Nissan Qashqai review

Nissan Qashqai review

When the original Nissan Qashqai was launched back in 2007, it pioneered the crossover concept with its blend of hatchback compactness and SUV practicality.

The all-new third-generation model is the best yet. Again built in Britain, it’s set to emulate the sales success of its predecessors. 

And it’s just as well that it is hugely improved because a lot has happened in 14 years and it’s now up against strong competition from the likes of the Kia Sportage, Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 3008, Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq.

Nissan Qashqai review

Essentially, the new Qashqai is a step up in just about every area compared to the outgoing model which was launched in 2013 and was beginning to show its age by the end of its production run.

Still instantly recognisable as a Qashqai, the new car looks distinctive and modern – and enjoys much greater kerb appeal.

Priced from £23,985, it’s initially only available with the revised 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine from the Mk2. However, it now features 12v mild-hybrid technology and is available with 138bhp and 156bhp outputs.

Nissan Qashqai review

There is no diesel engine option, but buyers can choose between manual and automatic transmissions, plus all-wheel-drive.

Perhaps most intriguingly, Nissan plans to bring an e-Power version to market in 2022, offering a set-up different to any other currently on sale.

Unlike self-charging hybrids, it will feature a 1.5-litre engine/electric motor/battery combo. The petrol unit is used solely to generate electricity and the wheels are driven by the electric motor.

Nissan Qashqai review

In other words, it’s a way of bringing the advantages of an EV (ie instant torque, smooth power delivery and near-silent operation) to those who don’t want to make the jump to a fully electric car just yet. Additionally, there’s no range anxiety, better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.

For now we have to make do with the existing mild hybrid petrol engine, which is fine because it’s a refined unit. I only tested the more powerful version (156bhp) with a manual gearbox and it managed just fine, even if you won’t be troubling any hot hatches.

Nissan claims it can sprint from standstill to 60mph in 9.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 128mph, while fuel economy is 43.6mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 146g/km.

Nissan Qashqai review

Personally I’d opt for the slick Xtronic automatic gearbox, which seems better suited to the generally relaxed driving style of the car than the six-speed manual transmission.

It’s possible to exceed the claimed fuel economy figure in everyday driving and exceed it on longer, steady runs, but considering there’s hybrid technology on board (recovering energy under deceleration and providing a small torque boost when accelerating), it’s not streets ahead of its rivals, while its emissions are average.

That said, the new Qashqai handles well and feels more agile than before, perhaps thanks to the 60kg overall weight reduction. Push it and there’s a little body lean in corners, but otherwise it offers a comfortable ride with plenty of grip, while the light steering works a treat in town.

The driving position is ideal, and just as you’d expect from a high-rider, visibility is great.

Inside, Nissan has listened to feedback from owners, so the rear doors open wider and there are more soft-touch plastics inside the cabin, for instance. There’s also a fresher, more modern look to the spacious cabin.

Nissan Qashqai review

In fact, the wheelbase of the car has increased by 20mm, providing extra legroom for rear seat passengers, while the exterior length has grown by 35mm. There’s a slight increase in height (25mm) too, and width has expanded 32mm, making the new model larger overall.

What’s more, there’s also more storage around the cabin, while luggage capacity is a useful 504 litres, expanding to 1,447 with the rear seats folded down.

Nissan Qashqai review

Not only can the new Qashqai carry five adults in comfort, with space for luggage, but it sports the latest technology.

The infotainment system, featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, is faster and easier to use. A large digital driver’s instrument cluster is now also available, along with the latest version of Nissan’s ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving system.

All models are equipped with Nissan’s driver assistance and safety package, which includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring.

Verdict: The competitively priced all-new Qashqai puts Nissan back in the game with its winning blend of sharp new looks, refined driving experience and practicality, plus better build quality, the latest tech and generous equipment levels.

Nissan UK

Hyundai Tucson crowned ‘Car of the Year’

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Hyundai’s impressive new Tucson SUV has been named best car in Britain by leading motoring title, Carbuyer.

Thes judges were bowled over by the Tucson’s eye-catching styling, smart interior, clever technology and nimble yet comfortable driving experience.

As well as being named Carbuyer Car of the Year 2022, the mid-size SUV also scooped the coveted Best Family Car and Best Hybrid Car awards.

Hyundai enjoyed success elsewhere, too, with its innovative Ioniq 5 taking Best Family Electric Car and Best Company Car trophies, while the swift i20 N was named Best Hot Hatchback.

“To win six awards including overall Car of the Year for our best-selling Tucson is another outstanding result for Hyundai and is testament to the design, quality, capability and value offered by our current model line-up,” said Ashley Andrew, Managing Director at Hyundai Motor UK.

Carbuyer Car of the Year 2022 winners

New cars
Carbuyer Car of the Year – Hyundai Tucson
Best Small Car – Renault Clio
Best Small Family Car – Renault Captur
Best Family Car – Hyundai Tucson
Best Large Family Car – Kia Sorento
Best Estate Car Skoda – Octavia Estate
Best Small Company Car – Volkswagen ID.3
Best Company Car – Hyundai IONIQ 5
Best Large Company Car – Porsche Taycan
Best Sports Car – BMW 4 Series
Best Convertible – MINI Convertible
Best Hot Hatchback – Hyundai i20 N
Best Hot SUV – Cupra Formentor
Best Pickup – Ford Ranger
Best Small Electric Car – Renault ZOE
Best Family Electric Car – Hyundai IONIQ 5
Best Large Electric Car – Jaguar I-Pace
Best Hybrid – Hyundai Tucson
Best Plug-in Hybrid – Mercedes-Benz A 250 e
Best Large Plug-in Hybrid – BMW X5

Used cars
Carbuyer Used Car of the Year – Ford Fiesta
Best Used Small Car – Ford Fiesta
Best Used Small Family Car – Kia Ceed
Best Used Family Car – Vauxhall Insignia
Best Used Large Family Car – Skoda Kodiaq
Best Used Estate Car – Skoda Octavia Estate
Best Used Sports Car – Mazda MX-5
Best Used Convertible – MINI Convertible
Best Used Hot Hatchback – Volkswagen Golf GTI
Best Used Hot SUV – Porsche Macan
Best Used Pickup – Toyota Hilux
Best Used Small Electric Car – BMW i3
Best Used Family Electric Car – Nissan Leaf
Best Used Large Electric Car – Tesla Model S
Best Used Hybrid – Toyota Prius
Best Used Plug-in Hybrid – Kia Niro PHEV

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Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

The striking all-new fourth-generation Tucson is one of the new car revelations of 2021. Hyundai dares to be different and few SUVs can match the Tucson’s kerb appeal.

Featuring unique “hidden lights” and “jewel-like” running lights, plus an athletic profile and pert rear, it’s equally impressive inside.

Available with a conventional petrol engine, or as a self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid or mild hybrid, the Tucson is priced from £28,100 to £41,975.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

We tested the self-charging hybrid (listed as the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDi 230ps Hybrid) in top spec Ultimate trim. Priced at £37,135, it came with a six-speed automatic gearbox and a Tech Pack, including Electronic Control Suspension, Around View Monitor, Blind Spot View Monitor and Remote Smart Park Assist.

The beauty of the hybrid power unit is that it gives increased performance and reduced emissions without the need to plug in.

Combining the instant torque of a 44.2kW electric motor with the output of a four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbo, the 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery can be charged on the move via regenerative braking during downhill stretches of road and braking.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Most impressively of all, the hybrid powertrain switches seamlessly between the petrol engine and electric motor – sometimes utilising both at the same time.

Take a glance at the dashboard and the little ‘EV’ light flashes up for significant amounts of time, especially when cruising, which is particularly satisfying.

Like all self-charging hybrids, the battery is big enough for short bursts of fully electric driving in stop-start traffic, along with silent parking manoeuvres.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

You can also select drive modes. The default Eco is fine for everyday driving, while Sport adds an extra level of response and control for more challenging country roads.

The total petrol/electric power output of 227bhp, with 195lb ft of torque, is ample, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 8.0 seconds and a top speed of 120mph.

CO2 emissions are as low as 131g/km, while fuel economy is officially up to 49.6mpg. You can get close to that figure when cruising, but 40-45mpg is a more realistic figure in everyday driving.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

The self-charging hybrid is front-wheel drive (you’ll have to opt for the plug-in hybrid if you want 4×4) and doesn’t feel any the less for it.

There’s a surprising amount of grip up front, decent traction and it feels agile when pushed, even if the engine is slightly more vocal. Add light, accurate steering and decent body control, and it’s a great all-rounder.

So, the Tucson is the business on the road, and the good news is that it’s no less impressive inside the cabin.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Generously equipped, just about all physical knobs and buttons have been eliminated in the cool interior which is dominated by a 10.25-inch infotainment screen in the sleek centre console and a driver’s digital instrument cluster the same size.

There’s plenty of space in the rear for tall adults to travel comfortably, while the boot capacity is a healthy 616 litres, expanding to 1,795 litres with the rear seats folded.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Build quality is superb and goodies such as electrically operated, heated and ventilated front seats, plus a KRELL premium audio give it an upmarket feel.

The Tucson scored a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP testing and is packed with safety kit, including a Blind Spot View Monitor. Simply activate the indicator and you can see a live camera view of the left or right-hand side of the car on a screen in the digital cluster.

There’s also Highway Drive Assist – a semi-autonomous system which combines lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, map data and sensors to deliver speed and steering adjustments when driving on the motorway.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Sounds of Nature app

For novelty value, go to Media on the infotainment screen, activate the ‘Sounds of Nature’ and choose a relaxing ambient background soundtrack. Options include Calm Sea Waves, Lively Forest, Warm Fireplace, Rainy Day and Open-Air Cafe.

Verdict: Hyundai is knocking on the door of some premium rivals with the dramatic all-new Tucson Hybrid. Safe, spacious, well equipped, refined and engaging to drive, it’s a superb SUV package and a real step-up from its predecessor. Add Hyundai’s generous five-year warranty and it’s a tempting proposition.

Hyundai UK

Road trips: everything you need to know

The typical road trip lasts just under four hours, covers 150 miles and includes 41 songs to sing-along to, according to a new study by Esso.

More than a third of the of 2,000 adults questioned believe one of the most important aspects of a road trip is who they’re travelling with, while three passengers and the driver was found to be the preferred number.

It also emerged the average year sees Brits go on eight road trips – with 61 per cent currently having one lined up.

Of those, 43 per cent plan to travel with their partner, 20 per cent with their children and 10 per cent with their parents.

Other important aspects for a road trip were good weather (36 per cent), the scenery (31 per cent) and the final destination (31 per cent).

Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’, Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ and Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’ were revealed as the go-to songs to singalong to in the car that transcend the generation gap, while The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’ is a firm favourite among millennials.

Esso, which is the technical partner of the Red Bull Racing Honda Formula 1 team, asked drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, about their road trip memories as children.

“The long rides I remember, were back in the day with my dad,” said Max. “So, we’d be listening to like, 70s, 80s, 90s – it would go from like Elvis Presley, to Michael Jackson, to Barry White, you know all this kind of stuff.”

The research also revealed that one in six Brits also believe regular scheduled stops are vital, with the typical ‘pit stop’ lasting 17 minutes, which usually involves stopping off at a service station (40 per cent), visiting a viewpoint (33 per cent) and enjoying a picnic (25 per cent).

Favourite in-car games were ‘I Spy’ (20 per cent), spotting unusual number plates (10 per cent) and ’20 questions’ (10 per cent). Other popular games are ‘Guess the tune’, ‘Spot the Animal’ and ‘Yellow Car’.