Words By Gugu Masuku

Back in 2008, Nissan went out on a limb and pioneered the crossover segment, the result of which was the birth of the Qashqai. At the time, it was met with skepticism and uncertainty, but the local market accepted it, along with its peculiar name.

Fast forward a decade, and the burgeoning segment is now bursting at the seams. Every motoring manufacturer now has something to offer at that end of the spectrum. So it seems there was more than just method in Nissan’s madness.

 

There was more than just method in Nissan’s madness

 

The Sleek and Smart Cityproof Qashai

This latest version of the Qashqai (dubbed the “Cityproof Qashqai”) was launched recently. To make their point on its streets smarts, Nissan decided to launch the vehicle in the heart of the City of Johannesburg. The “Cityproof” nickname comes as a result of all the safety features Nissan has packed into this compact crossover. You can quite comfortably navigate your way through the city without much hassle, and safely too – Intelligent Mobility Technology is what Nissan has employed to make this possible.

 

 

Nissan is making a move towards safer driving cars and zero road fatalities. The highest grade in the new Qashqai comes standard with all the NIM (Nissan Intelligent Mobility) features. Included under this banner is blind spot warning, emergency brake assist, forward collision warning, and around view monitor, which keeps an eye out (or maybe four in this case) around the circumference of the vehicle, giving you a 360 degree view of your surroundings when manoeuvring in the city – or anywhere else for that matter. This manoeuvrability is quite nicely aided by a “city” mode which lightens up the steering wheel for less resistance.

 

Quality materials are found throughout the interior

 

A more pronounced update to the Qashqai’s wheel is the switch to a flat-bottomed style of wheel in this latest version. Not only does it give the interior a premium feel, but it will also appeal to certain members of the male species – those who have an inner racing driver lurking within them. This is certainly not a soccer mom’s car as some would assume, although it would perform those duties with ease and diligence.

Quality materials are found throughout the interior, giving the new Qashqai an overall premium feel to it. The icing on the cake, though, is the addition of a Bose audio system in the Tekna 1.5 dCI.

 

 

A Vehicle Worth Investing In

Our dinner venue at the launch of the Qashai was an open outdoors setup in the heart of Braamfontein, with a great atmosphere. To the surprise of many, the banging tunes handling the good vibe were a product of two Qashqai units on display. The Bose systems did a commendable job, even while dialled up to their limits.

Some slight enhancements have been made to the styling, nothing major, just the standard nip and tuck here and there. All-in-all, the cosmetic procedure has given the Qashqai’s already handsome styling a sharper and cleaner look. Like a runway model – broad shoulders, a sharp jaw, and a confident stride!


Pricing begins at R334 900 for the entry grade 1.2 T Vista, and peaks at R434 000 for the range-topping Tekna 1.5 dCI.