Performance and 0-60mph time
Until that rumored Nismo reaches the showrooms, those who are in a rush to buy a Qashqai won’t be going anywhere very fast. The quickest Qashqai is, at best, described as brisk. The 160bhp 1.6 DIG-T, the T stands for Turbo, giving it a 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 124mph. That’s almost a second quicker - and 6mph on the top speed if it matters - over the 1.6-litre dCi turbodiesel with 128bhp. Add another two seconds to that (for a 11.9sec time) for one of the most popular models - the 108bhp 1.5 dCi - and it’s clear that it’s not about how quickly you can get places, but how adept it is at avoiding fuel pumps and the taxman. That 108bhp 1.5 dCi is all about its road tax dodging and company car tax-friendly 99g/km of CO2 emissions. That it achieves such economical feats and yet manages to avoid being crushingly yawn-inducing is admirable.
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The engines perform respectably enough though, that’s with the possible exception of the 114bhp 1.2 DIG-T. It can feel a little out of its depth out of town, particularly with the performance sapping Xtronic automatic. All the petrol engines do require plenty of revs for you to feel thier performance, even the 160bhp 1.6 DIG-T. This seems at odds with high-riding, SUV-lite nature of the Qashqai. So, although it’s far from exciting we’d recommend the 1.6 diesel.
The 1.6 is the larger diesel (by only 100cc) and has 236lb ft of torque from 1,750rpm. Although even the 108bhp 1.5 dCi’s torque output betters that of the highest performance petrol engine.
This might not be the most relevant addition to this review, but for anyone interested in what happens when you combine the body of a Qashqai with the running gear and engine of a GT-R, check out our evoMaxx video below - a certain Qashqai reaches 207mph…