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Nissan Qashqai review: Brit built and engineered crossover is a winner


ENGLAND car flags. Yes or no?

Personally, I’d rather spend the money on a beer with the boys than put a fiver in Mike Ashley’s deep pockets.

The Nissan Qashqai - designed in London, engineered in the Midlands, built in Sunderland.

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The Nissan Qashqai – designed in London, engineered in the Midlands, built in Sunderland.Credit: David Shepherd

But if ever there was a car that deserves to wear the St George’s Cross, it’s the Nissan Qashqai.

Designed in London, engineered in the Midlands, built in Sunderland.

Japanese money, of course, but as English as a button-back sofa.

OK, you could say much the same for Mini. But in pure numbers alone, Qashqai is king. The go-to family SUV.

It’s also the yardstick rival crossovers are measured against, so every new version needs to hit the back of the net like    . . . er . . . Harry Kane. (Don’t worry, Harry, you’ll bag one in the next game, son.)

We’ve already shown you pictures of the fourth-gen Qashqai, but now that I’ve finally driven one I’m pleased to report it’s every bit as good as Nissan promised.

Let’s start inside. Nice. Classy. Higher- quality, soft-touch materials everywhere, more space in all directions, plus all the tech and gadgets you’d expect in a Merc.

There’s an old saying, “You can’t miss what you’ve never had” and that’s mostly true.

Classy. Higher- quality, soft-touch materials everywhere, more space in all directions, plus all the tech and gadgets you’d expect in a Merc

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Classy. Higher- quality, soft-touch materials everywhere, more space in all directions, plus all the tech and gadgets you’d expect in a MercCredit: David Shepherd

But Qashqai owners switching from old to new will have no idea how they’ve managed   for years without seats that warm and rub  your back.

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The heated steering wheel is also a Qashqai first, as is a head-up display which projects speed and turn-by-turn navigation on to the windscreen.

Intelligent cruise control reads speed signs and slows the car automatically to save your licence.

Qashqai owners switching from old to new will have no idea how they’ve managed   for years without seats that warm and rub  your back

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Qashqai owners switching from old to new will have no idea how they’ve managed   for years without seats that warm and rub  your backCredit: David Shepherd

This next bit will really please parents: The rear doors open wider, to 85 degrees, making it easier to sort the kiddlywinks. 

There’s also WiFi for up to seven devices, and boot space for all the usual family debris has grown 50 litres to 504 litres.

It looks smart too. I reckon Qashqai’s clean and fuss-free design will age better than the Tucson and Sportage.

Next up, driving impressions.

You can feel the lightness and strength of the new chassis and that improves handling as much as fuel economy

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You can feel the lightness and strength of the new chassis and that improves handling as much as fuel economyCredit: David Shepherd

This car isn’t about its 0-62 time, it’s about transporting your family as safely and comfortably as possible — but it’s no slouch either.

You can feel the lightness and strength of the new chassis and that improves handling as much as fuel economy. 

My testing in the 1.3-litre mild hybrid returned 40mpg over 200 miles. The official figure is 43mpg. Fair play. The engine is smooth and quiet.

As for negatives, visibility through the rear windscreen isn’t great. Not as bad as an Evoque but you’ll find yourself relying on the reversing camera and top-view camera.

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Also the key. Nissan has spent squillions  giving its hero car a major upgrade but still dishes out Poundland key fobs. I mean,  seriously. That needs sorting.

Verdict

 NISSAN has moved the game on  massively. Qashqai is posh, practical, hybrid,  hi-tech and still sensibly priced from £23k.

This car isn’t about its 0-62 time, it’s about transporting your family as safely and comfortably as possible — but it’s no slouch either

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This car isn’t about its 0-62 time, it’s about transporting your family as safely and comfortably as possible — but it’s no slouch eitherCredit: David Shepherd

Or you could say: Great at the back, brilliant up top, decent all over the park. 

Come on, England.

Built in Sunderland...

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Built in Sunderland…Credit: David Shepherd
Engineered in Cramfield...

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Engineered in Cramfield…Credit: David Shepherd

PS: We love you too Wales, and genuinely sorry for your loss Scotland.

Designed in London

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Designed in LondonCredit: David Shepherd

KEY FACTS: NISSAN QASHQAI TEKNA+

Price: £34,175
Engine: 1.3-litre petrol mild hybrid
Power: 158hp, 260Nm
0-62mph: 9.5 secs
Top speed: 128mph
Economy: 43mpg
CO2: 146g/km
Out: Now

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Posh yet practical, hybrid and hi-tech…Nissan’s Qashqai will remain No1 SUV





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