Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi 130 Tekna+ 2WD
- P11D Value / BIK: £30,615 /25%
- 5-door SUV
- 128bhp/320Nm 1.6 litre, 4cyl diesel/six-speed manual
- Economy (comb) / CO2: 64.2mpg / 116g/km
- 0-62mph/top speed: 9.9/118mph
What is it?
Celebrating 10 years of production this year, the very British, Japanese Nissan Qashqai was penned in Nissan’s Paddington design centre and developed at their European Technical centre at Cranfield, initiating the ever growing crossover sector.
So ten years on, seems the perfect time for Nissan to present the face-lifted second-generation Qashqai, that we have here, with changes as a result of customer feedback on the design, quality, technology and performance.
There are also significant improvements to the safety kit and a new range-topping Tekna+ trim level that we’re driving here in dCi 130 diesel form, the Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi 130 Tekna+.
In such a closely fought sector, can the facelifted Qashqai still make its mark? We hit the road to find out.
- There’s the choice of two petrol engines, 1.2 115PS and 163PS 1.6 DIG-T and two diesel engines, 1.5 110PS and the 1.6 dCi 130 we have here. The dCi 130 is best described as torquey and happy to be revved with 128bhp, plus 320Nm of torque.
- Acceleration to 62mph takes 9.9 seconds, with a 118mph top speed. This engine is available with XTronic CVT automatic transmission, or the slick six-speed manual we have here.
- The second-generation Qashqai might have been on sale since 2013, but in our opinion it still looked reasonably sharp. However, this hasn’t stopped Nissan’s designers making significant changes. At the front, you won’t miss the new family ‘V-motion’ grille, sleek new headlight design and the revised front bumper boasting more colour-keying and chrome like our Tekna + to give a more premium look. What you might not have noticed at the front is the new, reprofiled bonnet. At the side, you can spot the facelifted Qashqai by the shark fin aerial and the new range of alloy wheels in 17, 18 and 19-inch size, the latter fitted to this range-topping Tekna +. Move to the back of the Qashqai and there’s another new bumper and ‘L-shaped’ LED rear lights.
- Inside, like the outside, this facelifted Qashqai has benefited from significant upgrades. Most obviously, it has a new flat-bottomed steering wheel, that not only looks sportier and follows the rest of the range, Nissan says it is also easier to get into and out of this crossover. Other changes to the Qashqai’s dash include the air vents and door handles which have improved in quality and the centre console armrest is now stitched. There are high back-style seats, from the N-Connecta trim upwards, with soft Nappa leather on our range-topping Tekna + trim. A new 10-speaker BOSE sound system is also included.
- The interior feel of our Tekna + test car, plus the plastics and trim certainly feel of a higher quality than before.
- Again, Nissan sought the help of NASA with the design of their monoform, or high-back style front seats. We found them comfortable and supportive with a good amount of adjustability to find the perfect driving position. Changes to this Nissan’s refinement also make for a more refined drive.
- This is a very thorough face-lift, as the Qashqai even boasts enhanced ride and handling. Changes include reduced spring rates, stiffer anti-roll bars and different shock absorbers. On the road, confident best sums up this Nissan’s handling, the ride even on the 19-inch alloys of Tekna+ is comfortable, body roll is kept well under control and there’s plenty of grip.
- The Qashqai has always been a safe choice and the latest version has already received a five-star Euro NCAP rating. At the front, there’s the expected front and side airbags. All models can also be fitted with autonomous emergency braking, which comes as standard with N-Connecta spec models and above. More interesting, is that if you can wait until autumn 2017, this system will recognise pedestrians as well as other cars. Choose a higher-spec Qashqai, such as this Tekna+ and it also comes with road sign recognition and lane departure warning.
- Like the idea of your Qashqai driving itself? Well from Spring 2018, Nissan’s Safety Shield system, including blind spot monitors, rear cross traffic alert and automatic parking, will also include a ProPilot system. Which means this Nissan can drive itself in traffic jams, by using the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
- Okay in range-topping Tekna+ trim, this Qashqai costs a not insignificant smidge over £32,000, but it does come with a comprehensive amount of standard kit including a rear parking camera and sensors, panoramic roof, electrically adjustable heated and folding door mirrors, 19-inch wheels, full LED headlights, heated front seats, Nappa leather trim and a power tailgate.
- This dCi 130 diesel engine is the most powerful, but it doesn’t feel 128bhp quick and is quite noisy from start-up and when extended.
- Despite the changes to the ride and handling, the steering lacks feel and rivals such as the SEAT Ateca are more fun and engaging to drive.
- It is impressive that despite fitting the biggest 19-inch alloy wheels, there’s no CO2 penalty, but fitting these wheels does equal lots of road noise.
- Nissan’s NissanConnect touch-screen infotainment system might have a new user interface, but it’s complicated to use and the maps lack detail and are difficult to read.
- The Qashqai’s boot is a useful, practical shape and size, but rear space is no better than average.
- Quality has been improved, but the Qashqai has some way to go to match its best German rivals in terms of fit and finish.
Verdict on Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi 130 Tekna+
The Qashqai defined the still-growing crossover class and these facelift changes should keep it as the ‘go to’ car in this sector. Okay, more modern rivals offer greater space and greener engines, but these changes and the new high-end Tekna + trim level mean there’s still plenty of reasons to recommend the Qashqai for, even in the crowded crossover market.
So how does it compare to its key rival – the SEAT Ateca? Closest model is the 2.0-litre TDI XCELLENCE. The SEAT is looking impressive from the start as it’s only available with four-wheel drive and cheaper by significant £3,000.
Although for an SME the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Nissan continues to be strong, with its lower 119g/km emissions versus 129g/km of the SEAT. The Nissan also has a lower tax band of 25% versus 27% of the SEAT.
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