Kit and technology upgrade adds verve and value to the venerable and popular Nissan Qashqai

What is it?

This Nissan Qashqai 360 replaces the outgoing n-tec+ variant and sits between the mid-spec Acenta and top-level Tekna trims in the popular crossover’s range.

N-tec+ accounted for about 60 per cent of all Qashqai sales in the UK in 2012, and Nissan expects the Qashqai 360 to continue that, not least because it offers a higher specification for the same price tag.

Among the kit included on this mild wash ‘n’ brush up are 18in alloys, rear privacy glass and a panoramic glass roof. On top of that, the Qashqai 360 gets a host of style-led additions including part-leather trim, a gloss black gearlever surround and door handles and a leather armrest.

The exterior gets gloss black roof rails, door mirrors and ‘360’ badging. The car also gets an uprated version of the Nissan Connect multimedia system. 

What's it like?

There are no mechanical changes to the already well-proven package. A combination of a supple ride and well-weighted steering makes the Qashqai composed and comfortable to drive, although some mild body roll is noticeable during tight cornering.

The 360 trim is available across all engine and transmission variants and can be specified on both the five-seat Qashqai and the seven-seat Qashqai+2. The 1.6 turbodiesel we tested is smooth and quiet, particularly around town and, when fitted to the five-seat, two-wheel drive variant, is the most fuel-efficient choice in the range.

The uprated trim adds an extra touch of class to the interior, and the extra tech that’s now on board is very useful. Like the n-tec+ before it, the Qashqai 360 features an intuitive 360-degree parking assist system, which uses cameras mounted in the bumpers and wing mirrors to offer a ‘helicopter’ view of the car on the screen on the centre console.

Cabin space and flexibility have never been the Qashqai’s strongest suits.  The 410 litres of boot space (or 860 litres with the rear seats folded) feels miserly compared to rivals such as the Kia Sportage (564/1353 litres) or Skoda Yeti (416/1760 litres). 

Should I buy one?

The Qashqai was at the vanguard of the crossover craze when it was launched in 2007 and, despite stern opposition from a growing pool of very capable rivals, it remains a comfortable and accomplished performer. This updated edition should keep Nissan’s sales ticking over nicely until the next-generation model appears.

Nissan Qashqai 360 1.6dCi

Price: £23,145 0-62mph: 10.3sec Top speed: 118mph Economy: 62.8mpg CO2: 119g/km Kerb weight: 1498kg Engine: 4cyls, 1598cc, turbodiesel Power: 128bhp at 4000rpm Torque: 236lb ft at 1750rpm Gearbox: 6-spd manual

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MikeSpencer 13 April 2013

Looking dated

Perhaps it's the ubiquity of the Quashqai, but it's looking really dated now. Six years and counting is a long time to wait for the next-generation model. You can't blame Nissan for making the most of a successful product (Nissan 'Cashcow' label is a bit harsh, perhaps) but you can't help thinking a new model is now long overdue. Nevertheless, a big success story for both Nissan and British car manufacturing. But don't be too complacent Nissan, that's what killed off the old British car industry in the first place!

fadyady 11 April 2013

Crying out for power upgrade

Qashqai is indeed a success story for Nissan but the only upgrades it ever receives is more gadgets. Extra petrol and diesel power could make it even more attractive.

Adrian987 11 April 2013

Gone is the gas guzzler association

Just think, not so long ago it was Honda who were the target of the anti 4x4 gas guzzler campaigners when in fact their CRV was not really that bad.

SUVs have a much better image now. It is good that the Qashqai has done so well, it clearly had the right mix of toughness, practicality and cost when it came out. I have one friend who is on his second one, but petrol rather than diesel. As others have said, the raised driving position and access are attractions. Also, I would think that the raised ride height helps cope with speed humps.