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Nissan qashqai 1.5dci puredrive review



IT'S hard to believe that Nissan's mid-size crossover Qashqai is nearly eight years old, for it seems to have been around for ever.

As an alternative to a popular family hatchback, the British-built machine smashed the Japanese marque's own sales targets from day one.

The family favourite was given something of a facelift for spring 2010 to tie it over until the new generation model hit the streets last February and this facelift helped the car keep its place at the forefront of the growing crossover sector.

On the outside, the updated Qashqai got a brand new macho front end look to match that of its larger seven-seater Qashqai+2 sibling, while a series of other tweeks around the vehicle helped reduce drag and aided fuel consumption.

Nissan offered buyers a huge choice within the Qashqai range, with two petrol and two diesel engines in the line up. Four trim levels were also on offer, while there was also a choice of four-wheel-drive on some models.

One model certainly worth looking at as a great economical-to-run used buy is the 1.5-litre dCi Pure Drive diesel in entry-level Visia trim.

It was the cheapest, most fuel-efficient and cleanest first-generation Qashqai oilburner, returning 57.6mpg while emissions came in at just 129g/km.

Nissan worked hard to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, while modifications such as blanking the fog lamp sockets, adding low rolling resistance tyres and reworking the final drive ratio, all helped the Pure Drive to deliver those remarkable figures.

For a big, heavy car, the 105bhp engine could not really set the heather on fire, so it did take its time to get going, but once it got up to speed it delivered a polished performance.

The benchmark 0-62mph dash took 12.8 seconds and the top speed was a more-than-respectable 109mph, but unlike those fuel-guzzling monsters which helped give the SUV sector such a bad name, the Pure Drive Qashqai proved to be easy on the planet.

Inside, there was room for five adults at a squeeze along with a decent amount of boot space. All occupants got a commanding view of the road while the driver's seat could also be raised or lowered to suit.

Out on the road the chunky Nissan's suspension was set to give a comfortable, softish ride, but the downside was that the car did tend to lean a bit through tighter corners.

However, its road-holding abilities were never in question and around town the car was completely at home in the urban jungle, its car-like handling undoubtely helping its sales success.

Safety aspects were well catered for, so much so that every model was awarded a coveted five-star NCAP rating, while standard on-board goodies included air-con, alloy wheels, CD sound system, electric windows and Bluetooth.

Expect to pay around £6,300 to £8,380 for a 2010 10-plate 1.5-litre dCi Pure Drive diesel in entry-level Visia trim with around 50,000 miles on the clock.

A 2011 on an 11-plate will cost in the region of £7,330 to £9,405, while moving up to a 2012 model on a 12-plate pushes those figures up to around the £8,570 to £10,845 mark.

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Bruce Booth - Bruce left the Daily Record three years ago after 23 years as a sub editor motoring writer to wind down a long career as a freelance motoring journalist. Still supplies new and used car columns as well as covering motorsport for the Record and for Eurekar

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