2018 Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta dCi 110 – our long-term review car arrives
2018 Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta dCi 110 Long Termer arrives
We’ve got a 2018 MY Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta with the 1.5 litre dCi diesel engine in for three months to find out what Nissan’s big selling Qashqai is like to live with.
The Nissan Qashqai has been something of a phenomena since it arrived to move the hearts and minds of car buyers away from hatches and saloons in to crossovers and SUVs.
In the process it has become the benchmark for every other car maker wanting to cash-in on the market the Qashqai created almost on its own, and every new crossover/SUV launch in the Qashqai’s segment always begs the question: “Is it better than a Qashqai?”.
So when Nissan called and asked us if we’d like to live with the latest Qashqai for a while, we thought what better way to find out why so many buyers in the UK still choose the Qashqai instead of the plethora of newer competitors.
Nissan has sent us a mid-range Qashqai N-Connecta – sitting bang in the middle of the Qashqai range – complete with a 109bhp 1.5 litre diesel engine which promises economy in the mid-70s mpg and usefully low emissions of 99g/km.
This is the new facelift for the Qashqai with its titivations making it look fresher, tweaks to make the engine and cabin quieter and a bit of fiddling with the suspension with softer damping and stiffer ant-roll bar.
So, let’s make a start on our Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dci n-connecta review.
The N-Connecta also comes well-equipped for a car sitting in the middle of the range, with a lot of what it offers coming as a pleasant surprise.
That includes Nissan’s Smart Vision Pack with Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Emergency Braking and parking sensors all round, TPS, Bluetooth, Sat Nav with 7″ Touchscreen, Privacy Glass, Climate, LED rear lights, 18″ alloys, Ambient lighting, Cruise and much, much more.
So over the coming couple of months we’ll be out playing with the Qashqai, using it as an everyday driver, popping to the shops, school runs, trips to the tip, off to the woods with the dogs and maybe, just maybe, a weekend away.
That should give us time, and enough miles, to work out what it is that appeals so much to buyers.
Our Nissan Qashqai settles in to everyday life
In part two of our long-term review of the 2018 Nissan Qashqai N Connecta 1.5 dCi we get to grips with the basics of the Qashqai and just what it offers buyers.
We’re keen to make sure our long-term Nissan Qashqai gets used just as most owners would use it, with a mix of short, local trips, shifting kids and stuff around and the odd longer jaunt.
But it’s hard to resist having the car reviewers hat on, at least to start with, so we’ve spent some time in the month or so since the Qashqai arrived finding how it works, how it drives and what irritates. Although we’ve found little which actually irritates so far.
In terms of how the latest Qashqai looks, the tweaks Nissan has wrought to this newest version are enough to make it fresh and appealing, but doing so without making the previous Qashqai look old.
The new front end is the stand out change, and it certainly makes more of a statement than before, and looks more premium, but there are changes at the back too with a new bumper and new tail lights. And they just look right.
Inside there’s higher quality materials around – especially on the dashboard – and a new flat-bottomed steering wheel which feels nice to use and looks more premium.
But although the infotainment gets a bit of an upgrade too, it does still lag behind the competition.
Its 7″ display feels too small, the graphics and resolution aren’t the sharpest you’ll find and there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. It does what it needs to do, but it feels a bit last generation. It’s the only real irritation we’ve found so far.
Our Qashqai has the entry-level 1.5 litre diesel engine which, you might expect, isn’t the most thrilling option. And it isn’t, but it actually works really well in the Qashqai.
Not only is the engine quiet, unless you’re really hammering it, but it’s remarkably smooth too. True, it’s not blessed with a huge amount of power (just 109bhp) but it has enough torque to deliver smooth running and a decent amount of pulling power from around 1800rpm, although any tight overtake you need to make might need a gear lower than you first expect.
But around town and on the motorway the Qashqai acquits itself well; it comforts and cossets and takes the everyday chores of driving and packages them up in to an easy-serve helping.
It even manages back roads with reasonable aplomb, with good grip and nicely weighted steering allowing you to to blat along, and the bit of roll you get from sitting a bit higher isn’t remotely disconcerting; it belies its height, unless you’re really silly, and feels more like a family Hatch.
It all adds up to a car whose competence shines through every pore; one which is clearly well sorted and cleverly packaged for its target market. It may not offer the best of its class in every area, but so far it’s offering a balance of abilities as good as it gets.
But how will it cope with the rough and tumble of family life? More on the next update.
What’s the verdict after three months with the 2018 Nissan Qashqai?
We’ve had ‘our’ Nissan Qashqai for three months, but how well has it adapted to the hustle and bustle of normal life, and is the Qashqai a car we can really recommend?
It’s always far more interesting to have a car in for review for more than just a week. A week is long enough to get a feel for a car and what it offer, but you don’t necessarily find out all its little quirks and foibles in that time.
But live with a car and use it every day and you do find out what is good, and what is not, as well as what can be improved and what is just basically wrong. But we’re struggling to find anything basically wrong with the latest Nissan Qashqai.
Are we surprised we can found nothing to really moan about with the Qashqai? No, not really.
Having almost invented the sector with the first Qashqai, Nissan has addressed just about everything that needed addressing with the latest car, and it is very, very good.
We’ve used it for blatting up motorways for meetings, driving in to London a handful of times, doing the shopping run, kids to school, dogs to the woods. In fact just about everything you can do including piles of junk to the tip. And the Qashqai just does it.
If we’re going to be picky we’d say it could do with an infotainment system that was a bit more dynamic, and the interior isn’t as appealing as, say, the Peugeot 3008.
But although they’re gripes, they are very minor, and one thing we will say is just how robust and just how capable the interior is in everyday use.
It doesn’t matter what sort of mess it ends up in from dogs in the boot, children in the back or a pile of old junk filling the car, it all scrubs up like new without looking worn or tired. And that’s a big plus in real world use.
Add to that that the Qashqai drives rather like a hatch, the engine is quiet – if not the most powerful – it’s a comfortable place for passengers, and the equipment levels are good, and you realise that Nissan really has built a car which does exactly what it says on the tin.
We also managed to get pushing on for 50mpg through all sorts of motoring, which as a real world economy figure really is hard to moan about.
If you want a compact family SUV, consider comfort and equipment important, want a car that’s easy to drive and can cope with the rough and tumble of family life and still scrub up like new, it’s hard to think of anything you could buy, at this sort of money, which can do it all so convincingly.
Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta dCi 110 Review Tech Specs (2018)
- Engine: 1461cc 109bhp
- Performance: 0-62mph 11.9 seconds / Top Speed 113mph
- Economy: 74.3mpg
- Emissions: 99g/km
- Price: £26,300 / Price as tested £26,750
- Test car supplied by Nissan UK