Long-term report: Putting our Nissan Qashqai’s practicality to the test

A month of home improvements has provided ample opportunity to test our SUV’s versatility

Long-term report: Putting our Nissan Qashqai’s practicality to the test

After a couple of months on the fleet, our long-term Nissan Qashqai has established itself as a firm favourite, and it’s not difficult to see why.

It’s pretty much a car for all occasions with versatility the watchword. Need to get loaded up to help someone move house? Not a problem with its cavernous, multi-layered boot. Planning a family day out? Everyone will get there in safety and comfort thanks to the car’s spacious and well laid out cabin.

You see, most of the journeys I take are solo trips, although to be fair, the car has been put to good use fetching and carrying lately, as I have been helping a mate with a flat renovation project.

I can confirm that the Qashqai’s boot can swallow all manner of gardening equipment plus a pressure washer and wallpaper stripping machine with no trouble whatsoever – and did so on many occasions.

We’ve been doing a bit of home improvement work at our place too, with the builders having recently finished and our attention turning to fixtures and fittings. A trip to IKEA (other furniture stores are available) led to us stocking up with all manner of flatpack items – and again, with the rear seats folded down, there was more than enough space.

I’ve enjoyed getting to grips with the technology in recent weeks, too. Our Qashqai is a Tekna trim level model, meaning it’s certainly well equipped.

Its fully electronic 12.3-inch TFT multi-information screen offers a choice of configurable layouts to display navigation, entertainment, traffic or vehicle information. And with a background inspired by Japanese kiriko glass, it looks the part as well.

Even lower trim level models now enjoy a larger seven-inch TFT screen, a distinct improvement over the previous five-inch display.

There are so many neat features that just make life that little bit easier. The boot can be opened and closed via the key fob; I love the clarity of the head-up display which is seen at eye level in the windscreen; and the blind spot warning system is a boon, bearing in mind I do quite a bit of motorway driving.

The Intelligent Around View Monitor is great, too. The street in which I live is always full of parked cars so the composite 360-degree view, and split-screen close-ups of front, rear and kerbside views really does come in handy.

One thing you can’t always guard against, however, is the behaviour of other drivers. On a trip to a country pub recently, I was told by a member of the waiting staff that someone had hit the parked Qashqai while leaving the premises.

Needless to say, I went out to inspect the damage but there wasn’t any – even the closest scrutiny couldn’t detect the effects of any impact whatsoever. Ah well, it remains a mystery.

Future duties for ‘our’ Qashqai include spending time with an uncle of mine, a bit of a car nut himself, who’s planning a rare visit to the UK from his home in Spain.

I’ll be taking him to some of his old haunts in the West Country and North London / Essex and will be very interested to get his opinion after several days as a passenger.

Watch this space!

  • Model: Nissan Qashqai Tekna
  • Price (as tested): £32,710
  • Engine: 1.3 DIG-T
  • Power: 156bhp
  • Torque: 260Nm
  • Max speed: 128mph
  • 0-60mph: 9.3 seconds
  • MPG: 44.1 (combined)
  • Emissions: 145 g/km (combined)
  • Mileage: 10,335

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