Nissan Qashqai 1.5Dci 2007

The CashCow, that’s what Nissan should have called this car. The sales of this car have been huge; especially considering the rest of the 4×4 market is all but dead. Nissan had this corner of the market to its self, some would argue that Nissan created this sector, but now everyone else is catching up. Now let’s be straight the Qashqai isn’t a 4×4, you can have that as an option, but near every one of them on the road are 2 wheel drive only. This 2007 model I’m driving this morning is no different.

There’s no doubt where the appeal of this car lies, the looks are inoffensive but impressive too, there is a little happy dog around the front so check on the cuteness list. The big wheels and high ride height make is look butch too, it’s an interesting lesson on how to make a car appeal to every kind of person.

The interior feels spacious and really well put together, there’s a good feel from all the plastics, and it’s very well put together. The back seat is big enough, but there is a little of the 4+1 feel to it, the rear seat squab is a little on the narrow side for 5 adults. There’s an arm rest the in centre back with two cup holders built in. Up front all the controls are well laid out, everything is where it should be. The steering wheel controls are a little fussy; it takes a bit of getting used to where everything is.

Even from cold the 1.5dci engine is quiet, the 6 speed gear box has a lovely direct feeling. With a light clutch and big power steering pump there’s no problem moving the car at low speeds. For a small diesel engine it’s quite free revving, topping out a 4500rpm, there is a little turbo lag but that’s to be expected to get the economy figures up where they need to be.

On the road there’s a nice little turn of speed from the engine, once you get to cruising speed it goes cathedral quiet in the cabin. The ride is lovely too, the driving position is high but it still feels like a car. Very little body roll in any of the bends, there’s plenty of grip too. Even though the Qashqai has a big footprint at no point of the drive did I feel like I was driving a big car, it just feels like a hatchback on stilts.

The boot is big at 410ltrs and it’s just at the right height for loading stuff in, there’s no step to speak of so it’s flat floor.

When the Qashqai first came out there was much debate over what the car really was, and SUV or a big hatchback. Well it turned out that it was neither, it was just a well put together big car; it’s a bit of a mongrel. This is an 07 model which means old road tax, €357 per year. An 08 model is €156 per year but there’s also a difference is the prices being charged, you will pay a premium for the new tax model. It’s debateable whether or not you’ll see the savings back in the road tax over the life of the car. The Qashqai is named after a nomadic tribe that live in Iran, what that has to do with this car I’ll never know. One thing is for sure, this is a very capable car, solid on the road and practical too. Even though there’s a bit of competition out there now there’s still nothing to beat the Qashqai.

Thanks go to Noel Whelan car sales Portlaoise for lending me the car for this test, it was in mint condition, and I believe it’s sold. Please call 0578663896 or keep a watch on the dealers Carzone page.