The Nissan Qashqai is nearing the end of its model life, but there’s still very little wrong with this solid 7-seater lifestyle package.
Nissan Qashqai +2 Acenta review by John BealeA replacement model for the Nissan Qashqai is due in 2014, and in its last year, the limited edition models are here already. As I’ve said before, the Quashqai gives a pretty simple promise - It’s a comfortable, good value, leisure vehicle for those parents who are looking for something that has comfortable seating, extra space, good fuel economy and raised ground clearance. The +2 is essentially a 7-seater version of the Qashqai on a slightly extended platform.
Engine and gearbox
The standard 2-litre unit producing 102kW and 198NM of torque is surprisingly gutsy and pulls strongly through the revs. A noticeable improvement over the last unit I had for some reason. There’s enough torque from low down, and cruises quite easily in 6th gear on the highway to average 10l/100km on a combined cycle during my test. I would definitely opt for the 2litre unit if you’re going for the 7 seater, considering the size difference. The gearbox is however just as bad as it was in the previous unit, with it’s vague, disconnected, stick in a mud feeling when changing gears.
Nissan Qashqai - ride and handling
It’s comfortable but not wafty. Those good-looking 17-inch rims do just fine over the terrible tarmac in Joburg, but it’s definitely not as quiet as the Honda CRV. What is different in the +2, is that you can definitely feel the extra length and when turning corners feels a bit like a Chevrolet Suburban as it rocks about side to side when you turn quickly.
Steering is just right, but find that you have to keep your wits about you when turning as the weight can overpower on the direction you want to go. Parking lots are handled with ease as the steering is light. Overall, sitting high up also has its perks, and it handles acceptably on the highway. Should anything go wrong, the Acenta spec is equipped with vehicle stability control, ABS, EBD and a host of airbags.
The interior is getting on a bit and is now showing its age. Hard plastics and typical Nissan switchgear adorn the interior. It’s simple to use, and won’t confuse, but isn’t as well insulated as the Honda, and definitely feels a bit “old” now. There is however quite a bit of standard kit, including dual zone climate control, bluetooth with audio playback, auto lights, rain sensor, and electronically dimming rear view mirror and folding exterior mirrors. The seats are still not my favourite, covered in leather but little support, and make you feel like you’re sitting ON, instead of IN the car. The 2nd row of seats have sufficient legroom for adults, can move forward and have ISOFIX (Baby seat) mounts and separate vents.
That all important 3rd row of seating is fairly easy to get up, but provide very little support, and are flat and thin. Definitely only for the little kids in the family, considering their lack of support and how low down they sit in the car. With the seats up there is still a little bit of space left for small bags behind the seats. Sadly there is VERY little hidey space, everything too small to actually use including the cupholders that can’t even hold a medium McDonalds drink.