Nissan Qashqai

e-Power Tekna

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

THE SUV that set the mould for family crossovers is one of the most common sights on our roads.

Loved by retirees and young families alike, there's a lot that is new about the latest Nissan Qashqai.

This variant is rather special. It's got a novel blend of electric and petrol power that no other firm has tried.

It allows most of the benefits of full-cream electric without the negative of range anxiety because the engine's job is to act as a generator to the front mounted electric motor which then drives the front wheels.

The result is basically an electric driving experience without the worry of recharging because in your back pocket there's the safety net of a good old fashioned petrol combustion engine. Of course, you still use petrol but it's got a pretty miserly thirst.

There are a few buttons for the driver to play with. Perhaps the most relevant one is the e-Power button which allows serious regenerative braking, so much so that you feel strong retardation the second you lift of the gas. There's also a choice of several driving modes and by shifting the gear selector lever regenerative braking is either increased or decreased.

It may sound a bit complex, but in practice it all works easily and well with strong linear acceleration. In fact this is by far the swiftest Qashqai on the market with 62mph coming up in less than eight seconds.

Another plus is the absence of a gearbox which avoids the irritation of CV transmission with its wearisome droning sound that afflicts many electric models.

We regularly managed 50-plus mpg and even pressing on we seldom dropped below the 40mpg mark. While running costs are pretty reasonable, company drivers do not get the tax benefit of ultra-low C02 that plug-in hybrid drivers receive.

Away from the tech innovations, the Qashqai remains an easy and pleasing all-rounder to live with. In its latest incarnation the cabin is well finished and quite classy - lots of tactile, soft touch surfaces and a big touch-screen which is backed up by some physical knobs to control heating and air con rather than them all being digital. Good news.

There are plenty of cup holders, storage boxes and cubbies to hide the inevitable clutter, as befits a family crossover.

Ride is largely comfortable although the extra weight of the battery has tended to make the handling less dainty. Nevertheless, most surfaces are dealt with is composed fashion and the steering, though quite light, is accurate and well geared.

As you'd expect from a modern SUV, space is generous with ample shoulder and legroom all round and a decent sized boot. The boot platform can be adjusted to allow extra height - it's capable of carrying about 500 litres of luggage, and the rear seats split and fold to increase its capacity.

The Tekna version, driven here, comes with plenty of tasty goodies. Mind you, at £38k, you expect some treats. The list includes glass panoramic roof, rear spoiler, roof rails, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Qashqai e-Power Tekna

Price: £38,140

Mechanical: 1,497cc, 3 cyl petrol/electric, 188bhp engine driving two wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed: 105mph

0-62mph: 7.9sec

Combined MPG:53.3

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 120g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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