Stop-start tech added to popular crossover as part of a range of revisions

What is it?

Nissan’s popular British-built Qashqai crossover received a makeover in early 2010 with subtly refreshed styling, interior quality upgrades and under-the-skin changes to boost ride quality and reduce interior noise.

This was followed up later in the year with tweaks to the engine range. So this is our first chance to test the newly Euro5-compliant 1.6-litre petrol engine, which gets a small 2bhp boost to 115bhp and a similar rise in torque to 117lb ft. And the addition of stop-start, the first Nissan to benefit from the technology, drops CO2 emissions from 144g/km to 139g/km.

What’s it like?

The Qashqai is Nissan’s biggest seller in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. We noted in our earlier test of the chassis and interior upgrades that the Qashqai is a comfortable, refined and accomplished performer, with an airy cabin and an excellent driving position. None of these traits are lost in this round of engine upgrades.

While the Qashqai range remains an extremely competitive proposition overall, this engine would not be our default choice. Its real-life economy is impressive at around 40mpg, but it lacks the necessary power and torque for swift, smooth and quiet progress.

The engine, although smoother and quieter around town, also feels strained on the motorway and would benefit from a sixth gear to improve refinement and economy.

But there are no such problems with the stop-start system, which operates in the background without intrusion and delivers noticeable benefits to the headline economy and CO2 figures.

Should I buy one?

We’d have no hesitation in recommending a Qashqai, which remains an interesting and well-executed crossover alternative to mainstream rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

If you’re prepared to sacrifice a few of the toys fitted to this generously equipped n-tec model, a 1.5 diesel Qashqai can be had for the same money, and that model offers even better economy and CO2 emissions and enough torque to provide a more rewarding drive.

Nissan Qashqai 1.6 n-tec stop-start

Price: £19,445; Top speed: 113mph; 0-6mpg: 11.9sec; Economy: 47.9mpg; CO2: 139g/km; Engine: 4cyls, 1598cc, petrol; Power: 115mph at 6000rpm; Torque: 117lb ft at 4400rpm; Gearbox: 5spd manual

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Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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n50pap 14 February 2011

Re: Nissan Qashqai 1.6 stop-start

ThwartedEfforts wrote:

hm, not driven one have you.

Correct. My observations were based on how it performed in snowy weather, despite looking like a small SUV. Presumably the four wheel drive one will be better, but most people go for the look at a cheaper price, which is a shame.

My comments on their being a popular vehicle on Motability were based on observations from a friend in the motor trade.

The final reason I've not driven one is because they're too big for my needs and won't fit in my garage, which is the criterion for any car I may decide to purchase. I like to road test cars that I might be considering but the Qashqai, unfortunately, isn't one of them. I've learned in the past that, when some sales people get your details, you need a restraining order to get rid of them.

I normally research on-line, then pick from my top five. It saves all the tears and trauma.

Lee23404 1 February 2011

Re: Nissan Qashqai 1.6 stop-start

ThwartedEfforts wrote:
Lee23404 wrote:
Apart from the bit about it being quiet (I didn't think it was) I agree with all of that. When I was looking to downsize this looked like it could be ideal. It was a pretty good drive, was roomy, well equiped (I looked at the N-Tec) and cheap to lease.
did you try the new new model? I wonder if they're made it quieter. Admittedly though the drive I took was low speed and as a passenger round the roads of a new-ish looking retail park near Exeter, so it could be all down to the state of the roads and the freshness of the tarmac.

No it was the new model. My test drive was little more than 15 minutes around local roads too.

In fairness to the QQ I had just stepped out of my C5, a very quiet car as you know. Maybe it was just comparatively noisey after the C5? I want another go now to find out.

Overdrive 1 February 2011

Re: Nissan Qashqai 1.6 stop-start

Flyingscud wrote:
....I encounter around 30 speedbumps and some of the most appallingly potholed roads every morning in East London. My Audi A3 has no end of scuffs on its sump and suspension – and now has had to have its oil drainplug tapped and re-fitted. High-riding has to be a good idea in the city as well.
Those appallingly potholed roads make you wonder why there is any need for speedhumps. I mean, surely the state of the roads is bad enough, as it is, to slow people down.

I never really cared for SUVs and 4x4s for the well known reasons (i.e. inferior dynamically, poor consumption/performance and generally more inefficient than saloons, hatchbacks and estates). However, like you say, with the unending proliferation of speedhumps and ever increasing potholes, I'm starting to see a case for high ground clearance vehicles; especially since they've got a lot better dynamically in recent years too.