Sprint Review: 2022 Nissan Qashqai 1.3T Acenta Plus

Nissan was onto something long before the car-making crowd realised that most of the planet suddenly craved a soft-roader SUV. Although we sometimes wonder why they complicated things with the name…

You should know: Qashqai not only refers to three generations of compact crossover Nissans, it’s also connected to Turkish tribes and languages; according to the interwebs. As Eastern Europe isn’t always a happy concept for some western nations, this vehicle is also called “Dualis” or “Rogue Sport” in countries which are far, far away from Turkey.

More info: This gen-3 model arrived somewhere in 2021 and follows the avalanching crowd of crossovers by being terribly stylish, highly efficient and – at least in our market – very well kitted out. Local buyers have the choice of three trim levels: Visia, Acenta and Acenta Plus. I briefly test-drove the latter, top-dog version.

This meant we found fancy leather, keyless gadgets, excellent climate control, LED headlights, auto lights and wipers, various drive modes, tyre pressure monitor, high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, cool parkings aids, smartphone-enabled infotainment, shiny 18-inch alloys, six airbags and a full raft of driver aids at our disposal.

What else? Every Qashqai in southern Africa is powered by a 1.3L turbo-petrol 4-cylinder engine with a manual gearbox (Visia) or CVT (Acentas) driving the front wheels only. Visia gets 96kW and 240Nm while the fancier Acenta derivatives have their wicks turned up to produce 110kW and 250Nm.

Why you shouldn’t: A lot of people will have recoiled and possibly fled at the sight of the word “CVT” because these toothless transmissions tend to drone, drag or delay during attempts at forward momentum. Happily, Nissan is certainly on par with modern rivals by having programmed this CVT very nicely.

Sure, it can still produce rubber-band sensations while caning it, but the gearbox really does its utmost to mimic gear changes and extract the best from its considerably small host. Having typed that, a 1.3 turbo seems perfectly acceptable in a world filled with 1.4, 1.2 and even 1.0 turbo-charged soft-roaders.

Why you should: A big upside of the small turbo motor is claimed average consumption. Nissan alleges just 6.1L/100km from the generous 65L tank. We saw a few litres more in daily traffic but observed that a steady right foot should yield better results. Performance is also not too shabby, with an 8.9 second 0-100km/h sprint time and top speed of 206km/h.

To sum up, the new Nissan Qashqai can easily keep up with its competitors on every front… be it looks, space, gadgets, safety or comfort. It’s competitively priced at R670,000 (570 or 640k for lesser models) and comes with a generous 6-year/150,000km warranty and 3-year/90,000km service plan.

Turkish lessons not included.


Engine:1,332cc in-line 4-cylinder turbo-petrol
Transmission:0-speed DCT, FWD
Max. Power:110kW @ 5,500rpm
Max. Torque:250Nm @ 3,750rpm
Avg. cons.:Claimed 6.1L/100km
0-100km/h:8.9 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed:206km/h (claimed)
List Price:R670,600

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