As regular readers of these car reviews might be aware, we’re fairly familiar with most of the models in the current Nissan line-up, having been granted access to a number of the manufacturer’s vehicles in recent years.
The latest one we have is an example of one of its best-known offerings – a Qashqai. And although it might be a bit early to come to any firm conclusions about how it is adapting to life as the newest member of our long-term fleet, it’s fair to say that initial impressions are positive.
OV71ULB is certainly packed with lots of gadgets and gizmos, and under the bonnet, the car’s 1.3-litre petrol engine features ‘mild hybrid’ technology which offers a slight improvement in acceleration and efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions whilst driving. It feels eager and responsive and the car’s six-speed manual gearbox is certainly well-engineered.
Our Qashqai is an N-Connecta grade model, which sits in the middle of the trim level line-up. As such, it lacks a few of the features of a previous top-spec ‘Tekna’ grade car we had.
My wife is missing the heated seats, while for me, closing the boot manually seems a bit of a chore after a few months of life with an electronic tailgate.
Mustn’t grumble though, because as I say, initial impressions of our latest Nissan are on the whole excellent. A big ‘thumbs up’ would be the emoji equivalent.
Finance-wise, the car comes in at £29,025 on the road, and OV71ULB is fitted with three optional extras that bump the price up a bit.
Its eye-catching magnetic blue metallic paint costs £745; a Tech Pack featuring Drive Assist and head-up display is £815; and a glass roof and roof rails come in at £650. Add those to the on-the-road figure and you arrive at a grand total of £31,235.
Early journeys have been limited, sadly, thanks to a case of Covid in the family, meaning the rest of us have done the right thing and confined ourselves to barracks. But once the tests started showing negative results, it was off to our local country park for a long walk to get some fresh air and exercise.
The trip made me realise that although Qashqai is often billed as the perfect urban crossover, it’s equally at home in a rural setting, with bumpy, muddy lanes, uneven car parks and fading light towards the end of our day out posing no problems whatsoever.
That’s in no small part due to the Around View Monitor system which provides an aerial view of the car while you’re reversing; the car’s front and rear parking sensors, dusk sensor, and rain-sensing wipers, which all combine to make tackling the trickiest driving conditions a breeze.
We certainly had a memorable day out but it’s fair to say the Qashqai was in a bit of a state afterwards, so the next trip was into town for spruce-up at our local hand car wash.
I guess it’s not the cheapest way to get a car cleaned but the guys did a cracking job, and that natty blue paint was looking great afterwards, the only dent being in my wallet at that point.
It’s smart inside, too, and among the highlights are comfortable anthracite cloth seats, a smooth leather steering wheel and shift knob, and a handy centre console with tray and cup holders. Popping back to the exterior for a second, a definite favourite feature of mine is the capless fuel filler system.
No forgetting to flick a switch, and no need to take a key as you jump out of the car to top up with unleaded. That earns another thumbs-up from me!