By Jason Woosey

So who shrunk our Nissan crossover? A few months back, Nissan came and swopped our X-Trail 2.0 XE long-term test vehicle for one of its smaller brothers in the form of a Qashqai 1.2T Acenta, and it’s been interesting comparing the two.

In the previous generation they were vastly different vehicles, the X-Trail looking all butch and boxy and the smaller Qashqai taking the sleeker approach to modern crossovers. Now they’ve been amalgamated onto the same platform, and as a result you can see a very close resemblance in the frontal design and dashboard. The X-Trail is still the bigger and more practical of the two, being 263mm longer, while the Qashqai has sportier intentions with its more slanted rear end.

Though the Qashqai’s racier styling and smaller dimensions do make it less practical than the X-Trail, it’s still entirely viable as a family car - rear legroom shrinks from XL to large while the boot’s been reduced from huge (550 litres) to somewhere around medium-large (430 litres). Loading taller objects can be a struggle though, due to the shorter boot aperture.

What the Qashqai loses in space it makes up for in style and even the cabin finishes seem a bit classier, although that also has partly to do with the fact that the mid-range Acenta is one notch up Nissan’s spec-ladder than the X-Trail XE we had on test.

Turbo four

The big mechanical difference is that the Qashqai petrol models come with more modern turbocharged engines, versus the larger normally-aspirated units in the X-Trail, and our long-termer has a 1.2-litre turbo four rated at 85kW and 190Nm.

The 1.2T engine offers fair performance once on the boil, and some who have driven it even mistook it for a two-litre engine. But it is very laggy off the mark and you really have to concentrate on your clutch work to achieve even a reasonably decent pull-off.

Fuel consumption has been good so far, the readout having settled on the 8.0 litres per 100km mark from a normal mixture of town and highway driving.

All considered, this stylish crossover offers good value at R345 900, undercutting many of the usual C-segment SUV culprits despite being so well equipped. You can also skimp on a cheaper Qashqai, if you opt for the lower-spec 1.2T Visia at R313 900

FACTS

Nissan Qashqai 1.2T Acenta

Engine: 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder turbo/petrol/diesel

Gearbox: Six-speed manual

Power: 85kW @ 4500rpm

Torque: 190Nm @ 2000rpm

0-100km/h (claimed): 10.9 seconds

Top speed (claimed): 185km/h

Price: R345 900

Warranty: Six-year/150 000km

Service plan: Three-year/90 000km.

By Jason Woosey

So who shrunk our Nissan crossover? A few months back, Nissan came and swopped our X-Trail 2.0 XE for one of its smaller brothers in the form of a Qashqai 1.2T Acenta, and it’s been interesting comparing the two.

In the previous generation they were vastly different vehicles, the X-Trail looking all butch and boxy and the smaller Qashqai taking the sleeker approach to modern crossovers. Now they’ve been amalgamated onto the same platform, and as a result you can see a very close resemblance in the frontal design and dashboard. The X-Trail is still the bigger and more practical of the two, being 263mm longer, while the Qashqai has sportier intentions with its more slanted rear end.

Though the Qashqai’s racier styling and smaller dimensions do make it less practical than the X-Trail, it’s still entirely viable as a family car - rear legroom shrinks from XL to large while the boot’s been reduced from huge (550 litres) to somewhere around medium-large (430 litres). Loading taller objects can be a struggle though, due to the shorter boot aperture.

What the Qashqai loses in space it makes up for in style and even the cabin finishes seem a bit classier, although that also has partly to do with the fact that the mid-range Acenta is one notch up Nissan’s spec-ladder than the X-Trail XE we had on test.

Turbo four

The big mechanical difference is that the Qashqai petrol models come with more modern turbocharged engines, versus the larger normally-aspirated units in the X-Trail, and our long-termer has a 1.2-litre turbo four rated at 85kW and 190Nm.

The 1.2T engine offers fair performance once on the boil, and some who have driven it even mistook it for a two-litre engine. But it is very laggy off the mark and you really have to concentrate on your clutch work to achieve even a reasonably decent pull-off.

Fuel consumption has been good so far, the readout having settled on the 8.0 litres per 100km mark from a normal mixture of town and highway driving.

All considered, this stylish crossover offers good value at R345 900, undercutting many of the usual C-segment SUV culprits despite being so well equipped. You can also skimp on a cheaper Qashqai, if you opt for the lower-spec 1.2T Visia at R313 900

FACTS

Nissan Qashqai 1.2T Acenta

Engine: 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder turbo/petrol/diesel

Gearbox: Six-speed manual

Power: 85kW @ 4500rpm

Torque: 190Nm @ 2000rpm

0-100km/h (claimed): 10.9 seconds

Top speed (claimed): 185km/h

Price: R345 900

Warranty: Six-year/150 000km

Service plan: Three-year/90 000km.

Follow me on Twitter @JasonWoosey