Mention Nissan to most people and they'll think of a Japanese automaker.
Nothing particularly noteworthy.
But ask industry insiders about the company and they'll tell you a different story.
Nissan is the manufacturer that took the boldest risk in recent automotive history - and it paid off.
The vehicle in which they gave their all? This, the Qashqai, a model rejuvenated in 2014 in a second generation. Creation of the new market category that we now know as the crossover segment.
When it was originally launched in 2007, the Qashqai was revolutionary, finally a new option for families shopping above the small car sector and looking for a versatile and relatively affordable car.
People who were once limited to the everyday – Focus-sized family hatchbacks, Mondeo-style mid-size models or, for the more daring, compact versions of smaller 4x4s or MPVs.
Nissan's brilliance was the decision to create a design that brought together elements from all of these models in a package that was sharp, approachable and so desirable design.
Thus the modern crossover vehicle was born. Today, this class of vehicle is something automakers want to sell alongside their existing family hatchbacks and midsize competitors.
Nissan, on the other hand, took the much riskier step of completely replacing models offered in those segments with the Qashqai lineup and expected to sell around 100,000 units annually.
The event saw twice as many buyers worldwide, and it turned out to be the most profitable vehicle in the company's history. made the original version the winner in the crossover class and refined it.
It was sold until spring 2017, when a fundamentally updated version of this second generation model was introduced.
Here, however, our focus is on the models of the 2014-2017 era.
What are you getting
When it came to designing this second generation Qashqai, Nissan knew there was no need to reinvent a winning formula.
Just as an MK7 Volkswagen Golf of this era was just a smarter evolution of its predecessor, so it is here too, with a sporty, compact shape that's 47mm longer than its predecessor but only slightly wider. .
It also sits slightly lower, which is surprising given that the taller riding position of the original MK1 version was something that women in particular said they particularly liked.
Thankfully, there's still enough upscale SUVs in this Nissan's look to satisfy most of them as part of the confident, stylish family stance. The extra length of this MK2 model partly explains why Nissan has decided not to offer a 7 seater variant as part of the second generation model range to replace the previous 7 seater 'Qashqai+2' model.
The Japanese brand acknowledged that most buyers who opted for the first-generation "+2" variant did so in order to get a larger trunk rather than the extra seats, an additional luggage space requirement that this upgraded Qashqai better fulfills could need a separate body mold.
If you still wanted seven seats, Nissan offered its most expensive SUV model, the X-Trail. that was clearly well designed without having to employ difficult aesthetic flourishes to attract attention.
The sporty look was also well received, as was the faster, slimmer effect due to the longer roof line with a slim rear spoiler, the lower ground clearance and the clever filling of the wheel arches with the larger wheels.
The design brings real excitement to the rear hips, giving the effect of a car about to leap forward, while the rear features a sharp taillight cluster and a slim diffuser under the more curved bumper. Nissan's V-shaped grille flows rearward into a clamshell hood with impressively narrow panel gaps, along with clever curves and embossed lines.
Under the skin, the sophisticated multi-link rear suspension that underpinned the original version of this car was dropped on 2WD models in favor of simpler, lighter (and less expensive) torsion bar suspension.
Nissan insisted the idea was to save weight, an approach that certainly worked.
Thanks to this model and the high-tech “CMF” (or “Common Module Family”) platform of this model, the second-generation version of this car turned out to be about 80 kg lighter than its predecessor. to this day too.
Nissan realized here that while customers were often looking for a Serengetti twist when it came to exterior design, a rugged, durable SUV design was less than welcome to them once they got behind the wheel.
The everyday style of the original Qashqai has been ditched here in favor of a fully car-like interior that made heavy use of shiny plastic, metallic accents and electronic gadgets, with all the more commonly used controls being a little nicer to use than before.
It also quickly became apparent that everything had also been properly bolted up by the British Sunderland factory.
The overall result wasn't enough to keep the renowned German brands up at night, but given the nature of the prices being asked, that was unreasonable. The main instrument panel was an important element of this more expressive design.
Visually, it's been designed to extend the width of the cockpit and flow into the contoured door panels, create a center focal point for the all-important infotainment screen, and offer a sense of indulgence that Nissan hoped passengers would feel better about would feel protected. .
To emphasize this, the lower part of the instrument panel is equipped with padded panels, as well as additional knee pads in the center console. Equipped with the larger 7 inch NissanConnect navigation and communication system screen, smarter and more informative in this MK2 model.
In addition to the usual audio, trip computer and Bluetooth phone functions, this setup can report things like weather, traffic information and fuel prices, as well as find the most efficient route and check the compatibility with the environment of your drive, among other things, or offer you the “Send-To-Car” -Technology from Google so you can plan your route on your PC before you set off and then send the directions to your Qashqai.
Google's point-of-interest search system is also included, as is access to things like weather forecasts, local fuel prices, and flight information.
If you're in a car whose original owner specified the "Around View Monitor," this screen also shows a 360-degree aerial view with "helicopter view" to simplify tight parking maneuvers. This can be a little tricky to navigate, but thankfully the rest of the cabin's functions don't require sitting with your nose in the vehicle's manual for long.
The two-tone instrument layout, which you can see through the leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel, is simple in itself, with much of what you need to know provided by a bright and stylish color TFT display, sandwiched between the speedometer and tachometer.
Practicality has also been carefully considered, with a large glove box and plenty of compartments for slurping knick-knacks, with additional storage created by the addition of an electric parking brake switch, freeing up the center console for some decently sized cupholders. deep so that the bottles don't get in your arm when you shift gears.
There are so many beautiful details.
Another example is the way the central storage box between the seats is designed to close properly even when a cord is plugged in to charge your phone. The release and the fuel cap release are located side by side.
Most importantly, this is certainly a very comfortable place, thanks in large part to the beautifully sculpted seats, developed using medical scanning techniques inspired by NASA's space program, which optimize circulation in the lumbar region.
We can't be too thrilled with the chairs provided for rear seat passengers.
These show a lack of support under the thigh, suggesting a design for kids rather than adults.
Elsewhere on the back, however, the news is good.
While the seats still don't slide or recline, they offer a lot more legroom - almost as much, Nissan claimed, as the old extended "Qashqai +2" model.
This MK2 design has also gained a little more shoulder room, but still not enough to make carrying three adults a particularly comfortable experience.
You might have headroom concerns due to this car's low roof height, but that's really not a big deal - although that could be compromised if the model you're looking at comes with the optional large panoramic glass roof.
While this gives the interior a light and airy feel, as expected, it lowers the ceiling height somewhat. And behind? One of the original Qashqai's other weaknesses was the limited size of its luggage compartment.
Lift the tailgate and you'll find 430 liters of cargo space - 20 liters more than the MK1 model could handle.
To put that in perspective, we're talking a little more than what you get from rivals like Skoda's Yeti or Mitsubishi's ASX.
But significantly less than what rivals like Peugeot's first-generation 3008 or Mazda's CX-5 are offering. The really useful trunk system you get adds to the overall usability of the general trunk area and avoids a simple trim model.
It consists of two reversible floor panels that can be easily raised or lowered, offering 16 possible configurations, whether you're pushing a mountain bike across level ground or want to keep the contents of your weekly groceries from sloshing around in the trunk.
To solve the last problem, consider mounting the board in a vertical position that creates an ideal space for carrying shopping bags.
The boards themselves have a clean finish on one side and a soft mat on the other, perfect for carrying muddy boots or dirty dogs.
If you need more space, sliding the folding rear seat forward releases a total of 1,585 liters of fresh air, far more than the previous-generation model was able to offer.
What do you pay
Please contact us for an accurate and up-to-date assessment.
where to look
While many Qashqai owners in our survey were very happy with their cars, we also found a surprising number who had a catalog of problems.
After reviewing them, we'll try to give you some insight into things to look out for when examining used examples.
Early on in the life of this MK2 project, Nissan issued a recall for the braking system; Make sure the car you are looking at did this.
"Known" issues with this model relate to problems with the air conditioning system (post-gassing may be required) and ill-fitting door seals.
And it encountered a slew of issues with warning lights appearing incorrectly on the dash - most notably a "system failure warning" and the parking brake light. What else? Well, quite disturbingly, one owner had his car's 1.2 liter engine explode at just 7,500 miles.
Another had an oil leak in the gearbox and yet another had an oil leak in the engine timing cover, contaminating the timing belt.
An owner heard a noise under the hood which turned out to be a loose airbox.
An owner noticed a noise in the driver's window area that was due to a loose mechanism in the power window.
Another owner noticed a vibration in the engine bay that was due to the air intake fitting.
We also encountered owners who said that the autonomous emergency braking system did not work properly in an accident situation.
A buyer also had an issue with a faulty rear seat belt latch and a seat adjuster latch that came loose.
There have also been reports of frozen satellite browsers and blown fuse box covers.
(approximately based on a 2013 Qashqai 1.5 dCi ex VAT) An air filter costs between £6 and £13, an oil filter between £6 and £11, a timing belt between £55 and £75 a water pump is around £88 to £105.
Brake pads range from 12lbs to 26lbs.
Wiper blades cost between £6 and £11 each.
A heated rear view mirror costs around £20 to £22.
If there's one thing the original MK1 Qashqai model is remembered for, it's the way it revolutionized the dynamic responses that avid drivers would expect from a car of this type.
And in that regard, not much has changed with this second-gen version.
So if you want a crossover of this kind from that era, this remains the benchmark on tarmac.
Like all its like-minded competitors, this Nissan aims to offer everything people love about masculine-looking SUVs in a more practical and affordable hatch-style family package.
So you get the look without the compromises you don't want to make if you never go off-road.
So curbs can be set up, but you'll have to leave the Serengeti for Ranulph Fiennes, although there's a 4x4 option at the top of the lane for muddy parking lots or snowy driveways. Behind the wheel, it looks like a normal family hatch, where you only sit a little higher.
Cool - but trying to make a car that looks like an SUV drive like a car is no easy feat.
After all, conventional logic suggests that the larger a vehicle is, the farther it will roll – and this one is around 14cm taller than a Golf or Focus.
Still, Nissan's British Cranfield engineers clearly don't believe in conventional logic, as this model manages to deliver its elevated stance and smooth steering without sacrificing the firm, responsive handling.
A truly class-leading hatch - let's say a Ford Focus - is still a little better, of course, but it can't offer the wider range of attributes of this car, which have been improved for this generation model with a range of really innovative features. the ride quality just mentioned.
We feared this could be a causality of Nissan's cost-saving switch to a cheaper torsion bar suspension arrangement for this generation of models, rather than the previous high-tech, multi-link rear end that the MK2 was limited to the expensive all-wheel drive variant in this range, for which to choose only 5% of buyers have decided.
Fortunately, the compromise comes in the form of a stock-tuned chassis control system that uses intelligent twin-piston dampers tuned to be just as effective for high-speed highway cruising as they are for soaking up bumps and potholes around town.
Tarmac cracks of this sort are also eliminated by a standard Active Ride Control system, which subtly slams the brakes over bumps that might otherwise send the body overboard.
It works out? In a word, "yes": We couldn't find a better crossover from that era than this one.
Or a quiet one on the go.
Is there a more refined, affordable family car on the market than this one from that era? Spontaneously we find it difficult to think of one. We certainly can't name another crossover that's as easy to drive fast as this Qashqai.
Another clever standard software helps here, the Active Trace Control, which combats understeer and slip in curves and slightly brakes impending front wheels.
This will keep the car planted in the tightest corner and target you from corner to corner.
You might want to attack those corners a bit more forcefully if the steering is a little more responsive, but it's certainly an improvement over the old MK1 model, thanks to a dual-mode setup that changes the weight of the electrically-assisted steering rack when switching from 'normal' ' to the 'Sport' setting.
Instead of the old and thirsty 1.6 and 2.0 liter engines foisted on the original version of this car, Nissan favored buyers of the MK2 model with some much more efficient DIG-T turbochargers, a 150hp 1.6 and the variant , over 40% of customers opted for a 1.2.1 with 115 hp.
Yes, you heard right.
Here we have a two-ton crossover powered by an engine smaller than some city cars.
And yet, when you step on the gas pedal, most of the time you have the certainty that this stuff could, if asked, peel the skin off a rice pudding or punch your way through a wet paper bag.
Granted, that wouldn't impress anyone on the drag strip at Santa Pod, but being able to hit 100mph in 11.3 seconds means you don't have to worry about the cut and push of everyday motorsport get caught nodding off.
If you're looking for something more, the 150hp 1.6 DIG-T petrol reciprocating engine increases your pulling power from 190 to 240 Nm and offers far smoother everyday performance. Something you also get from the two dCi diesel units on offer, most customers will likely opt for the fuel-efficient 1.5-litre, 110hp variant, which takes 102 km/h reached.
The useful torque of 260 Nm of this version, which is more suitable for towers, can increase the load capacity of the braked trailer from 1200 kg of the 1.2-liter petrol model to a more acceptable level of 1350 kg.
You'll drive even better if you opt for the cutting-edge diesel, the 1.6 dCi with 130 hp, which can manually tow a braked trailer weighing up to 1,800 kg and unclutched acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h. Sprint time to 10.5 seconds and top speed to 188 km/h. It should be noted that if you want to equip your Qashqai with an automatic gearbox or all-wheel drive, you will have to opt for this 1.6-litre dCi engine.
That's an "or," not an "and," by the way: you can't have both, which seems like a missed opportunity.
The Xtronic automatic transmission is one of those rubber-belt-driven CVT setups that's often hard to drive smoothly, and it revs the engine loudly when you have the slightest need to push.
This one's a lot better than the norm, but sharper than you'd expect, with paddles on the steering wheel and artificially created ratios where revs rise and fall as you go through the gearbox, just as you'd expect. Only the ALL-MODE 4x4i all-wheel drive system remains, which is practically identical to the previous generation model.
Depending on your preferences, this can be set to front-wheel drive, locked out with a 50:50 drive split forward and reverse, or left on "Auto" to switch torque back and forth as needed.
It certainly doesn't make this car an off-roader - there's no significant ground clearance to begin with - but it would be nice to have in a snowfall.
Building a crossover vehicle is easy.
Building one as good as this Nissan is much more difficult.
And it's a vehicle whose mission has subtly changed in the form of the second generation.
The Qashqai couldn't fight tomorrow's battles if it looked like an SUV.
It had to look toned down, sleeker and, yes, a little more like a traditional hatchback.
That's what happened with this second-generation version, a car from a brand that knows its market well. What hasn't changed in the transition from the MK1 model to this second generation design is that this original family crossover model has remained better, a good choice for buyers who don't want to be burdened with ordinary hatches or people transporters: People who don't want the clunky expense common to even smaller SUVs.
Sure, in 2014 the Qashqai found itself up against a much tougher group of competitors, but Nissan's product development has done just enough to put this model a step ahead of most pursuers. True, this car could certainly be a little sharper to drive, but its handling has been vastly improved over the previous version and the ride and refinement are truly impressive, no doubt helped by the high-tech CMF chassis.
Disappointments are few - perhaps the high price of the 4x4 and the lack of a 7-seater option this time.
But these are issues you'll encounter with directly comparable competitors as well.
Cars that generally struggle to keep up with this one.
Qashqai continues to be a reference.
And a starting point for those who buy in this segment.