9 February 2011

Nissan Qashqai 2010 car review

Launched in New Zealand just one year ago, the Nissan Qashqai has quickly carved out a niche for itself as an appealing mid-size saloon with many of the practicalities offered by a small SUV/Crossover.

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Nissan Qashqai 2010
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Nissan Qashqai 2010
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Nissan Qashqai 2010
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Nissan Qashqai 2010
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Nissan Qashqai 2010

Launched in New Zealand just one year ago, the Nissan Qashqai has quickly carved out a niche for itself as an appealing mid-size saloon with many of the practicalities offered by a small SUV/Crossover.

It's been in steady demand appealing to a wide range of buyers, having notched up 600 sales in New Zealand since its launch. More than 80 percent of Qashqai customers have been new to the Nissan brand, underlining the appeal of the vehicle concept.

"The Qashqai has played a key role in reinforcing Nissan's position as an innovator in the European market, and its introduction here has provided a spur to sales," said John Manley the Managing Director of Nissan New Zealand.

"It now accounts for almost 10 percent of our sales, and this is expected to increase with the arrival of the 2010 models. We see the Qashqai cementing its position as a design and innovation leader, providing an exciting alternative to traditional hatches."

The most notable changes from the outside are revised front end treatment with a new honeycomb grille, a new bonnet, front bumper, guards and headlamps, combining to give the Qashqai a more contemporary look.

Styling changes at the rear are limited to a clear lens cover for reversing lamps and indicators, and a lower red section for the brake and park lights. LED stop lamps are now fitted.

Latest Qashqai is now quieter and more refined

Thanks to the adoption of a new, improved NVH-cancelling multi-layer insulation material affixed to the front bulkhead, noise and vibration have been significantly reduced. In addition, an acoustic windscreen reduces the transmission of noise, while wind noise from around the A-pillar has been reduced with revised window seals.

Changes to the underfloor design optimise airflow and reduce drag. These include a smoother floor area around the engine, additional flat panels along the length of the under body and optimised deflectors around the front and rear wheels.

Upgrades to the entry level Qashqai ST include steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, Drive computer, revised instruments and more storage.

Carry-over standard equipment on the Qashqai ST includes cruise control with steering wheel controls, 16 inch steel wheels, air conditioning, ABS/EBD with Brake Assist, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS), MP3 aux input, and six airbags including front to rear SRS curtain airbags.

The Qashqai TI adds 18 inch wheels, Xenon headlights, intelligent key and dual zone climate air conditioning, with the standout new feature being the standard fitment of a Panoramic glass sunroof.

Now with option of 7 seats

The 2010 model also sees the introduction of a new 7-seater Qashqai+2, with specification level remaining similar to the Qashqai ST, but with a longer, wider and taller body, 16 inch alloys, roof rails and a third row split folding seat providing the additional seating capacity.

The Nissan Qashqai was designed at Nissan Design Europe based in Paddington, London. Principal engineering was undertaken at Nissan Technical Centre Europe, in Bedfordshire, UK. The Qashqai models for New Zealand are manufactured at Nissan's factory in Sunderland, in the northeast of England.

Power is provided via a 104kW 1,997cc petrol engine producing 196Nm of torque at 4,400rpm, driving the front wheels through a CVT transmission.

The Qashqai ST and TI models have an overall length of 4,330mm, while the Qashqai+2 adds 211mm to the length, measuring 4,541mm. Maximum towing weight is 1,200kg braked and 685kg unbraked.

The Qashqai ST is priced at $35,900 and the TI retails for $39,900. No pricing is available yet for the Qashqai+2.

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