A good all-rounder
Friday 16th August 2013, 2:12PM BST.
ROSIE ALLSOPP finds that four cameras make parking a breeze in the Nissan Qashqai 360.
WOULDN’T it be nice if there was always someone there to guide you through tricky driving, or more specifically, parking situations?
Someone who could stand outside the vehicle and wave their arms around, calling out helpful things like: ‘Stop! Mind that bollard!’ when you are making difficult manoeuvres.
That kind of help would be especially helpful in Guernsey with its smaller than standard roads and teeny tiny granite-cushioned lanes and driveways.
Well, with a Nissan Qashqai 360 you don’t need a human being because it has cameras cleverly positioned to give all-round visibility.
The images from these are cleverly montaged together so that when viewing the dashboard monitor it looks as though the driver can see a bird’s eye view around the car.
It is also possible to switch aspects just by pressing a button, and there are also helpful guide lines displayed on the info screen so that you can choose the right angle of attack when parking.
All of which makes parking a breeze, as Gary, the Nissan salesman at Freelance, explained. And the beauty of the 360’s panoramic cameras is that unlike sensors, they pick up granite coins and sticky-outy lumps in walls that can catch out the unwary.
And it isn’t just the 360º view that makes the Qashqai so appealing.
Awarded four out of five stars by consumer guide What Car?, the Qashqai is praised for its funky 4×4 styling, competitive pricing and strong resale value. Its refinement and comfort are also listed as plus points.
And it’s hard to disagree. As a family car, or for those who like a decent amount of space, the Qashqai is an impressive vehicle for the money. The range starts at just under £14,000 for the entry level Visia, rising to just under £19,445 for the top spec 1.5 DCi Tekna model.
The model that I tested, the 360 1.6-litre 5-speed manual, has a basic price of £16,833 and a metallic paint job would be an extra £430 or so. And for that, there is plenty to write home about.
The interior is roomy with tons of boot space. It has lovely part-leather finishes, an illuminated footwell, panoramic roof glass with a one-touch shade, a 5” touch colour screen and a great elevated driving position.
The list of standard equipment features in the Qashqai far exceeds the optional extras and includes 16-inch alloys, drive computer, audio with Bluetooth, sat nav, and speed sensitive autolock. Exclusive to the 360 range are the optional gloss black roof rails and door mirror caps, interior door handles and gear shift surround.
It also comes with stop/start technology and offers very good fuel economy.
Small wonder then that the Qashqai has become Nissan’s best-selling UK family car. If you have a gaggle of kids and their assorted accoutrements to take from A to B, it is well worth a look.