The arrival of the exciting J11 Qashqai Series 2 was definitely one to watch out for. The upgraded standard features and the new front grille have taken it to the next level. I drove the base-model ST for a couple of months and this was my experience.
What first appealed to me when I saw the car was the new look. A new sleek design that has definitely put it up against the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3.
The standard specs of the Qashqai ST are very impressive, and what everyone is looking for when buying a new car. AEB and FCW standard really appealed to me; it shows that Nissan is on the ball in terms of standard safety. It is comfortable and has good vision from the front and back.
Other standard features I like are the front and rear parking sensors. That's a big tick from my list, and it's great to see them on the ST model. A leather-wrapped steering wheel also gives that feel of premium inside the car and it feels better when driving. The seats are very comfy and I found there was plenty of room for the driver and passengers at the back.
Where this car is lacking is the infotainment system. With no touchscreen on offer and no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it does feel it is ageing a bit – now with brands like Kia and Hyundai making this standard amongst all of their cars. I have also found that the engine can be a bit noisy as well, especially when you first start it. It's not much of a deal-breaker, but it can be a bit annoying. Comfort features in the back row are lacking as well, with no rear air vents and no USB charging.
The 2.0-litre engine with CVT wouldn't be my first choice in a car like this, but it does the job. Fuel economy was pretty good for the size of the engine and the car. But in terms of how it performs, it isn't anything special: not a lot of power, but it does the job.
A three-year/100,000km warranty is a bit poor, and behind the likes of Honda and Hyundai, and way behind Kia and even newcomers like MG and Ssangyong.
Overall, the Nissan Qashqai ST is definitely a great choice to look at. It should be on your list of small SUVs to test drive and look at. Great safety features, nice sleek look and comfortable ride, but a lack of comfort features and outdated technology can let this SUV down.
NOTE: With no photo supplied, we've used a CarAdvice photo for this story.