With the first Qashqai in 2007, Nissan essentially created the crossover segment. The aim was clear: to develop an SUV that had all the advantages of a normal passenger car. The Qashqai's natural environment was curvy country lanes, not off-road terrain. And that was reflected in the way it drove.
Car tester Sascha Knapp says that you only need to drive a few meters to realize that this is a car with a good chassis. The bumps in this road are smoothed out, and the steering is good.
The design for the next generation of Qashqais has been made sharper. The front end is dominated by the arrow-shaped headlights with daytime running lights. The unpainted underride protection and overarches reveal the vehicle's off-road pedigree.
The sloping lines of the roof, however, say: passenger car. The rear end with the spoilers is also more sporty than robust.
Is there enough room for passengers in the back? Knapp says yes. He has room for his knees and his head, although his hair does brush the roof. But that doesn't bother him. Knapp also likes the view through the sunroof. The back seat is the best place to enjoy that.
The car we tested is equipped with a 1-point-6 liter diesel engine. All-wheel drive and an automatic transmission are options. We're happy with the front-wheel drive. The car has a capacity of 96 kilowatts and a top speed of 183 kilometers an hour. The automatic transmission makes the motor a bit sluggish. It takes 11-point-1 seconds to go from zero to a hundred. Nissan developed the technology in conjunction with Renault.
Knapp says that with the new Qashqai, Nissan has improved on something that was already good. With its fuel efficiency and good basic features, it's a serious alternative for small families.
The standard version of the car costs just under 20,000 euros in Germany, meaning it's an affordable vehicle that combines safety with drivability. Like earlier models, the Nissan Qashqai has the potential to be a real hit.