Yes, everyone remembers Sunny and the Note too. But no other model from Nissan in recent years comes close to the Qashqai.
The crossover first appeared on the market in 2006. Perhaps it had an unusual design, but its combination of space, practicality and hatchback-like maneuverability made it a huge success.
The second generation Qashqai strengthened the model’s foothold in the compact crossover segment. It had a nicer design, more space, and most importantly, better refinement.
In Singapore, this iteration is one you still see wandering around. Many are powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged engine, which made this generation even more attractive to buyers.
Given these precedents, the newest Qashqai has quite a bit of a mountain to climb. That shouldn’t be a problem for the all-new crossover. Despite the current prices for the SOE, she has more than enough talent to get buyers to consider it.
The new Qashqai design is an evolution of the previous one. It looks sleeker than before, with the larger V-shaped grille flanked by slimmer LED headlights.
What makes it even more luxurious is the optional two-tone roof and rear decals, which are trimmed through the tailgate. Although it is no longer a new design element at this point, it still appears in brands such as Lexus and Porsche.
The good news continues inside. Sit behind the wheel and you’ll discover an interior filled with soft-touch surfaces, with Nappa leather adorning the seats for an extra touch of comfort.
The Qashqai dashboard meets the expectations of today’s buyers who expect digitization. The 12.3-inch dashboard has sharp graphics and an intuitive navigation menu, but I wish it had different layouts to choose from.
Drivers will be pleased with the 10.8-inch head-up display. It’s large enough to read at a glance and helps keep your eyes on the road.
Information and entertainment are accessed via a 9-inch touch screen. Again, the menu system is rather shallow, which helps prevent users from getting lost. Conveniently, it comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a wireless charging pad.
The Prestige is equipped with a 10-speaker Bose audio system that includes a subwoofer in the trunk. This hi-fi setup definitely complements the quiet interior (more on this later).
Apart from these great facilities, Qashqai also offers more space for passengers. The wheelbase has grown by 19 mm to 2,665 mm, resulting in a 20 mm increase in knee room for rear passengers. Shoulder friction may also be less with an increase in shoulder space of 28 mm.
Getting in and out is easier now that the back doors have opened nearly 90 degrees. This also helps parents secure their children in child seats.
Open the powered tailgate (another upgrade) and you’ll find that the trunk capacity of the Qashqai has grown dramatically from 430 to 504 liters. Fold the rear seats down and this expands to 1,593 liters, enough to stow a full-size bike without removing the front wheel.
The new Qashqai is powered by a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder and is equipped with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system. The latter provides smoother shutdowns and also gives a little boost, which helps smooth low-speed boots.
The 1.3-liter unit was developed by the Renault-Nissan and Daimler alliance, and is also in use in other cars such as Renault Captur, along with “200” Mercedes-Benz models such as the A200, CLA200 and GLA200.
In the Qashqai, this engine generates 156 hp (157 hp) and 270 Nm and, at full tilt, allows the SUV to reach the century mark in 9.2 seconds. That’s 0.9 second faster than the previous Qashqai with a 2-liter engine.
More importantly, the 1.3-liter engine is more accurate in this application than the Mercedes models mentioned above, because it does not have a practical soundtrack when revving.
Helping it in this regard is the continuously variable transmission, which is perhaps the smoothest I tested in 2022. It’s quiet and unobtrusive, and squeezing it doesn’t have the frightening “rubber band” effect.
Actions become intrusive only when using the manual override function (there are seven forward gears) and engine red lines. Then again, this is something that few consumers won’t bother doing.
the silent treatment
Refinement of the Qashqai’s powertrain matches the cabin and ride quality. In fact, this mass-market SUV (still, despite its inflated unit-ownership price tag) is the quietest I’ve driven this year.
The silence of the cabin is especially noticeable when you are passing through tunnels, or when a noisy motorbike is next to you at an intersection. Even at triple-digit speeds, all you hear is a bit of wind and road noise.
This means two things: first, you don’t have to raise your voice to continue your conversation, and second, you can really enjoy the clarity that the Bose audio system provides.
What impressed me was that Nissan didn’t bother increasing its sound insulation efforts. Instead, Qashqai’s silence speaks for itself.
Complementing the refinement is the agile cockpit, which is clearly aimed at drivers who prioritize comfort above all else. Naturally, this means that the Qashqai is not for the keen driver, who will find that pressing hard only leads to unwanted thinness and no slippage.
The new Qashqai is clearly a cut above the old in every way. It is larger and more spacious. With features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning, and Intelligent Cruise Control, it’s also relatively safe.
In addition, with smooth-touch surfaces and quiet performance, it is easy to improve by two degrees more than its predecessor.
By correcting several things, Qashqai makes a very persuasive proposal. Despite the current prices for the SOE, she definitely has more than enough talent to get buyers to consider it.
Nissan Qashqai Prestige 1.3 (A)
Engine: 1,332 cc, 16-valve, inline-4, turbocharged, 12-volt mild hybrid
Maximum power: 156 hp (157 hp, 116 kW) at 5,500 rpm
Maximum torque: 270 Nm @ 1800-3750 rpm
Weight capacity: 113 horsepower per ton
Gearbox: CVT with 7-speed bypass
0-100 km/h: 9.2 seconds
Maximum speed: 199 km/h
Consumption: 18.2 km/L (combined)
The price is all inclusive. COE: From $183,800 (after deducting $15,000 VES)
Real estate agent: Tan Chong Motor Sales
This article was first published in Torque.