By Maggie Barry on 2019-09-21 - Experienced car journalist.
Nissan Qashqai Tekna
THEnew Nissan Qashqai was the best selling British built car in the world in 2018.
We sometimes forget that this rather good piece of kit is indeed put together in the north-east of England by the good people of Sunderland.
When it first arrived on our shores more than ten years ago it was something of a surprise hit for Nissan, an immediate success story, and being the wise people they are they have continued to build on this rather than give us a dramatically different Qashqai.
So it is that the vehicle we have come to know and love enters 2019 with a facelift - but nothing too dramatic.
It remains a refined and good-looking car with the signature V-motion grille , silver roof bars with an integrated rear spoiler, a silver skid plate at the back, chrome glass surround - the while lot sitting on 19-inch diamond cut alloys. It also, in the Tekna trim I am driving, has a panoramic glass roof as standard with an electronically operated shade.
The Qashqai was arguably the car that changed the face of modern motoring - think crossovers and SUVs - and with each revamp it simply gets more kit and improved features.
Inside it is very comfortable with a high ride height for good vision and controls that are easy to reach and use.
There is a carbon effect dash trim, a leather clad steering wheel and gear lever and partial leather and cloth seats. This is a five seater with heated front sports seats and ISOFIX anchor points in the rear. There is ample legroom and the boot space goes from 403 litres to 1,598 litres with the back seats down.
The Bose sound system is accessed via the colour touchscreen on the centre console which also houses the controls for the sat nav, radio, audio, Bluetooth and climate controls. It is quite easy to use - I managed to input a new address on the nav quite manageably and took about 30 seconds to hook up my phone.
The car will take up to six mobiles on hands free which should allow almost everyone driving the car to benefit from this feature.
There is a terrific camera system onboard for a 360 degree surround view, reversing or looking at where the front tyre is pointing.
What really impressed me about this car was the 1.3-litre petrol engine which fairly fired it along the road. The Qashqai is not a small car but this 140ps job was more than adequate for everything I asked of it. It was game and sprightly whether at busy roundabouts or up winding country roads.
Nor was there any roll or lag on corners. The Qashqai made short work of anything like this, remaining firm and in touch with the road.
There are plenty of safety systems onboard too with Nissan's Safety Shield Plus including a blind spot warning and rear traffic alert. The Smart Vision Pack builds in features like traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, emergency braking and pedestrian recognition. There's an auto hold for when you get stuck on a hill and an automatic headlight levelling system.
The new Qashqai is not loud and it's not showy. It's simply a well-made car with loads of stuff on it that you didn't know you needed until it was there in front of you.
Nissan Qashqai Tekna
Mechanical: 140ps, 1,298cc, 4cylpetrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 193mph
0-62mph: 10.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 49.6
Insurance Group: 15
C02 emissions: 130g/km
Bik rating: 30%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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