FEATURING a new look and an enhanced body shape over its predecessor, the 2019 Nissan Qashqai ST+ is now in its third generation, and more than holding its own in a market stuffed full of compact SUVs.
Sitting one rung above the base model ST, the + as it will hence forth be affectionately known, features an aggressive stance on the road, thanks to some restyling of its lines, a new grille, and redesigned wheels.
The addition of LED daytime running lights and tail lights complete a style upgrade that also adds a shark fin antenna and colour keyed door handles. A simple interior, much like X-Trail and Pathfinder siblings, features piano black accents.
Easy to use steering wheel controls allow you to manipulate the infotainment system, which has Bluetooth and a pretty damn good sound system. It feels a little basic inside for our liking, but that is the nature of the ST and ST+ models from Nissan.
There’s still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but this is likely to be the last QASHQAI to not have it, following Nissan’s decision to cross the technology bridge and progressively (as new models launch) deliver the phone mirroring technologies from July of this year.
The ST+ does come with a simple reverse camera though, albeit of average quality. The picture quality is grainy and not overly clear, especially at night. On a positive note, the interior is not bad.
It does come with satellite navigation with live traffic alerts though, all encapsulated within a 7-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system. Unfortunately the mapping system isn’t the nicest layout, but does the job.
The built in digital radio or DAB+, is also a nice inclusion in the ST+, something we feel should be standard in every car in 2019, instead of an added extra, so well done Nissan.
It offers good rear leg room, but as you would expect with the sloping roof line, rear head room is not fantastic, especially if you are on the taller side.
On the road though, it’s good to drive. There’s a decent amount of power and responsiveness thanks to the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, that pushes out 106kW of power and 200Nm of torque through an Xtronic CVT gearbox.
It doesn’t seem like a lot of power, but it moves the Qashqai along nicely. The Xtronic CVT gearbox could do with a little more tweaking. The mimicked gear changes are less than well, desirable, and see the Qashqai wring it’s own neck under hard acceleration.
Claimed fuel economy is 6.9-litres/100km, but we couldn’t do better than 9.0-litres/100km. Safety tech is plentiful too, with air bags, traction control, intelligent emergency braking, forward collision warning and lane departure warning.
There’s also intelligent around view monitor with moving object detection and power heated mirrors with LED indicators.
Once you get past that name thing, and a few items that may or may not bother you, you end up with a pretty good small SUV that really does feel like a large one. It handles well, has sufficient power and a good history of reliability, with a Nissan badge.
We feel the 2019 Qashqai is worthy of being in the garage of Australian households. To get one you will have to dig up $34,427 drive away for the 2WD automatic ST+. It’s available in Vivid Blue, Ivory Pearl, Platinum, Gun Metallic, Night Shade and Magnetic Red.
Our 2019 Nissan Qashqai ST+ was supplied by Nissan Australia. To find out more, contact your local Nissan dealer.