New car test drive

Nissan Qashqai test drive

Does the Nissan Qashqai’s refreshed engine line-up have what it takes to keep the SUV as a UK favourite?

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One of the UK’s favourite cars, the Nissan Qashqai, has seen an all-new line-up of engines freshly introduced. Thanks to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s partnership with Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz), a co-developed 1.3-litre petrol engine now takes centre stage at the core of its range.

It’s already seen action in a number of cars across the partnered firms. In the British-built SUV, Nissan promises this will bring a more enjoyable and more efficient driving experience.

What’s new about this Nissan Qashqai?

The new 1.3-litre petrol engine is available in either 140hp and 160hp forms. It aims to bring CO2 emissions for the car down while also improving the driving experience. Also new in terms of powertrain is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox — the first to appear on a Nissan outside of the GT-R sports car.

It’s not all about what’s happening under the bonnet, though. The interior features a completely reworked NissanConnect infotainment system, bringing a new look, improved usability and even the option to set up navigational routes in the car before starting a journey using a mobile app.

How does it look?

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Refreshes usually tend to bring some visual changes to a car, but not here. Having last been facelifted in 2017, Nissan hasn’t felt the need to remix the Qashqai’s aesthetic — and that’s no bad thing.

It remains a sharp looking thing thanks to the firm’s angular corporate design, headed up by sharp LED headlights — with that theme continued on the rear units too.

It’s not going to stand out, especially as there are so many Qashqais on UK roads, but it continues to be one of the better-looking cars within its segment.

What’s the spec like?

In Tekna form, standard equipment on the Qashqai includes part-leather interior trim, 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic glass roof, automatic LED headlights, a heated windscreen, an eight-speaker Bose audio system plus the refreshed NissanConnect infotainment system.

It’s priced at a hefty £29,445 — although with the range starting at £19,995, there’s room to sacrifice options.

We’ll focus on that revamped infotainment system. With new TomTom navigation software, plus 3D mapping, it’s a vast improvement over the old version — which had long felt outdated and clunky compared with rival software.

With over-the-air software updated plus support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, it looks set to keep up with the pack for the foreseeable future too.

Continued on next page: Step inside and take a drive

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Ryan Hirons
Ryan Hirons
Articles by Ryan Hirons are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

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