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First drive: An icon re-visited, the 3rd generation Nissan Qashqai

We had to wait some months for the all-new Qashqai to hit our shores. It has been eagerly awaited and now it's here in Mzansi. It's a pleasing blend of hatchback space with SUV practicality. Looks mighty impressive in a somewhat aggressive stance. But what about the drive? We headed out from Camp's Bay in Cape Town up onto one of the most scenic drives in the world, Chapman's Peak. It was just as a good route to put the Qashqai through its paces. You feel the quality and the urge to drive the Qashqai through the twisty and winding Chappies.
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Hailed as one of the pioneers of the crossover segment, the Qashqai has always been an industry benchmark and the introduction of the third generation, with its fresh, modern and sporty style, has retained the model’s identity, signalling a positive for the design consistency of Nissan’s crossover range.

Slick lines mean a more muscular and sharper exterior design, the all-new Qashqai features a bigger V-motion front grille, as well as slim Led matrix headlamps with new daylight running lights that further enhance its stance and presence.

Leading features

The all-new Nissan Qashqai boasts class-leading features, including Nissan’s award-winning autonomous driving level 1 (Nissan ProPilot), predictive front collision warning and lane keep assist – to name a few.

Customers are spoiled for choice with the new model available in three grades; the Qashqai 1.3T Visia MT, the Qashqai 1.3T Acenta (Xtronic) and the 1.3T Acenta Plus (Xtronic).

New benchmarks in safety

The new Qashqai combines a sporty design with an all-round, overall premium packaging that does not compromise on performance, style, and function. It also offers new benchmarks in comfort, safety and driving dynamics coupled with the latest Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology whilst boasting a redefined and powerful 1.3T engine, mated to a refined Xtronic Automated transmission.

South Africans will be able to drive at ease, knowing that safety is at the heart of the third-generation Qashqai. It is equipped with advanced safety technologies designed to watch the road, keeping all passengers safe and providing peace of mind.

One of the safety functions ensuring passenger safety is through the onboard predictive front collision warning, which keeps an eye up to two vehicles ahead, and when the system detects a sudden deceleration ahead, it gives the driver an audible and visual warning to slow down.

The new Nissan Qashqai harnesses the use of a full suite of technologies to help the driver avoid unintentional lane departure through its lane keeping aid, keeping the driver centred in the lane using either a steering wheel action or breaking in an emergency.

The all-new Qashqai also delivers an intuitive and protective driving experience through the driver attention alert system – which is intended to address potential driver fatigue and inattention. If the system detects driving behaviour consistent with a drowsy driver, the system uses an audible chime sound and displays an amber coffee cup with a message reading, “Take a break?” in the vehicle’s information display.

ProPilot driver assistance

The new Nissan Qashqai is equipped with the revolutionary ProPilot autonomous drive technology, designed for highway use in single-lane traffic.

It introduces a combination of steering, acceleration and braking that can be operated in full-automatic mode, easing driver workload in heavy highway traffic and long commutes.

Using advanced image-processing technology, the ProPilot system understands road and traffic situations and executes precise steering, enabling the vehicle to perform naturally.

Comfort, premium, and class

Elegance and comfort add to the allure of the all-new Nissan Qashqai, fitted with premium full Napa leather seats with quilted fronts for a relaxing, comfortable, and enjoyable seating experience. It is engineered with the ultimate purpose, function, and quality in mind.

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The NissanConnect suite of features has also undergone an evolution and now offers a more connected service with the latest and greatest in audio technology, connectivity, and mobile integration.

To further set it apart, the new Qashqai offers two-tone exterior metallic paint that showcases the crisp line profiles of the vehicle. Taken a step further, Nissan is also introducing a two-tone, premium interior to complete the overall premium experience of the third-generation Qashqai.

Verdict

An all-round SUV that is good for the weekday. Throw in all your sporting equipment and it’s good for the weekend too. Aesthetically, very pleasing to the eye with new contoured lines. The interior is roomy, practical and very quiet. The ride is smooth and pleasing thanks to the improved multi-link suspension, for sportier and agile driving.

Pricing

  • Qashqai Visia R568, 200
  • Qashqai Acenta R639, 300
  • Qashqai Acenta Plus R670, 600

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

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