Nissan Qashqai Test Drive Review
25 September 2014
We've already tested the most efficient 99g/km 1.5 dCi new Nissan Qashqai on the international launch, so when the car made it to the UK we sampled the more powerful 130hp 1.6 diesel that makes up the other half of the oil-burning choices.
We also plumped for the four-wheel drive version, which adds another 14g/km due to the extra weight of the 4x4 system, and also costs a hefty additional £1700 compared with the front-wheel drive version.
The new model is a step forward from its very good predecessor in every area. The boot is 20 litres larger, the interior is smarter and better equipped, and the styling is more bullish. Plus, it still drives and handles well, and is refined and comfortable.
The 4x4 versions are only available with the 1.6 diesel engine and in the two highest trim levels. This Tekna model tops the Qashqai range and, although the price is high, the amount of technology is impressive. Costing £2150 more than the Acenta Premium trim, the Tekna adds features including Nissan's safety shield, consisting of around-view monitor, blind spot warning, moving object detection, and driver support assist functions, as well as Nissan's parking assist system, heated full-leather front seats, 19-inch alloys and roof rails.
But the costs case for the all-wheel drive model doesn't really stack up, unless the extra traction is business-critical. That £1700 extra over the front-wheel drive model, combined with the efficiency reduction and its economy, BIK and NI implications, means a 4.9p per mile difference between the two. A set of winter tyres, or accepting there might be a couple of days a year that it would be best not to travel, would both be cheaper.
That is also reflected in a comparison between the Qashqai 4x4 and the all-wheel drive Mazda CX-5 SE-L Nav and Mini Countryman Cooper SD, which are considerably cheaper but are less efficient, while the Nissan's unmatched residual values help it to claw back some more ground.