NISSAN QASHQAI TEKNA+: first of the many still going strong

IT was a bit of a break in tradition when Nissan named their all new SUV over 15 years ago.

Up till then it had been, in the main, numbers or place names that had distinguished cars from their rivals.

But Qashqai? Naming it after a desert-dwelling nomadic tribe from south west Iran was definitely different, but would it attract sales across Europe?The answer has proved to be a resounding yes, becoming a firm favourite and a money spinner for Nissan.

To many, it’s the car that sparked the current obsession with compact SUVs, a market where Qashqai’s appeal has shone through and become one of the fastest selling models in Nissan’s long history.

It brought together in one reasonably compact package the best of all worlds: the fun-to-drive dynamic abilities more usually associated with conventional passenger cars as well as the tough stance, excellent interior packaging and ‘command’ seating position of an SUV.It still does, but then again so do the offerings from just about every other manufacturer, so the competition is cut-throat.

Qashqai is all very neatly laid out inside, with loads of interior space which gives you a good driving position with plenty head, leg and shoulder room. Throw in the optional panoramic glass roof and the interior becomes very light and airy – great on a sunny day, the like of which has not been seen for a wee while.But to stay favoured by so many motorists is testimony to the work put in by Nissan’s engineers to hone and improve an already good car.

It has good road manners, running predictably in a straight line with no wavering, and the steering response is good too.

it’s real appeal – it’s a decent size hatchback with the practicalities of an off roader, in that it has the ability to swallow your average family, their luggage, the obligatory dog and a few boxes if needed in its adaptable interior. And there’s plenty oddment storage for added convenience.There’s a decent range of trim levels on offer, starting with the entry level Visia, then Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna +.

The 1332cc four cylinder engine Nissan use in Qashqai might lead you to think it’ll be about as efficient as a wheezy boy on a cross country run, but it’s up to the task of moving the car around without tripping over the first stile en route. While some rivals are undoubtedly quicker, acceleration is adequate and the Xtronic transmission makes its changes without any unwelcome histrionics.

To keep up with the rest Nissan have instigates some cosmetic changes to the exterior and upped the standar equipment levels to include a new 12.3 inch infotainment screen

Qashqai is a credit to Nissan’s Britishness. It was designed in London, developed at Cranfield and built in Sunderland. A British Japanese car that’s been an undoubted success.


Nissan Qashqai Tekna +

Price: £36,125 (£37,270 as tested)
Engine: 1.3 litre, four cylinder, petrol
Power: 156bhp
Torque: 199lb/ft
Transmission: Xtronic
Top speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Economy: 43.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 146g/km

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