Nissan Qashqai

Tekna+ DIG-T 158ps

Nissan Qashqai, 2023, front
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, side
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, rear
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, interior
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, gear lever
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, boot, loaded
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, boot, maximum
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, boot
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, e-Power badge

INTRODUCED in 2007, the Nissan Qashqai was unique - the first ever hatchback/SUV ‘crossover'.

It created a sector in its own right and now has at least 26direct competitorsin Europe.

Since launch, the all-conquering Qashqai has been a consistent, award-winning best-seller. It needs no introduction because there simply won't be a day that has gone by without you seeing one. Some 3.5 million have been sold.

It's also worth remembering that, despite its name, the Qashqai is as British as roast beef. It was designed at the brand's design centre in Paddington, engineered at the company's technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, and built at Nissan's now-famous famous Sunderland factory.

And the new model is certainly beefy - longer, wider and higher than ever before - and, to my mind, much more stylish. Yet, it weighs 60kg less due to the use of aluminium for the bonnet, doors and front wings, plus composite materials for the rear tailgate.

There's a handful of trims led by the range-topping Tekna+, which comes with 20-inch alloys, front heated and fully adjustable massage seats, heated steering wheel, 10.8-inch head-up display, wireless charging, a 10-speaker Bose sound system, adaptive LED headlights and a powered tailgate.

The Tekna+ also comes with a high resolution nine-inch infotainment and satnav screen which is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Behind the steering wheel is a new, high-definition, 12.3-inch digital multi-information screen offering a choice of configurable layouts to display navigation, entertainment, traffic or vehicle information, all controlled from a new tactile dial switch on the steering wheel.

Engine options consist of two 1.3 DIG-T petrols (138bhp or 156bhp), which have some mild hybridassistance, as well as a fully-hybrid e-Power engine. For the 156bhp, max engine power arrives at 5,500rpm, with maximum available torque of 270Nm at a convenient 1,750rpm.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox - an auto is available too which also opens up the option of four-wheel drive - is slick and easy to use, and I think many will find it pleasing enough.

As has always been the case, the elevated driving position in the Qashqai is superb and there's good visibility out the front and side windows, though the over-the-shoulder view is a little restricted by thick rear pillars.

That said, reversing isn't too much of a challengebecause even entry-level models comewith rear parking sensors. Others come with a 360-degree bird's eye view camera and front parking sensors.

The Qashqai's interior looks smart and feels well put together, especially the chunky, tactile knobs which control the aircon. There's plenty of space for adults in the front and the rear is a revelation too.

Getting in and out of the Qashqai's back seats is easythanks to rear doors that open to 85 degrees - wider than any other car in the class. That'salso a blessing if you're putting kids in child seats. Drop the kiddie seat and the rear is roomy enough for two outer adult passengers who will be blessed with plenty of head and knee room.

The Qashqai's rear seatbacks fold down in a traditional 60/40 split. At 504-litres, the boot is larger but keeps the useful wipe-clean floorboards so you can fit them carpet-side down for muddy dogs or wet kit.

Now, the third-generation Qashqai is noticeably bigger than its predecessors and, once behind the wheel, it's also noticeably better to drive with excellent steering and handling. Instead of a torsion beam, the Tekna+ comes with a multi-link suspension, which is sportier and more comfortable, even on those 20-inch wheels.

It handles well over bumps and potholes and feels planted with plenty of grip when heading through corners. It's certainly not wallowy and even the 156bhp version is hushed at low revs though the 20-inch wheels mean you have to put up with a fair bit of road noise.

Family drivers will be comforted by the fact the Tekna+ comes with Nissan's excellent ProPilot driver assistance system. It's a real boon, especially on busy motorways and dual carriageways. Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking also reads the road ahead to detect if a vehicle suddenly brakes. The system will apply the brakes to reduce the likelihood of a collision.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ DIG-T 158ps

Price:£34,175

Mechanical:156bhp, 1,332cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission

Max Speed:128mph

0-62mph:9.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 43.6

Insurance Group:19

C02 emissions:146g/km

Bik rating:34%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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