First Drive: JOE tests out the all-new Nissan Qashqai
Recently, JOE’s Oisin Collins test-drove the all-new Nissan Qashqai through the English moorlands. Here’s a look at how he got on…
Following on from our tour around the Nissan manufacturing plant in Sunderland (check that out here), the Irish motoring journalists invited on the trip were given the chance to test out the new Qashqai on some stunning country roads. The car I tested was the 1.6 DSL SV, priced at €29,195, and it only had 26km on the clock. It also had an Irish registration plate as the cars we tested were being shipping out to Irish dealers that night.
Our test-drive started off at the Sunderland factory and it took us through some quaint country villages, along with much bigger towns, before we finally reached the moorlands between Stanhope and Consett.
The new Qashqai was extremely comfortable on the road and it handled some of the rougher terrain with ease. Some larger cars tend to have incredibly light steering in order to make them that bit better at navigating very tight corners, but this can often make the car feel a little unsteady on bumpy roads.
Thankfully, the guys at Nissan found the perfect balance for the new Qashqai by making it light enough to turn tight corners with ease, while also ensuring the car feels stable on the road at all times.
The 1.6 DSL engine felt a little bit sluggish as it climbed up steep hills, but it was nothing that dropping a gear couldn’t sort out and the engine remained surprisingly quiet even through the high revs. The Qashqai has obviously been designed with families in mind and it comes equipped with buckets of room for rear seat passengers, along with a nice open cabin and easy to read, uncluttered dials.
The interior is nice and neat and the inclusion of some LED lighting around the base of the gear stick gives the Qashqai a nice ‘techy/trendy’ feel (below). The entertainment system, along with the various climate control buttons, are easy to use and steering wheel controls don’t get in your way when turning, which is always a plus - there’s nothing worse than the radio randomly changing as you turn a corner.
The high driving position gives you a great view of what lies ahead and while the A-pillars are a tad chunky they don’t obstruct your view to the point that they become a nuisance.
You’re not going to win any ¼ mile drag races in the Qashqai (you might want to check out the Nissan Juke Nismo for that), but then again, you’re hardly going to buy a Qashqai in order to race it. As I've said, it was designed with families in mind...
All in all, the new-Qashqai is undoubtedly an excellent car and Nissan have done extremely well to improve on the last generation. We’ll have a more in-depth review later in the year when we test out the Qashqai on Irish roads, so until then you can check out the images in the gallery above.
For more check out Nissan.ie