First Drive

First Drive: Nissan Qashqai

The story:
Nissan has followed up on its 2017 Qashqai mid-life update with improved engines and infotainment on the car that pioneered the crossover segment and still leads it in sales terms.
Key rival:Seat Ateca
Nissan Qashqai 115 dCi Tekna
On sale:Now


The post-WLTP revamp of engines has landed on the Nissan Qashqai, with the crossover sales king getting a revised 1.5-litre diesel powerplant to go with the 140hp and 160hp 1.3 petrol units recently introduced to the range.

The new diesel is a 115hp offering, up 5hp on the previous unit, and hits 100g/km in entry Visia (16-inch steel wheels) and Acenta Premium (17-inch aero alloys) trims, and 110g/km on the higher trims with more attractive 18-inch or 19-inch alloys.

First Drive- March 2019-Nissan Qashqai-image 8Although Qashqai sales overall have moved heavily toward petrol power in the past couple of years, the company car sector is still around 50:50, so the new engine definitely has a role as the only diesel in the line-up at present, until a new 150hp 1.7 diesel arrives this spring.

For such modest power in a reasonably sized car, the new engine pulls nicely at all speeds, although refinement is only average. It’s fine, but not as good as the best diesels, which can also be said about the gearchange and the slightly sluggish stop-start system.

Nevertheless, the 2017 visual revamp has done a good job of updating the styling, and this late 2018 update also takes in the connectivity side of the car’s operation, with an upgraded entertainment and navigation system that includes improved voice recognition technology and 3D mapping on the navigation. The manufacturer’s app will allow new Qashqai drivers to send destinations to the car from their phone, and the mapping can be updated over-the-air or via USB.

Paul Barker

The verdict

A worthy update to a very successful model. The new diesel will appeal for emissions and performance, and the infotainment updates banish a previous weakness of the Qashqai.