The Qashqai still offers something a little more interesting than the likes of the VW Golf or Ford Focus. The new wheels on this n-tec help to give the chunky, revised styling a solid feel, and the high-set driving position provides a sense of security that a normal hatch can’t match. Stop-start is a welcome addition, too, although given how much kit is already included, we think the technology should be standard-fit.
Nissan’s Qashqai is cleaning up it's act! Bosses have introduced stop-start as an option on the popular 1.6-litre petrol engine, and we took the wheel to see if it makes a difference.
The 1.6 accounts for more than 40 per cent of Qashqai sales, and while it doesn’t have the punch of a turbo, it’s responsive. The £200 stop-start cuts power smoothly as you come to a halt. Press the clutch, and the engine sparks back to life without hesitation.
Emissions drop 5g/km to 139g/km, which cuts annual road tax by £10 to £110. What’s more, economy is said to be improved by three per cent.
New lights and bumpers fitted as part of last year’s facelift ensure the Qashqai still looks modern. Our n-tec model now gets 18-inch Onyx alloys as standard – they used to be a £400 extra, although they make the ride stiffer.
The revamp left the cabin largely untouched. It features sat-nav, a panoramic roof and a reversing camera, but rivals are packaged better. You sit high, so the low-set sat-nav is tricky to use, and while rear
passengers will love the roof, it cuts head and legroom. Plus, the dash doesn’t have the engaging colours and textures of the Juke.