Nissan Qashqai

Tekna+ 1.3

mild-hybrid

Nissan Qashqai, 2021, side
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, front
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, rear
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, instrument panel
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, rear seats
Nissan Qashqai, 2021, boot

I'VE always envied the fact that car models can be constantly updated with the latest technology and design.

I've long wanted a new body with a sleek, streamlined exterior and all mod cons to replace the clapped out version currently struggling out of bed in the morning.

I told my wife that some of the improvements made by Nissan to the third generation of its iconic Qashqai crossover were in part due to customer feedback. ‘If only they made husbands' seemed to be the gist of her response.

Anyway, the good-looking third generation of the car that sparked the reign of the all-conquering crossover features a host of improvements.

The exterior is tweaked while the cabin gets an upgrade. There are sharper handling characteristics and tighter running costs with the overall goal of launching the Qashqai forward to another period of domination - no easy feat as the competition has rapidly increased in quantity and quality as demand has soared.

The high specification Tekna+ trim I spent some time with is a comfortable conveyance with supportive seats that are electrically-adjustable up front with heating, massage and memory functions. There is also an efficient dual-zone climate control ensuring a pleasant atmosphere.

Built in Britain at Nissan's Sunderland factory, it doesn't lack for driver information with a head up display the star of a cast that also features a smartphone compatible nine-inch central display. This gives access to the assorted entertainment goodies provided as well as the NissanConnect navigation system - there is also a 12.3-inch TFT instrument panel.

The cabin is easy on the eye offering lots of space for four adults with a fifth easily accommodated as long as you don't want the natty drop-down central armrest which offers handy cup holders for two rear-seat passengers.

The spaciousness is down to the fact that the lastest Qashqai is longer, wider and higher than before with an expanded wheelbase which, together with a weight-loss programme, makes it an agile beast.

Indeed the Qashqai feels planted to the road offering excellent grip in corners and decent feedback from the steering.

The increased dimensions also improve luggage space which now ranges from 436 litres to a maximum of 1,621 litres with the rear seats removed. With them folded flat - an easy manoeuvre - the available space is 1,379 litres.

There is a high-end feel to proceedings with lots of luxurious touches such as quilted leather upholstery, a heated multi-function steering wheel, a panoramic glass roof and an automatic tailgate.

Power is provided by a 1.3-litre mild-hybrid engine with a battery that stores energy captured when you brake to feed the Qashqai's electrical systems.

There is a 138bhp version and the 156bhp front-wheel drive car I drove that allows 62mph to be reached from a standing start with the help of an automatic transmission in a shade over nine seconds on the way to a claimed top speed of 124mph.

The more powerful mild-hybrid achieves a claimed fuel economy figure of 43.8mpg - which in the real world equated to the high 30s - with emissions of 146g/km.

All Qashqai's are fitted with stop/start technology as well as an Eco drive mode for when you're feeling frugal.

Nissan's neat e-power technology - featuring a 1.5-litre petrol engine that generates electricity to drive its cars - is expected to be available on the Qashqai next year.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ 1.3 mild-hybrid

Price:£36,125

Mechanical:156bhp, 1,332cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via an automatic gearbox

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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