is he wrong to deprive himself of Diesel?

Far more modern, comfortable and fun to drive than its aging predecessor, the third-generation Nissan Qashqai can stand up to the champions of family SUVs. But the abandonment of Diesel and the choice of a single mechanism, gasoline with micro-hybridization, challenges: is it consistent with a long-term classic family use, a game which a modern Diesel is unbeatable? Our marathon trial.

The bias is daring, but it will have to be done with. Or rather without, as the trend goes: the Qashqai is one of the first to abandon diesel altogether, at least in these intermediate and upper categories often intended for high mileage and intensive road use. If giving up fuel oil makes sense for an A-segment city car (yes, absurdities such as the Smart Diesel existed), taking this admittedly fashionable posture is however more questionable for a compact SUV.

The Qashqai is therefore now only available in gasoline, pending a hybrid in early 2022 (e-Power, quite unique since the thermal will theoretically serve as a generator as on the new Honda HR-V). We therefore find the well-known 1.3 l TCe of Renault origin. (and shared with Mercedes Class A and derivatives), coupled with a light 12 V hybridization. The system is simple, and is based on an alternator-starter responsible for relieving the heat engine when starting or when operating at low speed mainly. This facade “hybridization” is thus almost transparent to road looks. or at a steady speed … and hardly brings any benefit except in the city, after all.

Peaceful traveler

Discretion and flexibility of operation remain the primary qualities of this engine. It must be admitted, a gasoline will always deliver a higher approval than a Diesel of displacement and equivalent standing. Well seen too, to have kept a 4 cylinder. Despite all the best efforts in the world, the little “3 legs” downsizés excessively which currently abound remains rougher than a good old completely classic 4-cylinder, much more subdued. With 140 hp in manual gearbox, this unit delivers 158 hp here in our trial version with Xtronic automatic gearbox. Behind this name hides a CVT gearbox, which was believed to be endangered.

TEST - Nissan Qashqai (2021), the 1,000 terminals test: is it wrong to go without Diesel?
The biggest progress of the Qashqai 3 concerns its chassis: cozy comfort despite the large 20-inch rims, limited movements … There is more agility, but the behavior is healthy and reassuring.

Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the Turbo auto rating of your Nissan Qashqai, the alternative to the Argus rating.

The increased power is unfortunately hardly noticeable and a manual Qashai seems just as alert, despite 18 hp less. In acceleration, there is still a second better from 0 to 100 km / h (9.2 s), but the revivals are not not much more energetic despite the increased torque (270 Nm, or 30 Nm more than in manual gearbox), as hampered by the variator gearbox. Let us also avoid mistreating it otherwise, the unpleasant feeling of runaway engine, typical of these transmissions, is felt.

That said, his performances are not laborious and driven with restraint, the Qashqai is a pleasant traveling companion. The CVT gearbox is precisely calibrated for: avoiding strong reminders, the transmission simulates gear changes … smoothly, almost like a real double clutch gearbox. This homogeneous engine / gearbox unit also delivers appreciable fluidity on urban journeys, including frequent changes of pace, especially at intermediate gears.

TEST - Nissan Qashqai (2021), the 1,000 terminals test: is it wrong to go without Diesel?
The CVT box shows an appreciable smoothness, provided you do not jostle it. Consumption remains moderate, but the Qashqai thus equipped is not much more efficient despite 18 hp more than the manual transmission version.

This mechanical approval is coupled with interesting road qualities. One of the first points raised during our first test, moreover: the chassis, in particular in terms of filtration and maintenance of the body, made a giant leap compared to its predecessor. The kilometers follow one another peacefully, Propilot activated, the semi-autonomous driving mode which is activated via a blue button to the right of the steering wheel. The system is not revolutionary in itself (it couples adaptive regulator, reading signs and lane following), but is rather successful and not overly intrusive. Maintaining the queue, quite finely managed, for once avoids the unpleasant feeling of playing ping-pong between the marking on the ground.

And at the pump?

It’s less brilliant when it comes to quenching your thirst. Especially against the 1.5 dCi Renault which fitted the old Qashqai. Very sober, therefore low emitting (the laws of physics), Diesel would also have allowed the Qashqai to escape our ubiquitous CO2 penalty … Fortunately, our unleaded Qashqai knows how to behave. On paper at least: approved at 6.5 l / 100 km in mixed route and 147 g / km, he gets a reduced penalty (only 360 €).

TEST - Nissan Qashqai (2021), the 1,000 terminals test: is it wrong to go without Diesel?
Classic layout, but the furniture is seriously constructed and the ergonomics simple (always real buttons for the air conditioning). The quilted leather seats on our Tekna + are flattering but lack support in the long run.

Hybridization (that’s saying a lot) limits breakage. Remember especially that the CVT box remains one of the most efficient transmissions, since it is permanently on the most suitable gear, depending on the driving phases. Question approval, the subject remains debatable.

Reasonable in current use, including on expressways, his appetite easily turns around 7.5 l / 100 km on a mixed route, without any particular effort … on condition that he does not torture him, and to avoid pronounced reliefs! It is also better to avoid exceeding 130 km / h, the threshold for triggering boring air noises (and flashes which are just as much, anyway). The figure then climbs significantly, when the profile becomes more chaotic and requires frequent reminders. In the Ecrins massif, in the heart of the Alps, the passages of passes and series of large drops resulted in an average of over 9 l / 100 km. Consumption “à la carte”, therefore. Everything works together at a flexible pace, if we want to benefit from the benefits of this textbook case of painless hybridization.

TEST - Nissan Qashqai (2021), the 1,000 terminals test: is it wrong to go without Diesel?
Average recorded after more than 1,500 km of mixed route, including city, motorway and mountain: 7.5 l / 100 km. More than announced, but rather limited given the sometimes intensive treatment inflicted.

Finances: expensive car box

Our test model, in a superior Tekna + finish, plays it almost premium from the top of its € 42,490! But the equipment is very complete (Propilot, head-up display, panoramic roof, quilted leather, heated seats and steering wheel, etc.).

More affordable and already well equipped, the lower level Tekna demands 39.490 € in Xtronic box. Or a supplement of 3,100 € compared to the manual gearbox. Difficult to justify given the low performance benefit and slightly higher consumption. Finally, note, for fans of all-wheel drive, that the Qashqai offers it (only in automatic gearbox, from 38,940 € in intermediate finish N-Connecta). Something that has become rare in these general road SUVs. Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Toyota RAV4 are almost the last on the market to have a “real” 4×4 in the catalog.

Technical characteristics Nissan Qashqai 3 (2021)

Nissan Qashqai 3 Specifications
Model tested: Nissan Qashqai 1.3 158 hp Tekna +
Dimensions L x l x h 4,425 / 1,835 / 1,625 m
Wheelbase 2,665 m
Min / max trunk volume 504 / 1.593 l
Unloaded weight 1.450 kg
Engine displacement 4 cylinders gasoline, turbo + micro-hybridization 12V – 1.332 cm3
Power 158 hp at 5,500 rpm
Maximum torque 270 Nm at 1,800 rpm
0 to 100 km / h 9,2 s
Max speed 199 km/h
CO2 rate 147 g/km (WLTP)
Announced consumption (WLTP) 6.5 l / 100 km (reading: 7.5 l)
Malus 2021 360 €
Prices from € 29,590 (model tested: € 42,490)

Source: – L'info en continu by

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