NISSAN QASHQAI SA LAUNCH
The original Qashqai defined the crossover/SUV concept in the market, now Nissan introduces the all new 3rd generation model in South Africa.
I have often noted how many vehicles grow or mature with each new generation launched and the Qashqai is no exception. The difference in this case is that it's not just the dimensions that have grown though, it's the overall feel and level of specification that have taken a quantum leap over the previous generation.
The introduction of an all new powertrain is just the beginning. The 1.3l 4 cylinder turbo petrol punches out 110kW and 250Nm to the front wheels via an ultra efficient and smooth CVT automatic transmission. There is a 6 speed manual option in base Visia spec available if you want.
Cruising is smooth and comfortable, overtaking easy and the CVT does offer Sport mode and flappy paddles if you want to indulge. Accenta and Accenta Plus spec levels (we drove Accenta Plus at the launch) are where all the extras start coming into play.
Besides moving from crossover/suv size to medium suv size, the new Quashqai introduces levels of safety and technology that are totally unexpected in this market segment. Autonomous driving ability, adaptive lighting, active cruise control and an overall premium feel to the interior dominate. Add in many luxuries like massage function for both front seats, comfort access on the drivers seat (the seat moves back when you switch off to give more space for entry or egress) plus memory function to return to the original position, a premium Bose sound system and 12" infotainment screen with both front and rear cameras.
The top model rides on large 19" alloys that I initially thought may cause a harsh and "crashy" ride, this was not apparent at any point. The ride is smooth and comfortable at all times.
Pricing is from R568 200 to R670 600 including a 3 year/ 60 000km service plan and 5 year/ 150 000km warranty.
Alan Rosenmeyer: MotorMatters: www.motormatters.co.za