- Europe’s best-selling reaches SA showrooms
- Customer input ‘inspired quality, technology’
- Nissan ‘intelligent mobility’ part of the deal
ROSSLYN, South Africa – The Nissan Qashqai, claimed by its maker to be the best-selling urban crossover in Europe, has reached South African showrooms and brought ”significant premium enhancements to establish it as the perfect partner to conquer the city”.
So, let’s see what its got… given that the brand claims to have been a pioneer of the ”crossover” segment.
Global sales since the Qashqai was launched in 2007 have topped 3.3-million; the amendments to the model, Nissan says, have followed customers feedback and’used industry insights to establish more luxury in the mid-sized crossover segment.
WHAT’S NIM TECHNOLOGY?
”The cityproof (Nissan’s word) Qashqai’s improvements focus on the addition of Intelligent Mobility technology, better cabin quality, improved performance and a contemporary exterior design.”
Nissan has been progressively introducing NIM technology to vehicles sold in South Africa. The Patrol and X-Trail, launched in 2017; the latest Qashqai has the same benefits. They include blind-spot coverage, auto emergency braking, front collision warning and five cameras which also handle cross-traffic alerts for, say, reversing out of an alley.
Front and rear video cameras – plus one in each external mirror – will warn of approaching traffic and other moving objects, including pedestrians and, at home, children. Or perhaps a thoughtlessly parked wheelbarrow…
Cabin upgrades, Nissan says, are more driver-orientated, most obvious being a new flat-bottomed steering-wheel to create legroom for the driver; the crossbar has controls to ”reduce eyes-off-the-road” time.
Door releases and air vents are finished in better materials; there’s new stitching on the centre-console armrest.
One-touch power windows, available across the range, can all be closed remotely from the key fob. The front seats have been redesigned with tapered shoulders to give upper-body support while improving visibility for rear passengers.
The NissanConnect touchscreen satnav has a new user interface and the roof antenna looks like a shark fin. The voice-control microphone for hands-free calls is now in the overhead light.
The very style of the vehicle creates extra luggage volumne: a 430-litre boot which increases to 680 litres when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded flat.
Adapting to customer suggestions for excellent audio quality, the Nissan Qashqai has an all-new seven-speaker Bose Premium sound system with tweeters, woofers and a digital amplifier. Tekna model buyers, Nissan says, ”can have concert-like listening experiences while blazing a trail through the chaotic city”.
Those of you readers who prefer to buy according to how a car/SUV looks might approve of the ”extensive” changes, starting with a new front bumper and “V-motion” grille. Headlights are powered by halogen globes and DRL’s (daytime running lights, get used to it) use nine diodes; the clamshell bonnet and rear bumper have also been redesigned.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The new Qashqai runs on (your choice) 17” or 19” alloy wheel rims, carrying bodywork that is 17mm (to 4.394m) longer but still 1806m) wide and 1.595mm tall. The wheels perhaps also explain how Nissan has created ”sublime ride comfort and a calmer body motion”.
The shock-absorbers have been re-tuned, anti-roll bar stiffness increased and an active suspension system can reduce body motion over large bumps.
”Significant improvements have been made throughout the new Qashqai to reduce noise, vibration and harshness,” Nissan says. ”They include more sound insulation, extra sealing and thicker rear-door glass.
”The engine is also quieter thanks to powertrain calibration improvements.
…AND THE PRICES
The latest Qashqai crossover, the automaker claims, add practicality with the running costs and driving dynamics of a hatchback.
The new Nissan Qashqai has maintained its five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
(Prices (VAT included) and models below the image.)
1.2 T Visia – R334 900
1.2 T Visia + alloy wheel rims – R346 700
1.2 T Acenta – R367 000
1.2 T Acenta CVT – R381 000
1.2 T Acenta Plus CVT – R394 000
1.5 dCI Acenta R 394 000
1.5 dCI Acenta Plus R 407 000
1.5 dCI Tekna R 434 000
The Qashqai is supported by Nissan 24-hour roadside assistance, a six-year or 150,000km warranty, and a three-year of 90 000km service plan.