashqai performed well in the 2011 JD Power customer satisfaction survey - finishing in the top 40. There is even a three year warranty for 60,000 miles provided as standard on the car, giving buyers the peace of mind they need.
The Tekna is priced at £24,145, which is considerably cheaper than the Volvo XC60 and slightly less than the Peugeot 3008. All Qashqais are well-equipped but as the top of the range model this Tekna offers a great range of kit - although this is clearly reflected in the price.
Unfortunately, the initial price of the car is not the only thing that is too high and running costs are also fairly high with fuel economy poor as the car achieves just 37.2 mpg on a combined cycle whilst carbon dioxide emissions of are amongst the highest in the range at 179 g/km - placing the car under road tax band I. This model is also one of the dearest to insure, incurring moderate premiums under insurance group 20.
However, reliability is excellent and resale values are high and this makes the range a good investment for families. In terms of value for money, the 1.6 dCi Acenta is the best option as it has the most impressive engine in the range combined with the specification which offers the most for your money.
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