New 2017 Nissan Qashqai

A 4x4 design with hatchback efficiency.

The first ever Nissan Qashqai goes back a whole decade. Loads have happened since then. The iPhone wasn’t invented until June 2007 and then the iPad came along in 2010. So, yes, it was a long time ago.

True, the Nissan model had an odd name, but the ‘Qashqai’ moniker wasn’t going to stop people buying it. And that’s because it was one of the first family motors to blend 4x4 design with established hatchback efficiency. This recipe speedily turned the Qashqai into a money-spinner and it sparked a new car segment, known as the ‘Crossover’.

Fast-forward to now, and the popular car has been given a subtle makeover. The revised 2017 Qashqai has been given a more characteristic ‘V-Motion’ nose job, which is in keeping with the funky new Micra’s ‘face’. The Qashqai also sports redesigned front and rear daytime running lights and 19-inch alloy wheels. Additional airflow improvement comes in the shape of below the body ‘vortex generators’, which are meant to help the car stay planted, decrease drag and axe wind blast.

Inside, there’s now more leather and tactile materials on the dashboard, centre console and doors, making everything feel classier. But, practically, not a lot has changed - and that’s no bad thing. There’s still enough room to keep four tall adults happy for long journeys, and a smaller fifth passenger can squash in for briefer trips. What’s more, Isofix sockets on the outward areas of the rear seats make it a cinch to securely attach child seats. The Qashaqi’s load areas is very square and can consume two large suitcases, although recent ‘Crossover’ competitors, the Seat Ateca and Renault Kadjar, have more boot space.

The all-new Tekna+ leading trim, tested here, has been added by the Japanese automaker because consumers are going for cars with more kit these days. Therefore, this fresh variant comes with an eight-speaker Bose sound system, electric heated seats, quilted leather and a panoramic glass roof. It also comes fitted with a 360-degree parking camera, pedestrian detection and rear-cross traffic alert.

Together with visual and kit revamps, the 2017 Qashqai has received several tweaks to help improve the drive. Retuned dampers and springs, as well as changes to Nissan’s Active Ride Control system, aim to trim down body movement. Also, alterations to the steering rack enhance accuracy. If that’s not enough, Active Return Control is a new system that’s been ushered in to make the steering’s ‘self-centring’ feel less artificial.

Indeed, the Nissan is a top choice if being comfy is your thing. Body control is acceptable and the car never feels disobedient. It sops up the horrible bangs and crashes sportier sprung cars give when cruising on our pockmarked roads. It’s also a quiet car, keeping out road and wind noise effectively. Indeed, the latest Qashqai is even more hushed in the cabin than the outgoing version. This is due to different door seals and superior soundproofing.

The new Nissan Qashqai’s engine line-up is the same as before, with only the 1.6-litre diesel we’re reviewing here getting slight changes to heighten refinement. It’s calm when warmed up, although, as with most oil-burners, if you push it past 

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