Calling all taxi firm operators – perhaps you should consider adding a few examples of the Nissan Qashqai to your fleet if my recent experiences are anything to go by!
I took a week off work in mid-May for the sole purpose of hosting an uncle of mine who was making a rare visit to the UK from his home in Spain – and we went here, there and everywhere.
I wasn’t the one who picked him up from the airport – thanks to my wife for doing that! – but from that point on, we trekked the length and breadth of the UK visiting family members and old friends and colleagues from his days working as a TV sound engineer.
His verdict on the car? To use one of his favourite words, the Qashqai is ‘superb’.
And I must say it’s hard to disagree – although the car is looking a little less than superb as I write this. A nasty stone chip (or similar) hit the nearside edge of the windscreen right at the end of one of our road trips causing a hairline crack to creep half way across the glass for the next 10 minutes or so. A rather unnerving experience!
It won’t be long before that issue is resolved, however, with a little help from the technicians at my local branch of Autoglass – and once OE21 NXC and I are back on the road, more adventures will be in the offing, I’m sure.
The car really is a pleasure to drive. I may have mentioned before that its 1.3-litre petrol engine is equipped with ‘mild hybrid’ technology which enhances efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions. It feels agile and capable and the six-speed manual gearbox is more than up to the job.
There are just so many creature comforts that make life on the road that little bit more bearable. In fact, under the heading ‘convenience’ on the spec sheet, there are no fewer than 24 items listed.
These include an auto-dimming interior mirror; capless fuel filler cap; a light in the glove box; power steering with tilt and telescopic adjust; split-folding rear seats (60:40); a wireless charging pad; electrically adjusted and heated outside mirrors and six luggage hooks.
I could go on but you get the picture – Nissan seems to have thought of everything.
One area that I really must get to grips with in order to make the most of the Qashqai experience is the tech that the car is equipped with.
NissanConnect is the manufacturer’s in-car infotainment system that mirrors your mobile device and provides a continuous connected experience compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Google Assistant or Alexa can be used to send commands to the car – and up to seven laptops, smartphones, tablets or gaming devices can be connected to the vehicle’s wi-fi. Clever stuff.
One features I’ve made good use of is the camera-driven parking system which comes in extremely handy at my local refuse and recycling centre (aka ‘the tip’), where they have recently introduced a ‘reverse parking only’ rule.
Backing into a 45-degree parking spot with the rear windscreen obscured by the garbage you’re disposing of has never been the simplest of manoeuvres – for me, at least – but the rear view camera makes it incredibly easy. The aerial image provides a bird’s-eye view of the car and the system works incredibly well.
So as May draws to a close, I have a Jubilee weekend date with Autoglass to look forward to – and after that, another month of motoring in OE21NXC. See you in June.
Model: Nissan Qashqai Tekna
Price (as tested): £32,710
Engine: 1.3 DIG-T
Max speed: 128mph
0-60mph: 9.3 seconds
MPG: 44.1 (combined)
Emissions: 145 g/km (combined)