Nissan Qashqai 2010 car review
- We like...Fuel economy, low CO2 output
- We don't...Expensive
When the Qashqai first pitched up in Nissan showrooms, it caused a stir. Here was a car that had the looks and attitude of a full-on off-roader but less ability because it put power through just two wheels. It chimed with buyers’ liking for a tough-looking car that also had a lofty view out from the driving seat and extra ground clearance under its tyres. And it sold by the car park-full.
Now there’s a new Qashqai. Nissan has subtly improved it to answer criticisms that it looked a bit cheap inside and wasn’t that much fun to drive. There are changes to grille and bonnet to give a softer, friendlier look but they’re so slight that you’d need to park new beside old to spot ‘em.
Inside, Nissan has upped the quality of the plastics covering the dash so that they’re classier. Keeping in mind the prices, that’s not before time. The interior is still sombre and not as upscale as a Volkswagen’s. But it is now good enough, an impression underscored by the inclusion of such touches as lights in the footwells. The n-tec model we have here is new and sits one level down from the range-topping Tekna. It has everything you want: a reverse parking camera, six-CD autochanger, climate controlled air conditioning, auto-on lights and wipers.
The biggest – and most noticeable – changes show when you drive. It’s now a quieter car to travel in: thanks to changes to the windscreen and window sealing, more outside noise is shut out, while sounds from engine and suspension are less intrusive than before.
The 1.5 diesel engine employed here has only just enough power for what is quite a heavy car. To press on, you’ll need to work it hard and then it is noisy. But it is very economical and low on CO2 emissions. For more power, there’s also a 2.0 diesel but, as well as costing more to buy, that model is 10mpg thirstier. This model only has two-wheel-drive, so don’t expect it to do well crossing muddy ground. For four-wheel drive, look to a model further up the range.
Nissan has attended to the car’s previously jolty ride, too. There’s still a fair amount of off-roader-ish roll if you put into a corner at speed but it is docile otherwise, stable and quiet at speed.
What hasn’t changed is a dash that’s easy to find your way around and a cabin that’s roomy in the front. The rear, though, can prove a bit tight on headroom for those over 6ft tall.
Should you buy one? It has the looks and image of its fully-capable 4x4 rivals like the Land Rover Freelander or Honda CR-V but it’s cheaper to buy and more affordable to own. It is also dearer and bulkier than a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf and doesn’t do much that a regular car can’t. But if you like its style, it’s a fine choice.
- Engines1.5 diesel
- 0-60 mph12.2secs
- Insurance groups17
Motors.co.uk value verdict: