New car review

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?

What’s the Nissan Qashqai like inside?

2019 Nissan Qashqai - NissanConnect infotainment

The cabin also remains fairly similar to before. In Tekna guise as tested, part-leather trim gives a premium-feel to the interior while its electrically-adjustable seats are comfortable to spend a good amount of time in.

There’s also a limited number of scratchy plastics to be found throughout the cabin, which is refreshing for a car in this segment.

From a practicality standpoint, it retains a 430-litre boot capacity. It lags behind rivals on that front, with the likes of the Vauxhall Grandland X and Mazda CX-5 boasting 514 and 506 litres respectively.

What’s under the bonnet?

2019 Nissan Qashqai - engine

Powering our test car is the new 1.3-litre petrol engine, developing 160hp and 270Nm of torque in this guise. Paired up to the new automatic transmission, it sends that power to the front wheels — resulting in a 0-60mph time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 124mph. As for efficiency, Nissan claims 51.4mpg and 122g/km on the combined cycle.

It’s a perfect pairing for the car and engine. Power delivery is consistent across the rev range, and its output feels just about right for a car of this calibre. It well refined too, with little noise coming into the cabin at even high speeds.

The new automatic transmission works smoothly when up to speed but is hampered by a delayed response when pulling from a stop.

What’s the Nissan Qashqai like to drive?

2019 Nissan Qashqai - on-road

Little has been changed about the mechanics of the Qashqai, so it remains as easy to drive as ever. Steering is well-weighted for its purpose and offers a surprising amount of feedback for a car in this class.

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Head into town and great all-around visibility paired with that finely-tuned steering means it’s easy to get around even the tightest of streets, ideal for a car that’s likely to spend the majority of its lifetime in the urban jungle.

Motorways are not a problem, either. It offers a relaxed, smooth ride — even on UK roads — and offers a good level of refinement.

Verdict

There’s no reason why the revamped Nissan Qashqai shouldn’t continue to be one of the UK’s best sellers. It retains the quality and usability as before but builds on that with a more efficient and engaging choice of engines.

That new NissanConnect system takes it up another notch too, becoming much more user-friendly and future-proofed than its predecessors.

While it’d be a lot to expect improved practicality at this stage of the Qashqai’s life-cycle, there’s certainly a case to be made for its successor to boast a larger boot. We’d also like to see the dual-clutch gearbox offer a little more versatility.

The Nissan Qashqai is built in Britain.

Similar cars

Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Vauxhall Grandland X

Key specifications

Model as tested: Nissan Qashqai Tekna DiG-T 160 DCT
Price: £29,445
Engine: 1.3-litre four-cylinder
Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic
Power: 160 hp
Torque: 270 Nm
Top speed: 124 mph
0-60mph: 9.7 seconds
Fuel economy (combined): 51.4 mpg
CO2 emissions: 122 g/km
Euro NCAP rating: Five stars (tested 2014)

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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