Nissan is on the money, with the new Qashqai paying off with the title of this country’s Best Small SUV in a renowned Aussie experts’ 2022 car of the year awards.

Arriving as part of Nissan’s ‘All-New In 2022’ roll-out of the all-new X-Trail, Pathfinder and Z it gives the Japanese company one of the freshest model line-ups in the country.

The judging panel was impressed by the all-new Qashqai, saying it ‘redefines what
buyers can expect from a small SUV’.

Originally the Dualis here Down Under, the British-built Qashqai has sold more than
three million units around the globe, so it must be doing something right. Now, the
third generation comes in four variants – ST, ST+, ST-L and Ti – all petrol powered,
95 RON, no less. An e-Power hybrid is somewhere down the track.

Prices are up across the board with increases of between $3300 and $8300
depending on variant. Up against the likes of the Toyota Corolla Cross, Honda HR-V
and Mazda CX-30, the Qashqai finds itself in the upper reaches of the segment price
list. The ST starts things off at $33,890, plus on-road costs, rising to Ti 2-Tone for
$47,890. The ST-L (on test), $42,190, and Ti are expected to make up the majority
of sales.

All are powered by a 1.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine putting out peak power of
110 kW and 250 Nm of torque, mated with a continuous velocity automatic
transmission driving the front wheels.

Each is covered by Nissan’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside
assistance over the same period.

A so-called compact it may be, but the third generation Qashqai has filled out in all
proportions; 31 mm longer, 30 mm taller, 29 mm wider and with a 19 mm longer
wheelbase than before.

The product of Nissan’s European Design Studio in London, unmistakably Qashqai,
the MY23 model is more muscular, sharp and modern than previously. An
enlarged Nissan V-motion grille is complemented by slim, LED
advanced matrix headlamps with boomerang signature daytime
running lights.

Side on, the vehicle appears also more athletic, with a single ‘fast
line’ from back, leading to a striking horizontal presence of the car.

To say the Qashqai is generous with space inside is to sell the small SUV short. For
example, there’s room for a real knees-up in the back seat with acres of leg room
and shoulder space, entertainment courtesy of standard digital radio (DAB+) and
USB-A and USB-C ports throughout the cabin.

Premium quilted cloth and synthetic leather-accented seating includes
massage function for the driver, who also enjoys the benefit of eight-
way power positioning.

New white ambient lighting is used throughout the cabin with large
glassed areas improving all-round visibility from commanding
positions. There’s a fold-down centre armrest with cup holders, map pockets behind
both front seats, and bottle holders in the wide-opening rear doors.

Surprisingly, the boot takes as much as 429 litres of stuff, with volume boosted to
1524 litres with the 60:40 back seat folded. Pity the Divide-and-Hide security system
is not available.

The all-new Qashqai leads the way in signature Nissan Intelligent
Mobility, which gives access to driver assistance technology, engine
performance with fuel economy and seamless smartphone

The ST-L grade also offers in-built satellite navigation, which provides a handy
‘Where am I?’ button for ‘Wallys’ that displays the name of the host street, plus the
most recent one travelled and any nearby roads.

All four variants are powered by the same 1.3 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
engine putting out 110 kW of power at 5500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between
1600 and 3750 rpm. This is shunted to the front wheels of the SUV.

The latest Qashqai earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2021.

All grades include forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, with
pedestrian and, cyclist detection, junction assist, active speed limiter, adaptive cruise
control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, lane
departure warning, lane keep assist, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, traffic
sign recognition and tyre pressure monitoring.

The ST-L adds front parking sensors, ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving system
and alarm system. Seven airbags, including front-centre, are standard.

The Qashqai shows more than a hint of hesitance out of the blocks, the turbo taking
its time winding up. Once into its stride, however, apart from the odd CVT wobble,
there’s no looking back for the the1.3 litre SUV on its way to an unconfirmed zero-to-
100 km/h time of 8.5 seconds. Top speed is put at 206 km/h.

As for fuel economy, Nissan’s official combined urban / highway cycle figure of 6.1
litres per 100 kilometres gives the Qashqai a range of more than 900 km. The test
car weighed in with figures of 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres shunting around town and
4.6 at full steam on the motorway.

Cabin noise insulation is efficiently effective, with neither engine nor wind noise
intruding and only courser road surfaces offering any impost. Some body roll comes
to the fore on fast bends. Light and easy steering makes town work and tight spots

The lane keep assist is one of the friendliest around. No ‘roboreef’ of the steering
wheel, just a gentle nudge to the driver if the attention of he or she begins to wander.

What’s in a name? Well, in the case of the Qashqai it’s said to be a tribe of Iranian
nomads dating back to the 11th century. A thousand years later, the romance lives on
for those hankering for freedom and comfort on the move, providing they are
prepared to be saddled with one of the top purchase prices in the compact SUV

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 7/10
Comfort: 6/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 5/10


Qashqai ST 1.3L CVT: $33,890
Qashqai ST+ 1.3L CVT: $37,890
Qashqai ST+ 2-Tone 1.3L CVT: $38,390
Qashqai ST-L 1.3L: $42,190
Qashqai ST-L 2-Tone 1.3L: $42,690
Qashqai Ti 1.3L: $47,390
Qashqai Ti 2-Tone 1.3L: $47,890
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact
your local Nissan dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Nissan Qashqai ST-L 1.3L 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol, CVT
automatic, FWD SUV)

Capacity: 1.332 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 110 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 250 Nm @ 1600-3750 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 95 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.1 L/100km

DRIVELINE: CVT automatic, front-wheel drive

Length: 4425 mm
Wheelbase: 2665 mm
Width: 1835 mm
Height: 1625 mm
Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
Kerb Mass: 1482 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres
Five years roadside assistance

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *