Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta Mild Hybrid

Nissan Qashqai 2022 lr

By Tim Saunders

An easy to drive and efficient car. That’s what we all want these days and this sums up the Nissan Qashqai, that well established crossover that has undergone a little makeover fit for the 21st century. As Britain suffers a drought like much of Europe I find myself driving the manufacturer’s mild hybrid, which is better for the environment and kinder on the pocket, too. It is one of those vehicles that you can pretty much get into and drive without too much fuss, which I like. Often I have to faff about with engaging childlocks on the back doors, which invariably involves using the key. Not so in the Qashqai. Simply push a button down on the inside of the door. Very easy. Someone has actually thought about this.

It doesn’t have a power boot, which is a major plus for me because I don’t like them. They are time consuming and unsafe, especially when little children are about. The six-speed manual gearbox is very welcome, because again I find that lazy automatic boxes tend to be the preference these days and that’s boring.

I take it for a little spin to Lincolnshire, a four to five hour trip from my Hampshire home. About two hours in I begin to wish that I am in a different car. Why? The seats are terrible. Very unsupportive for the back and bottom. So poor that my poor derriere is in pain. That’s no good. I find myself moving about, rocking from side to side, clenching each buttock. Anything to try and improve the agony. I begin to wonder whether a wooden seat would in fact be more comfortable. It’s not just me either but my wife in the front passenger seat and eldest daughter, Harriett (11) in the middle rear. I’ve driven a Qashqai before and didn’t suffer this problem then. So either my bottom has got bonier or something has gone adrift in the padding department. These are popular vehicles, particularly on the school run, so I am very surprised at our experience. But of course if it is used to potter around locally, little discomfort will ensue.

This aside though, I find it very efficient. This mild hybrid travels 500 miles on a single tank, which is pretty impressive for a petrol powered car of this size. There’s no cruise control but a speed limiter, which is easy enough to operate and this along with the economy setting helps it to be as efficient as possible.

Thankfully my wife discovers how to stop the Lane Alert function, which insists on braking every time I go over the centre white lane on the motorway, which infuriates me and is dangerous. Another case of technology going too far.

There’s a nice large boot and there is a good amount of space inside. The large panoramic glass roof lightens the cabin while the air conditioning keeps us all cool during the record summer temperatures. Externally, it’s attractive and there are neat touches such as the Qashqai imprinted into the side of the front bumper. The front headlights are striking, too when unlocking it at night thanks to their unusual design.

The Qashqai endures dull motorway driving but also more engaging fare on Lincolnshire’s challenging B roads, towards Market Rasen, flanked by beautiful freshly harvested fields. These roads feature hills and tight bends, which nicely test the Nissan. And it brings a smile as I throw it round the corners and accelerate away.

Qashqai N-Connecta Mild Hybrid
1.5-litre petrol
0 to 60mph: 7.9secs
Top speed: 105mph
Power: 138bhp




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