Two generations of Nissan’s Qashqai – which one has even better new-age nomadic attributes to attract folks who love wandering our urban jungle?
THE first-generation Qashqai, which was launched back in 2007, has all the characteristics of a modern crossover. It off ers good practicality with its five-door hatchback body, higher ground clearance and, being frontwheel- drive, greater effi ciency than a traditional 4x4 SUV. The first Qashqai is also fun to drive. Being no larger than a family hatchback, it’s easy to manoeuvre, and its 2-litre engine off ers adequate poke.
Said engine also partners well with the CVT (continuously variable transmission) to deliver smooth performance. Nissan’s second-generation Qashqai builds upon this solid foundation. The latest model is also a front-drive vehicle, but powered by a stronger 2-litre motor. The new Qashqai off ers 144bhp and 200Nm, or 6bhp and 4Nm more than the old one.
New Qashqai’s boot (top) is 20 litres bigger and more versatile, thanks to tethering points and elastic straps to secure cargo/items.
This helps the car complete the century sprint in 10.1 seconds – 0.6 of a second quicker than before, despite being 79kg heavier than its predecessor. Furthermore, unlike the original model, which had only one engine option, the new Qashqai range has an entry-level (COE Category A) variant powered by a turbocharged 1.2-litre 4-cylinder. More importantly, the new Qashqai is now bigger than before – 50mm longer, 23mm broader and with an additional 16mm in the wheelbase. That last figure contributes to a roomier cabin, especially for backseat passengers.
This Nissan also feels more upmarket than before. Both the instrument panel and infotainment system have been made more attractive. The latter, for instance, is controlled via a bright and colourful touchscreen, whereas the previous version has a basic hi-fi unit. It’s user-friendly, though. The new model also off ers improved occupant comfort with its so-called Zero Gravity seats, which are also found in Nissan’s mid-size Teana saloon.
New Qashqai’s 2-litre drivetrain is quicker than the old one (bottom) and more economical, able to let the car travel an extra 2km per litre.
Enhancing the driveability of the new Qashqai are Active Trace Control and Active Ride Control. The former feature is like a torque vectoring system that applies the brakes to individual wheels to make the car feel more nimble when cornering, while the latter feature subtly applies the brakes to reduce pitching over poorer surfaces. Now, while the preceding model has no such features, its smaller size and lighter weight mean it handles more like a large hatchback than its successor. Ultimately, the new Qashqai is even more qualified than the old one to wander our urban jungle with new-age nomadic families.