Nissan Qashqai Tekna

1.3 DIG-T

Nissan Qashqai, 2021, nose
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, side
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, rear
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, interior
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, rear seats
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, boot

IT'S an oft quoted saying - ‘If it's not broken, don't try to fix it'.

And like many similar quips, there's plenty to support its logic. But for car makers the reality is usually more complex. For a start, leave a model unchanged for too long and the rivals catch up and overtake.

Fully aware of these dangers, Nissan jumped in and replaced the second generation Qashqai before sales started to flag - quite an achievement for an eight year old model.

It was the right decision. Because within just a few months of the new version going on sale, it had recaptured top slot as Britain's most popular mid-size SUV.

Though immediately recognisable as a Qashqai, the British designed, engineered and built model is a shade larger, has more road presence and borrows a few of the sharp edges of its baby brother, the new Juke.

On the practical side, it has a roomier cabin which has been lifted up a peg in quality and the boot gains a few useful litres of space, increasing its capacity to 479litres with rear seats in place and 1,621litres when folded.

Power in the 1.3 DIG-T Tekna we borrowed comes from a 1,332cc, 156bhp engine - a tad punchier than the previous version with more torque, too. But it's one of those engines that needs plenty of revs to shine and even then it fails to ignite the sort of passion that many of the three-cylinder rivals manage.

Nevertheless, it pulls well, easily tops 45mpg and remains refined and quiet enough throughout the rev range. There's a choice between automatic or six-speed manual gearbox, ours being the manual change.

It's the cabin design and quality that most potential buyers will be impressed by. Neatly styled and beautifully finished, the fascia is both practical and attractive looking with the right balance achieved between technology and ease of use.

High grade plastics, quality materials and good fit lift the latest Qashqai to a higher level and match or better its German rivals. Front seats are well shaped and offer plenty of lateral support.

The car came with heated front seats and eight-way electric adjustments, heated steering wheel, electric, heated mirrors, rear view camera, parking sensors, LED day-time running lights and 12-inch infortainment screen.

On the practical side, there are two 12-volt sockets - one in the luggage area and the other in the front compartment, ample cupholders front and rear, six luggage hooks to anchor down loose items and two coat hooks. All of which emphasise the family-orientated nature of the Qashqai.

It's one of the few cars that just ‘feel right' for their purpose - perhaps the chief reason for the Qashqai's continued market leadership.

The refinement of the engine and the general high standard of comfort are complemented by a suspension system that irons out all but the worst road irregularities, making it an easy car for long cross-country journeys.

Handling and roadholding is of a high standard but it doesn't quite merit being described as sporty. This, after all, is very much a family hold-all with little interest breaking new ground dynamically.


Nissan Qashqai Tekna 1.3 DIG-T

Price: £31,565

Mechanical: 1,332cc, 156bhp, 4 cyl petrol hybrid engine driving 2-wheels via manual gearbox

Max Speed: 128mph

0-62mph: 9.5sec

Combined MPG: 44.1

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 145g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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