By Malusi Msomi
Now in its third generation, the new Nissan Qashqai has gotten a new look and fresher interior to compete in the highly competitive crossover SUV market. On launch, we got to sample the top-of-the-range Acenta PLUS which was quite impressive.
Off the bat, the new Nissan looks pretty good. From its simple yet futuristic front end to its well-sculptured rear end. It’s easy on the eye and is quite a looker with its new design. As standard, the exterior of the Acenta PLUS comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, and a grade-specific blue black 2-tone exterior to set it apart from the rest of the range.
The Acenta PLUS is the current halo model which offers the full premium experience when it comes to the Qashqai model line-up. It comes with full-nappa leather seats with massage, heated and memory functions (driver), and exclusive blue-black interior trimming as standard. You might think the niceties only come with the top-of-the-line model, but the rest of the range gets reverse camera, cruise control, and wireless charging. The 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system is intuitive and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The BOSE sound system Is a dream and will keep most buyers happy when playing their favourite traffic tunes. Overall, it’s a beautiful place to be in as Nissan upped the ante with its premium interior for this segment.
The Qashqai range is solely powered by a 1.3-litre engine which makes 110kW/250Nm and it sends power to the front wheels via a CVT gearbox. The latter is surprisingly one of the best we’ve sampled though there’s an inherent hint of the dreaded drone sound which isn’t a deal breaker. The peppy 1.3-litre engine carries the new Qashqai with ease and its attractive 19-inch wheels offer good ride quality.
In terms of safety, the Nissan Qashqai Acenta PLUS comes with a host of safety features including radar-guided cruise control, Intelligent Around View Monitor (360° colour cameras), Intelligent Driver Alertness, Intelligent Blind, Spot Intervention, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The Nissan Qashqai range is priced from R568,200 up to R670,200. Pricing is a bit steep but overall the new Qashqai Acenta PLUS is a solid product with a lot of standard features. Full review coming soon.
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