At the recent media launch, we cruised around in the Nissan Qashqai 1.2T Acenta. 30,000 units of the Qashqai has been sold in South Africa, and in Europe, the Qashqai saw 22,549 units sold in January 2018 alone. Quite the popular kid on the block.
I must say, the Qashqai reminded me once again why I love a high-riding vehicle. Not only did I enjoy the ride quality, but, when it comes to safety, I like to think it plays a significant part. Perhaps it’s a false sense of safety, but when you accidentally hit a pothole in the Eastern Cape in a small hatchback compared to a high-riding crossover or SUV… guess who’ll be better off?
It’s also just nice to be a bit higher than those around you on the road so you can be more aware of what’s going on in your surroundings. The Qashqai certainly gave me this feeling. It’s not dramatically huge like that other monster truck I once drove (and also loved), but it’s rather confident and intimidating in looks whilst being nimble and gracious.
The Qashqai is kitted out with lots of cool advanced technology and interior and exterior design upgrades have delivered a sleek, smart, cityproof vehicle.
The car’s athletic looks quickly make you forget what’s underneath the bonnet and initially doesn't feel as powerful as one would have hoped. When pulling away there is definitely a sort of lag which doesn’t last long thanks to the turbo that kicks in. The 1.2T Acenta (six-speed manual) features a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine. It delivers 85kW and has a torque delivery of 190Nm. Nissan claims a fuel consumption of 6,2 L/100 km.
Nissan Intelligent Mobility is becoming the norm in all Nissan vehicles which makes for a safer drive all-round. I particularly liked the intelligent blind-spot warning lights on the driver and passenger doors - located in the same line of sight as the side mirrors, but inside the cabin.
Other safety features include around view monitor which uses five cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide a 360-degree view of your surroundings; intelligent cross traffic alert for when you are backing out of a parking space; and moving object detection, among other features.
Space and more space! The 430-litre boot can be enlarged to 680 litres when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded flat so packing is easy breezy. The drive is also super comfortable. According to Nissan, the Qashqai’s high level of comfort has always been praised by customers - I can now understand why.
To add just a little more luxury, the front seats have been completely redesigned with tapered shoulders to offer additional support while also improving visibility for rear passengers.
The Nissan Qashqai 1,2 T Acenta will set you back R367,000 and is backed up by Nissan Assured including 24-hour roadside assistance, has a six-year/150,000km warranty, and a comprehensive three-year/90,000km service plan.
Whether you be a soccer-mom, a corporate hustler, or a small business owner that needs to drive things around or travel long distances on a regular basis, the Qashqai won't disappoint.