I still have trouble with the naff name but after driving Nissan’s new Qashqai ST+, all is forgotten because it’s a really decent little SUV.
This supplementary Qashqai model sits one up from the base gaining some advanced driver assist features from the higher spec ‘ ST-L model.
Nissan upgrades the ST+ infotainment system with a better screen that now includes hard wired satnav among other changes.
The affordable price is in a sweet spot for young families at $30,790.
Though the 2.0-litre engine is no high tech power house it’s plenty good for a vehicle the size of Qashqai.
And it looks good into the bargain with a tough face, neat rear end and handsome profile.
Funny that many of Qashqai’s competitors have a similarly tough outward appearance as if in compensation for their size.
Oh, well, Nissan’s small SUV offering is a desirable device made all the better with the ST+ additions for not much more money.
And they finally give you a decent warranty.
A handsome devil from all angles, Qashqai has plenty going on in the metal skin with styling creases all over to emphasise parts of the car. The bonnet for example is wide and has two large ridges from the screen forward linking to the pronounced vee of the grille. Arrow shaped lights in the headlight corners point to the grille aperture with similarly shaped recesses underneath for the driving lights.
All “in ya face” stuff.
And so it goes down the sides and to the truncated rear end complete with integrated tailgate spoiler and a small glass area. The car looks to be swept up towards the high rear end as if it’s going fast standing still.
Nissan fixed the wheel arch gap with neat spats, reduces side panel depth with plastic mouldings while it rolls on fairly generic but inoffensive alloys.
Qashqai’s compact dimensions contribute to its facility in numerous driving applications particularly in the city and parking.
Inside is more upmarket than this model’s lower specification might suggest with a chunky multi-function wheel taking pride of place followed by the neatly integrated centre stack with large touch screen.
There isn’t any leather but not everyone wants it.
The tones are grey highlighted by lighter grey fascia and two tone upholstery.
I found the seats firm but comfy and there’s plenty of room in the front for large occupants, less so in the rear which is a touch compromised by the low roof height.
The load space is a decent size expandable with folding rears.
It’s easy to operate through standard switches and dials with the centre touch screen offering multiple menus for just about everything on the car.
Some features do have dedicated switches/buttons.
It’s a five seater if you have kids in the rear seats.
This is a carefully featured model offering more than the base but not treading on the toes of higher grade versions.
As such, the Qashqai ST+ gets;
- Satnav with traffic alert
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Button start
- Cruise control
- Electric park brake
- 17-inch alloys
- Heated exterior mirrors
- Window tint
- CVT auto transmission
Drive and Engine
Goes really well for a little front wheel drive petrol SUV.
The engine is an old stager but is optimised thanks to the stepped CVT auto transmission which hooks up quickly and drives the 1375kg Qashqai with some intent.
Quiet too but the engine likes a drink if you push it along with about 7.5 litres/100km achievable using E10.
It is punchy off the line and runs smoothly most of the time. I’ll have to admit to not being a CVT fan but this one is pretty good behaving more like a conventional auto rather than a slurring idiot.
Qashqai rides comfortably with a slight sporty feel to the steering and suspension. It is biggish for a small SUV for gains in stability and overall feel.
Grip is good but the front wheel drive is problematic taking off on a wet road up hill.
Dunno what it would tow…. not much I would suspect.
So, no real complaints about performance, economy or drive feel though it could be a little more economical.
Five stars here thanks, made better on the ST+ with more advanced driver assistance tech.
This includes moving object alert, the obligatory AEB, a 360 degree around view camera, lane departure warning and front and rear sensors.
It’s not the full suite but enough to substantially bolster the ST+’s safety credentials.
- Handsome styling
- Good performance
- Adequate amount of features
Not So Good Bits
- Can be thirsty
- Not as roomy inside as Honda HRV
- Intrusive lane departure warning.
Nissan Qashqai ST+ – I like this one, particularly the looks and the fact that you can run it on cheaper E10.
There’s a decent amount of kit inside and it rolls on alloys, not crappy steelies with covers.
The CVT transmission is OK and the fact that it’s made in a UK factory not a cheap labour country makes me more comfortable.
Also Look At
Facts and Figures: 2019 Nissan Qashqai ST+
- Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder petrol producing 106kW/200Nm
- Transmission: one-speed CVT
- Warranty: 5/ unlimited km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: UK
- Price: from $30,790* MLP
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.
2019 Nissan Qashqai ST+
Nissan Qashqai ST+ – I like this one, particularly the looks and the fact that you can run it on cheaper E10.There’s a decent amount of kit inside and it rolls on alloys, not crappy steelies with covers.