Hi, Bob Aldons, “The Car Guy”, with my review of the Nissan Qashqai N-Tec. When I review a vehicle for my website, I do so from a buyers perspective rather than just concentrate on speed, steering ability and things like that. After over 40 years in the car business, my review is based on a sales process called the ‘road to the sale’.
Professional and experienced salespeople will present a car in terms of its features and then those that are beneficial to the customer. No point in an in-depth discussion about the torque for a particular car if it isn’t relevant to the consumer. So with that said, here’s what I think about the Nissan Qashqai N-Tec.
There’s a lot of competition in the small SUV market. However, if you’re looking for your ‘second’ vehicle that mum can use to take the kids to school, do the shopping and even head off to the bowls club or golf course, the Nissan Qashqai N-tec is a great choice. And for those of us in the ‘older’ category, this is a vehicle that’s easy to get in and out of.
What is it? The Nissan Qashqai N-Tec is the top of the line small SUV in the Nissan range, at least until the Ti arrives in a few months time. Features a 2.0-litre (non-turbo) engine and CVT auto transmission. It’s a bit low on power at 106kw, but that doesn’t translate into sluggish driving. Quite the opposite, the Qashqai seems to overcome those low kilowatts with 200Nm of torque which is really the thing that makes a vehicle drive well.
Key Competitors: Fiat 500X, Ford Ecopsort, Citroen DS4, Haval H2, Holden Trax, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, MG ZS, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Skoda Yeti, Suzuki S-Cross, Suzuki Vitara, Toyota C-HR and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Base Price: The Nissan Qashqai N-Tec is advertised on the Nissan website for $39,790 drive away in Queensland. If you’re thinking of purchasing a small SUV for the family, make sure that you test drive everything you’re considering. Comfort on long journeys is paramount and some competitors just don’t have it.
Think particularly of the second seat legroom and headroom for your passengers. if they don’t fit, don’t buy. There’s nothing worse than having to stop every hour or so to let the rear seat people stretch their legs. In my opinion, Nissan Qashqai N-Tec fits the bill nicely.
At the Front
A distinctly European design with this Nissan, having been designed and made in the UK. There’s really nothing to dislike about the front end of the Nissan as it’s typically family-friendly front end. As with the Nissan Navara and Pathfinder, I like the aggressive front end design.
Heavy looking bumper, fog lights, LED daytime running lights. Under the bonnet is Nissan’s 2.0-litre non-turbo 4 cylinder engine pumping out 106kw of power and 200Nm of torque. What that means in simple English is that there’s oodles of power and enough grunt to get you where you want to go, loaded or unloaded.
The transmission mated to the engine is a multi-ratio CVT auto. I like CVT transmissions – I’m not a hater as some car journos are – technology is improving all the time. In fact for the average new car buyer, I’d argue that when they drive either a CVT or ‘normal’ auto that they’d really know the difference.
My very strong suggestion is that you must service the transmission on time every time and avoid the aftermarket workshops. CVT transmissions can be expensive to repair if they aren’t serviced properly, but then again so are normal transmissions and Direct Shift Gearboxes to boot.
Down the Side
In this part of my review, I always provide the safety and convenience features of the car. These items are comprehensive, but if you want to know everything including weights, capacities and lot’s more here’s a link to the sp[ecification page of the Nissan Qashqai N-Tec on Nissan’s website – Nissan N-Tec
Over and above the Nissan Qashqai ST-L model, in the N-Tec you’re getting lots more kit. And I reckon that these items alone justify the price difference of $3600 between the ST-L and N-Tec
- Panoramic Glass Roof
- Adaptive front light system
- Intelligent Park Assist
- Dual-zone climate control
- 19-inch alloy wheels
Power heated door mirrors with LED indicators • • Electric folding door mirrors • • Roof rails • • Fog lights • • Privacy glass (2nd row, rear) • • LED headlights • Automatic headlights •
Adaptive front-lighting system • Panoramic glass roof • LED daytime running lights with integrated indicators
Advanced Drive-Assist® Display • • • Bluetooth® handfree phone system • • • Front and rear parking sensors • • • Intelligent Key® with push button engine start • • • Tilt and telescopic steering adjustment • • • Cruise control with steering wheel controls • • • Variable intermittent windshield wipers • • • 12V power outlets (x2) • • • Cup holders (x2) and bottle holders (x4) • • • Cargo tie-down hooks • • • Intermittent rear window wiper • • • Remote window control • • • One touch window control (front and rear) 7.0″ colour touch-screen display • • Satellite navigation • • Intelligent Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection • • Rearview camera with predictive path • • Dual-zone climate control • High Beam Assist headlights • Rain-sensing wipers •
Rear centre armrest with two additional cupholders • Auto-dimming rearview mirror • Flexible cargo system
Driver and front passenger front impact SRS airbags • • • Driver and front passenger side impact SRS airbags • • • Front to rear SRS curtain airbags • • • Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System • • • Intelligent Emergency Braking^ • • • Forward-Collision Warning^ • • • Lane Departure Warning^ • • • 3-point Emergency Locking Retractor front and rear seatbelts • • •
Child restraint anchorage (RH/LH isofix + tether and centre tether) • • • Blind Spot Warning^ • Rear Cross Traffic Alert^ • Intelligent Park Assist^ • Intelligent Driver Alert ^
The Rear End
Being a Small SUV, the Nissan Qashqai N-Tec has limited of cargo room with the seats in place, but more than sufficient with the rear seats down. 430 litres is what you’d expect in a medium SUV, but the smaller Qashqai is vast in the rear. When the second-row seat is stowed, space is immense at 1598 litres. More than ample for my golf clubs, prams, weekend shopping, DIY purchases and more.
Cargo capacity with 2nd row upright, 430 litres
Cargo capacity with 2nd row folded flat, 1598 litres
Drivers Side and Driver’s Seat
If you’re looking for a small SUV with plenty of comfort for the rear seat passenger, a great driving position and plenty of standard tech, the Nissan Qashqai N-Tec is a good choice. If you’re considering the small European luxury versions, get over the badge distraction and save plenty of your hard earned with the Qashqai
On the Road
On the Road and My McDonalds Test
As with the all the previous cars I’ve reviewed, every morning I call into Macca’s for a coffee – large late with an extra shot. After the drive-through, I cross over 2 speed bumps. And I’ve started to rate the suspension of cars on whether the coffee comes up through the lid. The Nissan Qashqai N-Tec passed with flying colours. Almost if the bumps weren’t there!
Over my time in the car business, both my wife and I have driven a lot of small SUV’s. Suzi currently has a Suzuki Vitara and previously a Mitsubishi ASX. In her words “This is nice babe – can we look at one of these when the Suzuki has to go?
Apart from local driving, every weekend I take the car being reviewed to our place at Peachester. I travel over a combination of highway, b grade roads, as well as the twisty, range climb to Peachester and then on to Maleny and back. The Nissan Qashqai is great to drive. There’s no doubt that this Nissan could well find it’s way to our driveway.
Green Vehicle Guide
The Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide website uses politically correct terminology to determine fuel economy. Urban, extra urban and combined. I’ll call it the way it is – City and suburbs, Highway and still use their definition of combined.
You might recall that these tests are conducted in a laboratory to Australian Standards so don’t expect to achieve City and Suburb results the same as these. In my experience, I’ve found that the highway test is closest to the actual economy you’ll get, but the city results can be undercooked by as much as 20%. Hopefully, real-world tests and results will be provided this year.
City Cycle 9.2 litres per 100klm
Highway Cycle 5.5 litres per 100klm
Combined 6.9 litres per 100klm
Air Pollution Standard Euro 5
Tailpipe CO2 159 grams per kilometre
The Nissan Qashqai N-Tec has a fuel tank capacity of 65 litres so should be able to handle a 7 day week on 1 fill. And as importantly, it uses 91 octane fuel (unleaded) but can also handle E10. The tailpipe CO2 rating is at the lower end in the segment and closer to the target that the Federal Government is targetting.
These ANCAP safety tests were conducted in 2014, years before the new standards were introduced in 2018. I’m not comfortable in saying that if tested under the new regime, the Pathfinder would still achieve 5 stars.
I’ve stated before in these articles, that there really isn’t a bad car being sold in Australia. That being said, if the vehicle you’re looking at doesn’t have a 5-star ANCAP rating, move on to something else.
If you’d like to download the complete technical report, click on this link ANCAP – Nissan Qashqai and then burrow further into the report by clicking on the “Technical Report” on the bottom LHS of the first page
Warranty and Service
From the Nissan website. “Transparent Pricing and Quality Service”
“myNissan Service Certainty gives you the confidence of knowing that your vehicle is being serviced by factory-trained technicians using only Nissan Genuine Parts. Enjoy peace of mind each Scheduled Service at any Nissan Dealership throughout the program duration knowing that you’ll pay no more than the then current published price.”
I’ve said previously, the time must be coming when Toyota, Holden, Nissan, Mazda, and Volkswagen start to offer something better than a 3-year warranty permanently rather than when trying to sell their ‘specials’. Hyundai, Jeep, Mitsubishi and recently Ford, already have a 5-year warranty whilst the market leader, Kia has 7 years.
There’s a rumour doing the rounds that Kia will increase their warranty to 10 years if other manufacturers move to 5 years. As a manufacturer, if you don’t have at least a 5-year warranty I think it’s telling your customer you either don’t have enough confidence in your own product, or you’re being stingy. Just saying!
The Nissan new car warranty is 3 years or 100,000 kilometres. Of course, this doesn’t take into consideration the Australian Consumer Law provisions that a vehicle must be fit for purpose and not a lemon. My experience with Nissan is that they build an excellent vehicle whether it’s a passenger car or light commercial.
Nissan offers capped priced service on all their vehicles. Service intervals are 10,000 kilometres or 12 months. Over 120,00 kilometres, you can expect to pay $3684 for dealer servicing or an average of $307 per service. And I think that’s pretty good value for a factory trained technician to look after your car.
The only ‘extra’ that Nissan lists is a brake fluid change every 2 years or 40,000 kilometres at $32. Just remember that during the routine log book service that franchise dealers hook your car up to their manufacturer computer system. This checks the software and hardware for the currency of programs that make your car run better.
Manufacturers are constantly improving their understanding of technology as it applies to cars and ‘just do it’ when it’s needed
Maximum towing capacity – braked – 1,200kg
Maximum towing capacity – unbraked – 729kg
Don’t expect to tow anything more than a small trailer, a jet ski or a tinny with the Nissan Qashqai N-Tec. Better get a Nissan Navara or Pathfinder if you need a better towing capacity
I generally use RACQ Insurance to give you a guide as to what you’ll pay for your annual comprehensive car insurance. Conditions precedent for this cover are:
- I’m a male driver over 60 years of age, having held a license for over 10 years
- Bronze member of RACQ with 2 other insurance policies
- Has paid cash for the car for private use with the car parked in a garage overnight and another quote for business use
- The driver resides in postcode 4019
- The car is fitted with an engine immobilizer
- 1 at fault claim in the last 3 years, with no license suspensions
- Rating 1 currently having held that rating 1 for 10 years
- No driver under 25 will use the vehicle.
The premium quoted online by RACQ Insurance is: Private Use – No Finance: $446.91 with a $750 excess
Variations from the information above may result in different outcomes. Check online with RACQ Insurance for your own particular quote.
What I Like
- Impressive Looks
- Good size cabin both front, rear and luggage
- Great cruising vehicle on the highway
- Excellent equipment list
What I Don’t Like
- No adaptive cruise control or lane assist
- One of the more expensive vehicles in the segment
Where to Buy – Dealers
Vehicle provided by Nissan Australia. If you’re in the market to buy a Nissan Pathfinder Ti, pick your dealer carefully. When I want to check out the ‘worthiness’ of a dealer, I Google ‘Nissan Dealers Brisbane” where the city is the one that you live in or around and the brand is that particular one you’re interested in.
I only list dealers who have achieved a minimum of 5 reviews with Google and then only those with 4 stars or higher.
From a South East Queensland perspective here’s the dealers I’d visit
Northside Aspley Nissan 4.8 Stars
Eastside Bartons Nissan 4.7 Stars
Southside Springwood Nissan 4.0 Stars
Westside Ipswich Nissan 4.5 Stars
Sunshine Coast Cricks Nambour Nissan 4.9 Stars
Gold Coast von Bibra Nissan 4.3 Stars
Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large. He’s spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. Bob knows cars.
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My reviews aren’t based on power performance or high-speed handling capacity. They’re not based on 0-100 Kim/hr of 4.0 seconds. And they’re certainly not super luxury vehicles that many other “old timers” are feted on by the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin
Back when I started in the motor industry salespeople were schooled and skilled in a process called the road to the sale. Part of that process was a presentation of the car that the customer was ultimately considering,
The six position sell showed the features, advantages, and benefits as it related to that specific car in the eyes and thought process of that particular customer
Those days of a true car sales professional seem to have gone.
Nowadays it seems that all salespeople want to do is accept that the customer knows everything about the car they’re interested in, want to crunch the customer as quickly as possible and get onto the next sale
In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that there’s such a high turnover in salespeople in this industry of ours.
Now I think that I’m a car industry expert, not because I sell lots of cars, but, as I was taught over 40yeras ago, time sells motor cars.
The more time you spend with a customer, the more information you provide them and the more you’re there for them Even AFTER they take delivery of their new car, the more repeat and referral business you’ll get.
Typically second and subsequent sales only provide 10% of a car salespersons business. Referral business, where an existing customer refers a friend, relation or work colleague back tot eh selling salesperson as someone to trust and buy a car from is even less – probably 5%
So, if you’re a young salesperson reading this article, let me tell you that you should be getting 40-50% of your business from repeat and referral business.
And how do you get that much? Well, that’s a story for another article or an opportunity to join me in a training course.
For your interest, my motoring reviews are my opinion of the vehicle I’m testing. The manufacturer or distributor, in this case, Kia Australia, doesn’t tell me what to write or ask for a ‘nice’ review. Nor am I paid for these reviews – I simply call it as I see it.
I often wonder about the ‘truth’ that I see from other motoring journalists. And I’m particularly referring to newspapers, online forums, and magazines where the company that owns the publication receives substantial advertising support from the various manufacturers.
Do the owners or editors tell their journalists to go easy on the review? I’m not sure, never having been in that position. Would I turn to softer reviews if my company was being paid for good reviews? Not likely. My independence as a writer is not for sale. I’d rather say no than be bought.
In any case, If that ever happens, rest assured that I’ll be telling that story with interest.