Sometimes I have to pinch myself when emails come through from brands. Yes, I’m still plagued with those “we have an excellent article that we will let you post for free” emails, but once in a while, I get genuinely exciting emails that make me stand up and do a little mum dance. My email from the Nissan team was one such email. Not least because I misread for a moment and thought they were gifting me a car. When I calmed down and realised they were offering a test drive for a week, I was still pleased enough to respond and accept.
Of course, we went on lockdown by the time I was ready to take the car, a 20 plate Nissan Qashqai. We didn’t get to drive as far as I’d have done had we not been restricted to essential journeys but I feel we still put it through its paces enough to really get a feel and fall in love with the bright blue beauty!
I should caveat this by saying I’m not a car blogger. I have chosen cars based on how they make me feel and how pretty I’ve found them in the past. Thankfully, I’ve only ever bought one lemon and it taught me a lot about cars. I understand the importance of fuel efficiency, a comfortable ride, emission rates and boot space now. Through trial and error and life changes, such as having kids and needing to have space for both shopping and a buggy, I now have a better understanding as to what makes a good car for me!
If you don’t have time to read the whole post, here is the TLDR version:
Car I test drove for a week: Nissan Qashqai Tekna
Score (out of 10) 8/10
The boot is massive. I didn’t try the buggy in it but we did a regular weekly supermarket shop and it still had loads of space. We also did a Costco run and it swallowed the hole shop including the massive 40 rolls of loo roll. Normally, in my regular car, we would have to use up a passenger seat for the loo roll!
Ease of parking
This car has cameras upon cameras! I found it a bit disconcerting to begin with as it seemed to be less confident about my ability to park than I was, letting out an intense, solid beeeeeeeeeep when I knew I still had plenty of room to get into my allocated parking spot. Yes, they are pretty tight, as are most UK parking spots, and after a few days I learnt to trust in myself and the cameras and ignore the beep. It turns out it’s pretty sensitive and doesn’t understand my OG driving skills.
You basically get 360 degrees of help, and the Qashqai has assisted parking mode, which I tried and then freaked out about when the car started to move unaided. I’m not ready to give over control just yet, but loved that it was an option. Had I kept the car longer, I feel it would have been a very used function.
We drove the car for a week on a full tank and didn’t even use half of it. This included daily drives to nursery for Rainbow, a 40 mile round trip for a hospital appointment and various trips to the supermarket and Costco. We live in the middle of nowhere so even the supermarket run is a 12/13 mile round trip. The Nissan website quotes the Qashqai Tekna as
What can I say? The heated seats. Sigh. I miss them. The car was really spacious and although the furthest we drove was an hour each way, it was such a comfortable drive. The seats and steering wheel were a perfectly ergonomic design and it felt like second nature, within moments of driving.
I connected my phone to the car and loved being able to play my own music through the Bose speakers. It came in handy, drowning out the kids too! The sound was crisp and had a decent enough base to let me appreciate my Spotify playlist.
I was also impressed at how quickly the climate control handled the frost and snow. I remember turning on the Nissan’s engine and running back inside to grab my trusty AutoGlym de-icer spray and by the time I went back outside, the front and rear windows were completely clear of the frost! That would have come in so handy in the past week, where it’s been minus 3 degrees Celsius and I’ve had to de-ice my car the old school way!
Bottom line, would I drive a Nissan Qashqai again?
Yes, I would honestly buy it. My kids really enjoyed it and found the back of the car to be spacious enough to be comfortable for long drives. I loved the height of the car and the ease of driving. It picked up speed really easily so it was easy to get onto the neighbouring A and M roads without fretting.
The Qashqai Tekna we drove had a beautiful panoramic roof which brought so much light into the car. I would have to buy one with the same function, I loved it. I even took a couple of work Zoom calls in the car and my colleagues commented on how lovely it was seeing the trees in the background through the roof.
I’ve needed a new car for a long time. Mine has been through the wars and driving this beauty showed me how much cars have come since my car was made. Put it this way, it’s older than my eldest daughter! It’s actually the car I nearly ended up giving birth to Rainbow in. It served well but the Qashqai has me in my feelings and ready to level up.
The Nissan Qashqai starts at just under £20k brand new and the model I test drove was top spec, so would cost another £10k on top. Honestly, new cars depreciate at such a fast rate in the first couple of years that I would recommend buying a used model; maybe 3-4 years old. There are loads of Tekna models – the top spec one with all the bells and whistles on the Nissan website with very low mileage that will only set you back £15k – £20k for a top spec model.
I recommend you take a Qashqai for a test drive. It was a beautiful, smooth ride and I don’t really have anything negative to say about it. Perhaps the only thing that would have made it perfect would have been to have an automatic open and close function for the boot. Other than that, it was the perfect family car without looking like a family car…