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City slicker: A look at the Nissan Qashqai

City slicker: A look at the Nissan Qashqai

A market-changing entry to the compact crossover section, the Nissan Qashqai maintains a high level of appeal for those looking for a practical yet fun city car.

The latest model has combined aspects of hatchback and off-road vehicles to bring something unique to the sector it created. Named after a semi-nomadic tribe from mountainous southern Iran, the Qashqai is equally at home in urban or rural environments, and can cope with a wide range of terrains thanks to its substantial ground clearance.

There’s an increased range of powerful diesel engines to choose from, with 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 litre sizes available, as well as 1.6 and 2.0 litre petrol engines. A cruising gear also allows for maximum fuel efficiency when driving long stretches at a consistent speed, such as motorways. This saves money and helps lower your carbon footprint.

The innovative intelligent key technology means that you don’t need to fish around in your bag for your keys. If it’s about your person, then all you need to do is press a button on the driver’s door to gain access to the vehicle. With a keyless ignition, you don’t even need to get the key out to start the car. If it’s with you, just press the relevant button and away you go.

Connectivity is a key feature of the new Qashqai. There is a seven-inch anti-glare dashboard display that acts as a nerve centre for the car’s broad range of features. It’s also able to integrate with your smartphone to keep you safely up-to-date while you’re on the move. The touchscreen allows you to control your music, sat-nav and pretty much anything else you can think of.

As always, safety features are an important area of innovation. Lane departure warnings are a potential lifesaver for motorway driving, providing an alert if you appear to be drifting into danger. The Qashqai can also measure your level of alertness by monitoring how you drive, and remind you when you need a break. This is another useful feature for long-distance driving, where it is easy to become tired or distracted.

Automatic Forward Braking can also save lives, as it applies the brakes if you get too close to the next car ahead. This can not only mitigate the impact of a collision, but also help you avoid becoming part of a pile-up in the first place.

For those concerned about maneuvering a more substantial car into a parking place, worry not. The Park Assist feature can work out if your Qashqai can fit into a parking spot, then steers you in. All you have to do is work the pedals!

There is also the option to use the 360 degree view feature to get a good look all around the vehicle straight to your dashboard screen, thanks to four small cameras around the car, essentially eliminating blind spots. This can be a great help for those who prefer to park by themselves, particularly if they employ the bird’s-eye-view function.ADNFCR-3205-ID-801766932-ADNFCR