Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Nissan Qashqai - First Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Nissan Qashqai - First Report Update

Date: 12 November 2007   |   Author: Guy Bird

Those twin centre cupholders are turning out to be a bit of a pain in the gearstick...

12 NOVEMBER 2007
Mileage 2015
Forecast CPM 27.1p
Actual CPM 28.9p
We’re finding the twin centre cupholders great for small keys and phones but not so good for cups or small bottles. Put one in and you crack them every time you change gear. Bit annoying.
31 OCTOBER 2007
Mileage 1806
Forecast CPM 26.7p
Actual CPM 27.7p
Back in the urban jungle of London we’ve been a little disappointed with the less than ‘urban-proof’ horn sound. The weedy and quiet ‘parp, parp’ doesn’t cut it ‘sarf of the river’ at all.
15 OCTOBER 2007
Mileage 1526
Forecast CPM 26.7p
Actual CPM 27.7p
Our latest mixed condition driving has resulted in a 43.7mpg trip reading. Even our calculations say 41.7mpg – neither are too bad compared to the 52.3mpg of Nissan’s official test.

1 OCTOBER 2007
Mileage 1002
Forecast CPM 26.9p
Actual CPM 27.9p
A 600-mile haul showed how well the 1.5-litre diesel in this ‘urban-proof’ vehicle handles extra-urban duty too. Learn the gearbox and it keeps up on motorways or involving A-roads.

Main Report

Unfortunately, the giant pro-skateboarder with trainers the size of a car roof doesn't come 'as standard' with the new Nissan Qashqai. Which is a shame, as the big-footed wonder's kick-flip skills featured in the car's TV advert would come in very handy for avoiding congestion and finding quick parking.

Still, our new Qashqai 1.5 dCi long-termer - trailblazing the 'crossover hatchback' niche - does offer a lot of useful kit for the cash.


In mid-range Acenta trim the £16,149 car offers six airbags, a six-disc in-dash CD changer, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and rear parking sensors.

I'm a late adopter to its exterior looks - all jacked-up hatchback with 4x4 overtones - foolishly expecting something a bit closer to the slick 2004 concept of the same name [1], but the production version keeps more of the concept's flavour than you might imagine.

It's almost exactly the same length (4315mm), but 80mm narrower - a good thing round town for squeezing through tight gaps - and 45mm higher, so you lose a tiny amount of coupe feel for more headroom. It would have been nice to have the concept's suicide doors and slim LED front lights, but that would have made it a £30,000 car, not a £16k one.

The curved roofline and chunky rear pillars still give a very pleasing profile and the well-integrated conventional but 4x4-height doors are easy to get in and out of. Inside, our cabin is dominated by the full-length one-piece sunroof [2] that lightens up the interior to amazing effect. The £700 option really makes the space airy in a way a twin sunroof cannot match. The mid-range cabin is decently equipped with a very modern-looking weave [3] to the orange cloth seats. We'll see how durable it turns out to be over the next six months.

We chose a 105PS 1.5 dCi diesel (rather than the bigger 150PS 2.0) to suit our mainly urban driving habitat and because it promises an excellent combined 52.3mpg and 145g/km CO2 rating (19% tax).

It's early days on real-world economy, but the trip computer is showing a 43.7mpg average, which is very close to the 1.5's 45.6mpg official urban figure and about right given its city driving bias.

Early positive impressions include an easy to obtain driving position, good higher view, and fairly light steering for easy city manoeuvrability. The small engine cruises happily on motorways with little noise too. Early niggles include a slightly vague gearbox feel, care needed at start-up to get the revs right in first gear to avoid stalling, and a rear hatch that needs a firm shove to shut first time. However, most of these issues we should be able to adapt to over time.

So far, the Qashqai's standout exterior looks, decent quality interior and frugal 1.5 engine offer a feel-good factor the old Almera never had.