Nissan Qashqai +2 2010 Review

October 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s always nice to have a little bit more. Like chocolate bars that come in ‘king size’ allowing that all-important extra bite. Or that mini-series on TV that begins with a double episode. Whatever way you look at it, a good thing is only really bettered by more of a good thing. With that in mind Nissan has taken its current good thing, the big-selling Qashqai and given it just a little bit more size. The enlarged Qashqai +2 now has the space for a third row of seating, allowing two more passengers and boosting total potential capacity to seven occupants. While the Qashqai was a gamble at the start being billed as a modern alternative to the traditional hatchback it was a risk that paid off handsomely, with more than 500,000 sales globally. Then it was facelifted for 2010 and has since been well received again. But is this larger +2 model a step too far? Car and SUV spent some time with the part crossover, part people mover to get the answers.

At first glance it’s difficult to distinguish the Qashqai +2 from its standard sibling, but look closer and its dimensions are clearly chunkier. The +2 is 211mm longer to allow for the extra seat and the wheelbase has increased by 135mm. Additionally the body is taller with a flatter roofline allowing for better headroom throughout and there’s a handy 55-litres of extra cargo space.  In terms of exterior design the +2 differs little from the standard model and benefits from the smoother look brought with the recent mid-cycle facelift. Raked headlights at the front and LED two-piece fittings at the rear help give the Qashqai a distinctive look but the standard 16-inch alloys struggle to fill the raised guards. The larger Qashqai boasts some practical features like integrated roof rails, tough black plastic mouldings all round, and longer rear doors than the standard model to help entry and exit from that third row of seats.

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Nissan Qashqai Ti 2010 Review

July 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Being named after a nomadic tribe of people it’s fitting that Nissan’s Qashqai has undergone a mid-cycle facelift and a movement towards an even more modern look. Selling in massive numbers in Europe, the small crossover has gained good traction here in NZ with 600 sales already achieved since its launch. The 2010 facelift is more a well-calculated nip and tuck than a butcher’s chop, with subtle changes both inside and out. Will the refresh move the quiet achieving Qashqai on to even greener pastures? Car and SUV spent a week living with the top-spec Ti model to find out more.

Visually, the major changes are at the Qashqai’s front where a new bumper, bonnet, honeycomb grille and headlamps distinguish it from its predecessor. The changes bring a smoother less awkward and more modern look while retaining its unique appeal.  At the rear differences are less obvious but the taillights have been replaced with new LED 2-piece units and the tailgate spoiler has been tweaked to help reduce aerodynamic drag. The Ti tested vehicle also includes front fog lamps and rolls on some nicely suited 18-inch alloy wheels. Overall the Qashqai remains a distinctive machine thanks to its bold styling but also its stocky dimensions and off road styling cues like the low black plastic mouldings and raised ground clearance.

Continue reading “Nissan Qashqai Ti 2010 Review” »

Nissan Qashqai Commercial – 2008

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

The all new urban-proof Nissan Qashqai in the city


Nissan Creative Commercial

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

A unique commercial for Nissan Qashqai, compact yet tough.


Nissan Crossover Commercial

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

An extra-ordinary commercial from Nissan. Murano vs Qashqai


Nissan Qashqai facelift revealed

December 8th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan Qashqai 2010 fq

Nissan has revealed its updated Qashqai crossover hatch, due to go on sale mid next year.

The refreshed Qashqai receives an upgraded aggressive front end, with new headlights, grille and bumper.

Out back styling remains largely unchanged, however the taillights gain new LED lenses, and small tweaks for improved aerodynamics and reduced drag.

The drag coefficient on the Qashqai has dropped from 0.34 to 0.33 with the 2010 update.

Inside, the instrument cluster has been redesigned and a new drive computer lives between the main dials.

Low-level lighting has been fitted around the front footwells, to assist with nighttime visibility when entering or exiting the 2010 Qashqai.

Noise, vibration and harshness has been improved for 2010, with the addition of an ‘acoustic’ windscreen and a new multi-layer insulation material fitted around the front bulkhead.

More information is likely to be revealed as the launch for the 2010 Qashqai draws closer.

Nissan Qashqai 2009 Review

July 7th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

nissan-qashqai-fq

Evolution isn’t an easy thing to understand – biology, genetic make-up, inherited traits — these concepts are too complex for many of us. Similarly when you see the Nissan Qashqai it is hard to understand how it’s taken the place of the Primera in the Nissan range. Named after a middle-eastern nomadic tribe (as you do) the Qashqai is a mid/large hatchback blended with SUV attributes. But before you go shouting ‘Mutant’ be aware that it’s already sold an impressive 330,000 units in Europe and ranked 11th overall in the 2009 J.D. Power Vehicle Satisfaction Survey out of over 100 current models. The Qashqai’s unlikely ancestor the Primera was once loved here in NZ for its strong power plant, comfortable interior and no nonsense approach, are these traits inherited? Car and SUV took control of a ST variant Qashqai for a week to investigate.

Designed by Nissan’s European arm, the Qashqai is styled for those torn between the urban-practicality of a hatchback and the rugged charm of an off roader. Its exact size is difficult to gauge from photographs, a clear indication that the beefy design is working well. To offer an idea of the Qashqai’s proportions, it has a handy 188mm ground clearance and a similar footprint to the Ford Focus. While not considerably large the styling is modern, imposing but also quite subtle. Character lines bulge from the bonnet and contrast with large neutral headlights and flat sides push back into thick rear pillars. The windscreen is raked back but the roofline is car-like resulting in a neutral stance. Completing the off-roader proportion of the styling is tough plastic trim that wraps around the wheel arches and the base of the Qashqai’s body.

Open it up for interior dissection and your greeted with a practical and spacious cabin.  A ringed instrument cluster houses a small information display screen between large gauges. The centre control stack has everything you need and is within easy reach but is visually basic, particularly the dated looking stereo. The steering wheel is tilt and rake adjustable and a good thickness but doesn’t house audio control buttons. There is very large storage capacity in the cooled glove box and the centre binnacle that also houses twin cup holders. The driving position is a real feature of the Qashqai and feels reclined like a car but also elevated giving commanding forward visibility. This is backed up by well bolstered and cushioned seats. Luggage capacity in the hatch is a limited 335-litres, partly caused by a full size spare wheel. The back seats have a 60/40 split and this increases storage to a massive 1443 litres. Overall, the charcoal and silver themed cabin is a touch bland in ST trim, however, it’s very practical using solid materials that convey a sense of durability.

Turn the key and the Qashqai breathes into life, motivation comes from a 2-litre 4-cylinder motor, power output is a healthy 102kW with 198Nm of torque. It’s a willing unit that offers usable acceleration but with a plump 1430kg body to pull around it never feels truly dynamic. Power is transferred to the front-wheels through a 6-speed CVT transmission with a manual shift option. The gearbox offers variable ratios that benefit fuel economy resulting in a reasonable 7.89 l/100km figure. Although the Qashqai moves along well enough, the CVT box struggles at times to find the right power measure for the engine, making it a busy unit that can be noisy.

The Qashqai is a crossover vehicle in nature if not definition so the big question is does it handle like a car or like an off-roader? Well, the NZ spec model is front-wheel-drive only making it easy to drive and familiar for those trading up from a conventional hatchback. It is very car-like in its manoeuvrability and despite the extra height it turns with a minimum of pitch or body roll. This is thanks in part to a front subframe with an anti-roll bar and fully independent multi-link suspension at the rear. But this clever suspension set-up comes at a cost in ride quality with bumps and dips in the road too easily transferred to occupants and the Qashqai can feel twitchy at low speeds. That said, the Qashqai’s steering feels tight and overall it’s a fairly agile beast.

Standard safety specifications on the Qashqai include an Electronic Stability Program, with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. Six airbags stand guard including full-length curtain airbags providing protection for front and rear passengers.

Priced at $34,300 for the ST trimmed Qashqai, there is some value for money represented. It’s a basic vehicle in terms of interior and power but modern in its styling, safety and its place within the automotive kingdom. If you’re not planning on going off-road but you favour a raised driving position and a hardwearing vehicle the Qashqai would make a smart choice.

Car sales mimic natural selection and in Europe the Qashqai has been feasting on the market share of more established competitors. Only time will tell how it fares in the NZ market. Exactly how it replaced the Primera will remain a mystery of evolution for now, but it’s not the first time we have all been stumped by a missing link.

Click through to the next page for a list of specifications

Price: $34,300

What we like:

  • Car-like handling
  • Fresh concept
  • Strong 2-litre motor

What we don’t like:

  • CVT gearbox
  • Bland interior
  • Compromised ride quality

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

Nissan Qashqai (2009) – Specifications

Engine

Aluminium 2.0 litre MR20 engine ¢ ¢
Capacity cc 1997
Bore and Stroke mm 84 x 90.1
Compression Ratio 10:1
Power kW @ rpm 102 @ 5200
Torque Nm @ rpm 198 @ 4400
No. of Cylinders & Configuration 4 in-line
Induction Multi point injection
Emission Control 3 way catalytic converter
Emission Class ADR 79/02 (Euro 4)

Transmission

6-Speed Xtronic CVT Automatic Transmission with manual mode

Wheels and Tyres

Tyre Size 215/65R16

Dimensions/Weights

Overall Length (mm) 4315
Overall Width excluding mirrors (mm) 1780
Overall Height (mm) 1615
Wheelbase (mm) 2630
Track Front / Rear (mm) 1540/1550
Minimum Turning Circle kerb to kerb (m) 10.6
Kerb Weight (kg) 1430
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) (kg) 1960
Ground Clearance (mm) 188
Towing Capacity (braked/unbraked) (kg) 1200/685
Cargo Capacity (VDA) (L) Seats up / down 335/1443