“If I’m not back in five minutes … wait more” Ace Ventura (Ace Ventura, a different detective, 1994)
«Paula, I don’t know how to tell you. I don’t like you anymore. I think you have gotten carried away a bit with food and that … surely it is a matter of stress and that but right now I cannot support you in what you need. And that … I have many things on my mind. » Paula has all these words vibrating in her mind over and over again as she stands in the alley next to the branch of her neighborhood savings bank. Right next to your portal. That voice of Carlos that has always attracted him so much last night sounded childish and irritating. “I don’t want you to get mad, really” she remembers those sweaty hands and those sheep eyes that used to convince her of anything. «Good Carlos. I understand. Tomorrow we will meet for you to collect your things and we will each continue our way. No, don’t worry, I’m fine »Paula leans her back against the wall of the alley full of graffiti. And smile.
Paula’s phone rings: «Hi Carlos. Yes, when you arrive, wait for me in the car and I’ll bring you the box with your things. I couldn’t bear to see you once more in our flat where we’ve been so happy. ”Paula mentally congratulates herself on her acting skills. Then she puts on the balaclava and goes into the savings bank. The guard is there with the bag, he points it at him and he immediately drops it, picks up the bag and sweeps away the puzzled glances of those in the branch with the gun. Two employees and a retiree in addition to the companion of the guard. Blessed be online banking, blessed be Paco’s mechanical workshop payday, which is old-fashioned and likes to hand out bills. You don’t need to say a word to get everyone frozen in place. The watchman has even dropped to the ground while his partner sits with his hands up. Paula leaves quickly but not running. Carlos is in his car, with his cell phone, gambling as usual. Paula opens the door, tosses the bag to the back, sits down, and pulls off her ski mask. Carlos continues with the mobile in his hand and his mouth open. Paula takes advantage and kisses him. Okay sweetie. We are no longer dating. Now we are accomplices. Starts”.
The Nissan Qashqai is undoubtedly an important case of success for the Japanese manufacturer that has also partly involved a change in the market landscape with a change in the tastes and needs of buyers looking for space, versatility and new mobility concepts. they turned to SUVs. Something triggered the launch of this model that caused the market to change and since then all manufacturers have rushed to launch their own range of knockoff SUVs that were actually intended for the city and the highway.
Since its launch in 2006, when Nissan delivered fifty units to the pioneers of this true trend, the Japanese manufacturer has exceeded two million three hundred and eighty thousand units and in Spain three hundred thousand and in 2019 it had exceeded thirty thousand, proof that the success of this model has not lost steam. And the formula couldn’t be simpler: starting from the reliable platform of the second-generation Renault Megane, build a car with an off-road look with more practical than innovative solutions.
Do not break
In fact, since its launch the Qashqai has not undergone major changes, we had the opportunity to test the model in 2018 and again now and it has not received aesthetic updates, although mechanical updates as we will see later. Its 4.39 meter long off-road-inspired bodywork makes it compete with a host of off-roaders that have been populating the market, from Renault’s ‘cousins’ with the Captur to relatively newcomers from the Volkswagen group like the Skoda. Karoq.
As we have anticipated, the Qashqai has not changed the body lines since the 2017 version, which also, as we noted in the previous analysis, did not differ radically from the previous 2014 version either. “touches” is fulfilled with this model although it is missed that with the new range of engines there was some wink so that the buyer of this generation could distinguish their vehicle from previous generations.
It is a sober design that, unlike other manufacturers such as Peugeot or Mazda, continues to be aesthetically related to traditional SUVs. The modern touches make the model stand the test of time with dignity without aesthetic variations. Above all, the trapezoidal grille, chrome trim and sharp headlamps, both front and rear, provide those necessary touches so that the Qashqai does not appear outdated compared to the competition.
As we already pointed out in the previous Qashqai test, the interior appearance of this model is of quality and careful finishes in a very pleasant spacious and bright space. There are details, however, that could be updated, especially with regard to the information and entertainment system that sports a somewhat small screen and with an outdated graphics compared to the more updated systems of its competitors. The functionality is good and we find all the controls and controls that we need at hand with a correct touch, but the appearance of the whole (unlike the exterior) does seem somewhat dated.
As we have said the habitability is good and the visibility also with what life on board is pleasant. This aspect is contributed by good, comfortable seats and at the front with a design that wraps enough to travel comfortably on curvy routes. We also find again the curious design of the upholstery that we already pointed out in the previous test that completes some seats that we already pointed out as very comfortable, above the average of what we have tested in this category.
In the design of this Qashqai, the boot is partly the disadvantage of this good habitability with a capacity of 430 liters, below what we find in SUVs of this size. Of course the seats are foldable to increase the load capacity in situations where it is necessary. With this operation we can reach a trunk capacity of up to 1,598 liters if we renounce the rear seats with a fairly simple system to operate both to fold down and to return to the original capacity.
But although there are no changes in the design or habitability and neither in the driver assistance systems or the infotainment system, there is a new range of interesting engines. The model we were able to test was equipped with one of them: the 160 horsepower 1.3-liter gasoline engine, on paper very different from the somewhat lazy diesel engine with a manual gearbox that we had the opportunity to test previously.
Small but bully
The truth is that this small motorization, the result of the Nissan and Renault alliance, is silent and has a pleasant touch because it responds immediately to the pressure of the accelerator, especially if we renounce the ECO mode that domesticates the combination of the engine with the change. Unlike the 130-horsepower diesel engine in the version we tested previously, it is possible to start with remarkable vigor from a standstill (although sometimes with some abruptness) and recoveries, despite the lower torque figure, are also carried out with a very convincing answer.
The result is a cheerful car that we do not hesitate to test on curvy roads. Here the combination of the trajectory and line correction system that we already discussed in the previous test with the excellent tandem of the 160 horsepower gasoline engine and the automatic transmission really shows itself in its sauce. The Qashqai in these circumstances competes in agility and response with sports cars with even more powerful engines. Always reliable trajectories and enough power to get out of the corners with joy to spare for almost sporty sensations.
On the motorway, comfort is also high, although the change is sometimes abrupt when we need power quickly, but otherwise a convincing behavior that together with the comfort of the seats and the numerous driving assistance systems make that we can devour miles without problems. In the city you may spend a little more than necessary, but the Eco mode allows you to partially compensate and maintain some sobriety in exchange for a less brilliant behavior.
In the road consumption section there is a lot of difference if we want to maintain a good rhythm, especially if we travel mountain roads, or if we want to travel quietly on the highway. In any case, it is not too difficult to maintain consumption that is close to seven liters per hundred kilometers, but as we say it is not difficult to overcome them if we keep the engine revved to obtain a good response when the turbocharger comes into play.
The Qashqai is a model that, if it has marked the beginning of the SUV boom, will also mark the evolution of a range of vehicles that is in very good commercial health. With few changes as we have seen in the model we have tested, Nissan manages to keep young a model that continues to give many joys in the sales rankings around the world and Spain is no exception. Modern powertrains with a convincing 160 horsepower and a modern, well-functioning automatic transmission work wonders with this Qashqai.
We have had fun in curves, we have felt comfortable on the highway and we have enjoyed it in the city, so the Qashqai remains faithful to the formula that makes it succeed: it is still a model with great ambitions but very versatile and comfortable. Even so, it still has some gaps such as a somewhat outdated information and entertainment system that we are sure we will see evolve in the next generations.
Final evaluation SUMMARY
Without major changes but with an interesting new engine, the Qashqai seems to continue to have all the ballots to be in the top sales positions in the compact SUV category.