The Nissan Qashqai is a big hit in Europe, but sales of the small SUV have almost halved in Australia in the last 12 months. And with an all-new version just around the corner, Nissan has added a new special edition to keep the range fresh.
Here are five things you need to know about the Nissan Qashqai Midnight Edition.
1. IT HAS STREET APPEAL
Nissan’s Qashqai has been on sale since 2014 and is starting to show its age. But one of the easiest ways to freshen up a model before it is due to be replaced (an all-new version is just around the corner) is to add some styling highlights. And as the Midnight name suggests there is plenty of gloss black cues. Big 19-inch alloys are the most obvious and there are also black mirror caps, grille, side skirts and roof rails. Inside there are brushed black highlights and a black headliner.
2. SAFETY IS FRONT OF MIND
Small compact SUVs are aimed at young families and elderly drivers, so safety features are a big selling point. Nissan has made sure to load up the Midnight Edition with its latest active safety equipment including auto emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning and lane departure warning. Plus the Qashqai received a five-star ANCAP crash score when it was tested in 2017.
3. IT COSTS MONEY TO LOOK GOOD
The Midnight Edition is priced at $35,990 before on-road costs, which pushes it close to $40,000 drive-away — similar to the top-of-the-range Qashqai Ti. There are more expensive models from polished rivals offered by Kia and Mazda, but they also have added features and all-wheel drive. And the Midnight Edition is several thousand more than the top-shelf Mitsubishi ASX Exceed. Nissan guarantees the Qashqai for five-years/unlimited km.
4. CABIN IS A MIXED BAG
The Qashqai is bigger inside than it looks. There is plenty of room up front and the back seat can accommodate average-sized adults.
Nissan has also kicked in some fancy faux suede and leather trimmed seats, but manual adjustment and a lack of heating functions let the side down. Single zone air conditioning is below par.
You can see where Nissan has dressed-up the cabin, with soft touch material throughout and plush covering on driver contact points.
Connectivity is taken care of by Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth. There is also in-built satnav and digital radio. But a seven-inch touchscreen feels tiny compared to newer rivals.
5. DON’T MESS WITH SUCCESS
Nissan hasn’t messed with what’s under the bonnet. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine making 106kW/200Nm remains and is matched to the same CVT auto as the rest of the range. It is a proven performer and handles the daily commute and school run with ease. The engine is willing enough, but can feel coarse under heavy acceleration. The suspension is well sorted soaking up most bumps along the way, and lean through corners is kept to a minimum thanks to front and rear stabiliser bars. Highway motoring is no problem, the car feels stable and composed at higher speeds, though there is considerable road noise and wind buffeting.