Nissan Qashqai ST-L
Nissan Qashqai continues where Dualis left off, and is Nissan’s small SUV in a segment that is rapidly expanding segment that includes LCVs like pickups and utes.
SUVs are up 10.9%, and LCVs 20.3% in a market that is up 4.3% on this time last year. In fact, 3 of the top 5 bet sellers were SUV/LCV vehicles, so it is vital that new models have to get it right.
Qashqai has done that, and done it well. Nissan’s range is almost exclusively SUV/LCV cars now. They’re seen the writing on the wall.
So, now confined to strictly to road duties, SUV offerings have broadened their appeal, and can even do a little light towing.
There are 3 models in the Qashqai range, ST, ST-L and N-TEC.
The refresh sees the front completely redesigned with new lights, bumpers and grille. The interior has new fabrics and some new tech. Midlife updates are common, and usually sees advancements of the previous few years included.
It is odd then, that Apple CarPlay/Android Auto was missed.
Nissan’s new MD, Mark Lester, has the job of improving sales. He will be the one to make sure the product managers cram as much as possible into every car.
We reviewed the car at its Australian launch HERE.
The new model retains the chunky SUV shape of the old model, while adding features to keep the range fresh, and more important, relevant.
The exterior gets halogen headlights, LED DTRLs (daytime running lights), and LED tail lights. There is a new range of wheels, with the ST-L having 18” in a double-5-spoke design.
The side profile has a coupe-like look, with the waist line kicking up over the muscular rear quarter. Back seat and cargo area windows are darkened for privacy in a style you’d expect in a posh limo.
Nissan is trying to widen appeal as the top ten auto makers jostle for position. Although the Japanese manufacturers enjoy premium position amongst the Asian countries, the Koreans are ones to watch.
Lights wrap generously around front and rear to illuminate the car from the side for safety. It has given the front end a real lift.
Ground clearance is a modest 186mm, so this small SUV is restricted to road duties only.
Since most SUVs never leave tarmac, that won’t be a problem. Besides, front wheel drive lends itself nicely to commuting and highway work.
Body-coloured door handles have external locking pads for the smart entry/start system. Front doors can be locked and unlocked without having to use the key fob.
The look is meant to broaden the appeal. Changes are not as haphazard as some might think.
The cabin is spacious, and…