The Nissan Qashqai is not just the most popular family car with Motors.co.uk readers, but it’s also one of the country’s bestselling cars, sitting in sixth place on the list of the UK’s favourite new models. With its off-roader-style looks and relatively practical interior it’s easy to see why the Qashqai has been so popular. However, don’t expect to get far off-road in this machine, despite the option of four-wheel drive.
Thanks to the wide range of models – and prices – available, choosing the best Qashqai for your needs is more tricky, though. As with many models the diesel versions carry a large premium – as do the higher specification levels. Ally this with the affordable and economical petrol engines on offer and picking the right Qashqai for your needs takes a little thought. We’ve trawled through the range to find the best versions for different buyers’ needs.
The 1.2-litre DIG-T 115 Visia is the cheapest Qashqai available, but the engine and equipment level should satisfy most buyers. The only items that you may miss are rear parking sensors – useful on a modern car like this that offers flawed rear visibility – and alloy wheels. If this bothers you, an extra £1,585 gets you Acenta trim, which adds both of these, plus many other toys.
What the entry-level car does include though is air conditioning, cruise control, front and rear electric windows, electric heated door mirrors and a five-inch colour screen media system, with Bluetooth for connecting your phone to the car and an input for your MP3 player. It also has a handy hill start assist system, which takes the stress out of setting off on inclines.
Car tax is also inexpensive at £110 while acceleration should be sprightly enough, with the turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine taking 10.9 seconds to get to 62mph. Fuel economy is strong too, at 50.4mpg – comparable with many equivalent four-wheel drive diesels. A dCi 110 diesel version is available, but thanks to its £1,750 premium it would take the average driver nearly five years to earn back the difference in lower fuel bills. It’s also less refined than the petrol and provides slower acceleration.
Those after more equipment and a punchier motor should find the 1.6 DIG-T 163 n-tec perfect. This may be a petrol motor in a market historically dominated by diesel cars, but it still offers strong performance and good economy – with claimed economy of 47.1mpg and a nippy zero to 62mph time of 9.1 seconds.
n-tec trim includes lots of goodies such as dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors plus colour front, rear and side cameras, a touchscreen sat nav system with a digital radio, electric folding door mirrors for squeezing through tight gaps and 18-inch alloy wheels. The car also has a luggage board system, where you can split the boot into different areas to stop items sliding around the boot. With a £1,500 premium for the more economical diesel dCi 130 equivalent the average driver would have to cover nearly 50,000 miles before benefitting from the lower fuel bills.
If price isn’t top of your list of priorities, the 1.6 dCi 130 Tekna offers the best balance of performance, economy and equipment. With a relatively punchy diesel engine under the bonnet this model sprints to 62mph in a reasonable 9.9 seconds. Despite this, official economy stands at a strong 64.2mpg.
As with the other Qashqai models, however, the diesel models carry a substantial premium, so those who cover well under 10,000 miles a year will definitely want to consider one of the cheaper petrol models instead. Opt for the 1.6 DIG-T 163 Tekna and the price falls to a much more palatable £25,300.
In Tekna spec you couldn’t want for more equipment; you get all the goodies featured in the n-tec car above, plus leather seats, including an electrically adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats, a heated windscreen and powerful LED headlights, plus stylish 19-inch wheels.
January 26, 2015