This year marks the 10th birthday for the UK’s best selling Crossover, the Nissan Qashqai. To celebrate this landmark birthday, we were invited to the launch of their new face-lift model in Vienna, Austria.
The main question everybody had on their tongue was “how do you make the best selling Crossover better?”
The Qashqai was released onto our road in 2007 and since then has had a face-lift in 2010, 2014 and now 2017. Each time modernising the look of the vehicle and improving the way it drives.
So what’s changed? Actually quite a lot lets start with the exterior.
The Qashqai has always looked modern and eye catching and the new version isn’t any different. Nissan have re-styled the front and back headlights giving them full LED’s that run day time running lights yet when you indicated the lights change colour on that side.
The front headlights also have adaptive lighting for when you are going around a corner the lights will shine where you are going rather than straight forward.
The front grill has also been changed and the sticking out Nissan badge has been replaced with a slick plate with the badge inscribed within. It looks brilliant and is very Mercedes-esc, making the new Qashqai look more premium.
One thing that has stood out for us was the modern replacement of the screw on antenna which has now changed to the stylish ‘shark fin antenna.
Nissan have always been known for their impressive colours and have added two new ones to the mix called Chestnut Bronze and Vivid Blue. The blue for us really stood out and is well worth getting but everybody has their own preference.
Finally, after asking a lot of their long term customers what they would like to see, one of the main things was noise reduction. Nissan have added a new ‘optimised air flow panel’ under the front bumper and have added extra padding within the door panels to give a much quieter ride, and it has worked very well as the cab is very quiet.
The top of the range has always been the Tekna, but to celebrate 10 years, Nissan have added a new spec to the range called Tekna+, which gives you a much more premium interior. Most notably the seats which feel like they are hugging you and is like sitting on a cloud.
One thing that has been changed on all of the Nissan range is the new D-shape steering wheel making it easier for the taller driver to enter the car. Other than looking fantastic Nissan have also increased the size of the opening of the steering wheel to give you a better view of your instruments on the speedometer.
It is amazing how much the new steering wheel makes you think “ how did we ever accept the old version” as it really does look that good. It is also thicker which really helps with grip especially if you have big hands.
The boot is a truly flexible load space, with a carrying capacity of 430 litres which increases to 1,598 litres when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded flat.
The all-new Qashqai comes with 46 levels of equipment which includes a new 8 speaker Bose Surround sound system. We found it worked brilliant and played the top of the Austrian charts nice and clear (and loud).
The easy to use Nissan connect has also been upgraded to work perfectly with the Bose Surround sound system, even a small child could use all of its features, it is really that simple.
If we look at the safety features that come with the Qashqai we could be here all day but let us go through our favourites.
A safety feature that will be coming into all Nissan range models in the ‘hill auto hold’. Nissan Claim all cars will auto hold on a hill for up to 3 minutes and without exaggerating we parked it on a very steer hill in the hills of Vienna and it did exactly what it said on the tin.
The hill was very steep…
Other safety features include the BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) that has been passed onto other manufacturers from the safety kings, Volvo. The system shows up an orange light warning you that a vehicle is on that side of the car and not to change lane or move in that direction.
What will come as a relief to you ‘parking panic’ drivers is that the new Qashqai will park its self. We have had some cars in the past which the system didn’t works as well as anticipated but the Qashqai system works brilliantly and was reliable.
It will also warn you when coming out of a parking space if it is unsafe to do so. Another huge step for Nissan for producing an autonomous vehicle.
Tying in with the self parking the Qashqai also comes with a 360 degree monitor letting you know when you are close to any other object, person or vehicle.
The only thing we found that let the Qashqai down was the handling. As always we give all the cars we test a bit of ‘pasty’ and it was constant wheel screech and understeer around corners even at lower speeds.
So to conclude we would say the new Qashqai has been given some fantastic improvements and with the price, warranty and after care service we can see it continuing to be a family favourite for years to come.
You can also look forward to the land keep assist next summer which integrates into your cruise control to pretty much self steer. Exciting times ahead.
Being the third best selling car in the UK at the minute, we can only see things getting better for the market leader.