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Nissan Qashqai review – A premium crossover that leaves little to be desired

The new Nissan Qashqai is a great-looking crossover with the performance to match, and its interior leaves very little to be desired.

TopAuto recently had the chance to take ownership of Nissan’s new vehicle for a week to sample everything that it has to offer.

Athletic crossover

Now in its third generation, the new Qashqai looks better than ever with more distinct body lines that help to give it an overall more sporty demeanour.

The front, in particular, has a set of sleek LED headlights and daytime running lights along with a good-looking grille and angular bumper which houses the camera and parking sensors.

The 19-inch alloy wheels are also accentuated by the black lining around the wheel arches and the privacy glass on the rear windows is a nice touch.

The great looks are not just limited to the outside, however, as the Qashqai boasts a stylish interior with stitched Nappa leather upholstery and soft-touch materials on most surfaces.

On the top-spec Acenta Plus, these seats even include heating and massage functions, the latter of which proved to be a treat on the way home after a long day at work.

The leather multifunction steering wheel felt great, too, which brings us to the various screens and driving functions.

The infotainment system on the Qashqai is nothing short of excellent – it’s easy to use, with a set of shortcut buttons on the right-hand side for quick navigation, and there are a lot of functions to choose from.

Nissan’s on-board navigation is good enough to the point where I didn’t feel the need to switch to Android Auto and Google Maps, and many of the features can also be displayed on the digital driver’s screen.

The assistance systems, on the other hand, are an appreciated addition but can be a little overbearing at times.

For instance, the crossover has highly-sensitive parking sensors that face out at an angle from the front bumper as well as straight ahead, and it’s very easy to set these off when pulling up at a drive-thru or when trying to accept a ticket at a parking lot, which proved to be a minor but consistent annoyance during my week with the car.

Outside of these situations, though, the parking sensors were a helpful inclusion along with the Qashqai’s 360-degree cameras, which is conveniently operated through the touchscreen with both an overhead and front and rear displays.

One more point to touch on is the boot, which at 504 litres is a decent size for a vehicle in this segment and should be more than enough for most daily uses.

Performance to match

The cherry on top with the Qashqai is that it has the performance to go along with its good looks and well-equipped interior.

The crossover range is fitted with a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 110kW and 250Nm, and this is paired with a CVT to send power to the front wheels.

The result is acceleration that makes overtaking a breeze.

The CVT box was rather impressive, too. First, there are the Sport and Eco modes, which made a tangible difference to the throttle response with Sport sharpening it to a tee while Eco mode tries its hardest to stop the revs from climbing unnecessarily.

Arguably one of the main highlights of the package is that the Qashqai is equipped with a set of paddle shifters, which when combined with Sport mode, resulted in a joyous time tearing about the streets.

Handling is also good, with the crossover managing corners smoothly, though the trade-off here is that the car has rather hard suspension that is noticeable when hitting a speed bump or riding over a poorly maintained road.

As for fuel consumption, a stop-start function is included and the driver’s display handily provides a summary of your performance after each trip, with a bar graph showing the recent peaks and troughs in petrol usage.

My worst trip came out 12.1l/100km, which was when the Sport mode and paddle shifters were in full effect, but over in Eco mode I averaged a far better 7.0l/100km.


With prices ranging from R568,200 to R670,600, the Qashqai sits in the mid-to-premium crossover segment. This price puts the Nissan in a tough spot as it has to compete with quite a few high-end players which was previously priced far out of its league.

What you get, however, is a high-quality interior, top-notch infotainment and tech, fashionable looks, and enjoyable performance, making the Qashqai a tempting choice in the ever-growing crossover marketplace and highly deserving of its price tag.

Nissan Qashqai


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