Nissan Qashqai review - a mature class leader - Engine and Gearbox
Nissan’s genre-defining family focussed crossover might not thrill, but it’s a chart topper regardless.
Engine and gearbox
Standard across the entire range is a 6-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels, only the 1.6 dCi is offered with the choice of front- or four-wheel drive. There’s an optional Xtronic automatic (front-drive only), but despite the offer of manual sequential shifting it’s actually a CVT. That’s fine if you’re in stop-start traffic in downtown Tokyo, but less endearing on faster, open roads in the UK. More so than most CVTs though, it resist holding peak revs for long periods and operates more like a conventional automatic. The CVT is offered on the 1.2 DIG-T petrol and 1.6 dCi turbodiesel, it works better with the latter, thanks in large to its greater torque output. In the 1.2 DIG-T with Xtronic the torque drops from 140lb ft to 121lb ft, contributing to its slovenly 12.9sec 0-62mph time.
The six-speed manual is preferable then. Although the throw of the lever is long, it’s accurate enough to confidently make precise and quick shifts.