Nissan Qashqai 1.3

DIG-T 158ps Tekna+

Nissan Qashqai, 2021, front
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, nose
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, nose
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, side
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, interior
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, tail
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, rear
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, side
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, rear seats
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, boot
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, front, upright

SINCE its launch back in 2006, the Nissan Qashqai has been at the front of a growing chasing pack in the compact SUV sector and now there is an all-new third generation model that raises the bar once again.

Nissan claims to have invented the crossover sector when the Qashqai was first unveiled and it offered owners family car practicality combined with nice handling and performance

These days there are models from the likes of Jaguar, Porsche, BMW and numerous other manufactures trying to cash in on the rapidly growing sector.

With an eye on future electrification, new Qashqaiis available with a 1.3-litre DiG-T petrol engine with 48-volt mild hybrid technology added to the mix. It is on sale with outputs of 138hp or 156hp and with the option of two or four-wheel drive. And, of course, there are numerous trim levels to choose from.

We opted for the range-topping 1.3 DIG-T 158ps Tekna+ version with 270Nm of torque matched to an Xtronic automatic gearbox with 2WD.

The car could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 9.2 seconds, topped out at 124mph and delivers a combined 43.8mpg under stricter WLTP testing, with carbon emissions of 146g/km. It was priced at £36,125, increasing to £37,270 with special paint plus a two-tone roof.

The new Qashqai has a fresh look with an extended wheelbase, larger alloys and a front end that sports a large Nissan V-motion grille which is finished in chrome, and this is flanked by slim full LED advanced matrix headlights with boomerang signature daytime running lights.

Moving inside, the interior is more upmarket too with fine leather quilted seats that are power-operated for convenience, ambient lighting and a wealth of technology to explore.

The infotainment system has been upgraded and includes integration of smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in-car wi-fi for up to seven devices and a pitch perfect 10-speaker Bose surround sound system.

Our car also featured a head-up display, 12.3-inch driver tft screen, plus a separate panel to access the climate control settings.

When it comes to performance, the Qashqai once again focuses more on comfort than power, but it's certainly no slouch. The acceleration through the gearbox is nice and smooth with paddles for added driver fun.

There are drive modes called Eco, Standard and Sport that alter the vehicle's responses. In addition, the ProPilot set-up assists with steering, acceleration and braking and helps maintain the car's lane position and distance from the vehicle in front which helps make motorway driving less stressful.

The car is grippy through country lanes with minimal body sway into tighter curves and the engine delivers ample power for overtaking slower moving vehicles.

The overall length of new Qashqai has increased by 35mm and that, together with the longer wheelbase, means extra space for passengers. There is ample room for two adults in back, but add a third and it gets a little too cosy.

The powered tailgate offers easy access to the boot which can swallow 436 litres of kit. This limit increases to 1,379 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. A double boot floor is handy for storing items such as muddy boots away from general luggage or it can be raised to act as a partition to stop shopping bags toppling over.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 158ps Tekna+

Price:£36,125

Mechanical: 158ps, 1,332cc, 4-cylinder, petrol-driven engine with Xtronic automatic transmission and 2WD

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 9.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 43.8

Insurance Group:16

C02 emissions: 146g/km

Bik rating: 33%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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