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2018 Nissan Qashqai quick review

By Cameron Kirby, 04 Dec 2017 Car Reviews

2018 Nissan Qashqai quick review

Small SUVs are becoming increasingly popular with Australian new car buyers, and Nissan wants a bigger slice of the pie. The updated Qashqai is its ticket to ride.

Nissan’s small SUV was launched on the Australian market three years ago. This is its first significant update.

TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR

The updated Nissan Qashqai extends the model range, while simplifying the available powertrains. Nissan has done well to improve the ride and bring the cabin up to date with modern expectations, however an ageing drivetrain and infotainment omissions could play against it in a crowded and competitive market.

There has been a change in the model line-up, with the addition of the N-TEC to sit below the flagship Ti, and mid-spec ST-L which has infotainment, and trim improvements over the base SL.

STRENGTHS

  • Interior space is plentiful in the Qashqai, with rear legroom ample for adult passengers.
  • Its 430-litres boot is one of the largest in the segment.
  • Interior feels more premium than before, with hard plastics cut back significantly, particularly on the door trims and centre console. The steering wheel has been completely redesigned to bring it up to date with modern trends.

  • Beneath the new Qashqai’s skin there is stiffer suspension and firmer damping but the ride remains comfortable on 19-inch alloys. The 18-inch rims of the lower-spec models improved the ride further and produced less tyre noise.
  • Cabin noise has been improved with extra sound deadening in the doors. On a variety of road surfaces, cruising at highway speeds, road noise was minimal.
  • Automatic emergency braking  is standard across the range

WEAKNESSES

  • Pricing starts at $26,490 for the base model, which is competitive. However, the flagship Ti comes with a sticker price of $37,990 – well above most rival range toppers.
  • The lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remains a glaring omission in a market baying for increased connectivity in cars.

  • Tyre roar on the 19-inch rims for the N-TEC and Ti variants can become intrusive at highway speeds.
  • A downfall of the Qashqai is numb steering, which while lightly weighted, does little to communicate what is happening at the front wheels.

Any rivals I should consider?

Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Kona, Peugeot 2008, Suzuki S-Cross, Toyota C-HR, Subaru XV and Holden Trax