Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Nissan Qashqai - 2nd Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Nissan Qashqai - 2nd Report Update

Date: 21 February 2008   |   Author: Guy Bird

One window is now taking a pause to catch its breath when closing...

21 FEBRUARY 2008
Mileage 3250
Forecast CPM 27.2p
Actual CPM 29.7p
A minor electrical niggle is blemishing our highly positive view of the Qashqai: its super-useful folding wing mirrors have taken to intermittently failing to open at the first attempt.
25 JANUARY 2008
Mileage 2815
Forecast CPM 27.2p
Actual CPM 29.7p
A new year, a new niggle. Our Qashqai’s offside rear electric window has taken to closing much more slowly than it opens – and stopping for a moment in the middle. We’ll investigate.

10 JANUARY 2008
Mileage 2615
Forecast CPM 27.1p
Actual CPM 28.9p
Sliding centre armrests often get in the way on manual gearbox cars. The Qashqai’s recently caught my four-year-old daughter’s fingers in between the sliding lid and main stack. Ouch.
Nissan offers bigger engines for its Qashqai but I can't think why any business driver would ever need one.

The 1.5 dCi diesel may have 45PS less to play with than its 150PS 2.0-litre brother, but the perky oil-burner has proved more than capable over its first 2000 miles in our care.


We chose the smaller engine partly to suit our largely London-based driving habitat, but a recent long haul trip to North Devon fully loaded with passengers and luggage showed it could easily cope beyond the city. Sure, power delivery in second and third gears is not as immediate as it would be in the 2.0-litre, and there is some diesel clatter, but plan your manoeuvres with only a little care and you'll rarely come unstuck.

Where this engine has been a real eye-opener is at motorway speeds. Cruising in sixth gear is surprisingly quiet and overtaking is still perfectly manageable on long, gentle inclines if revs and momentum are kept up. It never ran out of puff over several hundred miles of quiet dual carriageways and motorways late in the evening.

And although I didn't hit the heady heights of the official combined 52.3mpg - mainly because I didn't want to drive home at 56mph on an open road -a real-world 44mpg was still achieved with a cracking 500 miles between fill-ups.

Even back in the city 42mpg is a daily reality, without overtly feather-footed accelerator antics. My previous long-term 2.2-litre diesel Honda CR-V is a bigger car - admittedly with more power, kit and 146 litres more basic boot space and a near £10k higher price to match - but is ultimately still only a five-seater that will be used for similar purposes by many customers. It never managed much more than 34mpg in comparable circumstances.

The CR-V is an excellent car but the Qashqai suits my purpose perfectly, offering the same useful high ride height and driver vision [1], a roomy cabin and a useful 410-1513 litres of luggage space [2] but with less power and a smaller footprint - the Qashqai weighs 184kg less than the CR-V - helped by much less-energy-sapping two-wheel drive.

The 1.5's 145g/km CO2 rating is excellent, too, equating to a 19% company car tax band, five bands lower than the CR-V's 2.2.

There's really no major compromise for me - not even in terms of badge status. Which increasingly makes me think Nissan is really onto something: all the cost benefits of downsizing without significant disadvantages in power or space.

The Qashqai's gearbox can still be a slight pain occasionally (some have found reverse a little elusive) and the bite of the clutch in first gear can require some care, but along with looks that are growing on me daily, right now I'm a Qashqai believer.