Driven: Nissan Qashqai Midnight Edition 1.2 Turbo

Midnight, as in the end of the day. Meet the ‘end of the day’ second gen Nissan Qashqai.

What is it?
I thought we covered this, this bordeaux dream is the last of the second coming (now going) Qashqai, the dying embers of what is about to be replaced with a third, sharper, and more contemporary version. And so, the Midnight benefits from all the toys and updates, as well as black and or darkened aesthetics as alluded to in the name.

How does it look?
Like a Nissan Qashqai, so sharp and stylish but now with a black roof, similarly rendered dark 19-inch alloys, gloss-black mirror caps and a grille darker than the devil’s heart. It’s dark. Like Batman in a giant jar of treacle. This ebony treatment continues inside, like so.

What about living with it?
Hop aboard and you’ll encounter black air vents and gear knob, Alcantara seat coverings and red QASHQAI stitching on the dark mats. You also get a raft of technology and infotainment such as NissanConnect and a 17.7cm display, complete with both Android Auto and Apple Carplay with navigation. Then there’s NIMH, Nissan’s Intelligent Mobile experience incorporating Around View monitoring and object detection, part of the Qashqai’s extensive safety kudos. This includes forward monitoring plus blind spot and cross traffic alerts.

How does it go?
The Qashqai handles well and is equipped with Nissan’s flavourful helm so is fun to pilot through twisty tarmac. To motivate it, you’ll encounter either a turbocharged 1.2l with 85kW and 165Nm or 1.5l turbodiesel to the tune of 81kW and 260Nm. Ours is the petrol version so by no means a firecracker, she’ll do more than pull the skin off a cold custard though, and then there’s Nissan’s great steering feel to consider. Overall, a still fun car to drive.

Should you buy one?
This is where it gets tricky, see. Beyond my test period, I was reacquainted with the Qashqai on a recent trip to JHB where I was reminded of how much I enjoy it. It’s frugal and attractive but if we’re being honest, it plays in an incredibly oversaturated segment. There’s plenty of rivals but if you’re a fan of the brand it is hard to ignore that there is a new Qashqai on the horizon. And if economics was a factor ie. you’re not averse to buy down into the entry-level compact SUV segment beneath the Qashqai, Nissan have a new contender waiting in the wings in the form of the Magnite. Maybe wait for those?

Quick Stats: Nissan Qashqai Midnight Edition
Price: R485,400
Powertrain:
1.2l fwd,  85kW, 165Nm, CVT auto
Performance: 0-100kph in 12.9 seconds, 173kph top speed, 6.2l/100km fuel consumption

 

 

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