An Amarok, CX-5, Ranger and Qashqai walk into a bar. Stop me if you’ve heard the one about special black editions…
You should know: Blacked out details on a vehicle are nothing new, the long-accepted colloquial term is “murdered out” and usually applied to wannabe bad boys on the eastern American seaboard. Unfortunately (in my opinion) this trend has swept car culture in general and it arrived on our shores not too recently.
VW has the Amarok Dark Label, Ford countered with their Ranger Thunder, Mazda came up with a CX-5 Carbon and Nissan – no doubt in a flat panic about rapidly diminishing synonyms for “black” – chose “Midnight” for this darkened version of their Qashqai. There you go, soccer moms: instant street cred.
More info: Setting yours apart from mere mortal Qashis (ag, sies tog) are the black roof, black roof rails, black mirror caps, black 19-inch alloys, black front bumper inserts and the black radiator grill. The interior is black already (aren’t they all?) but you get extra blackness on the air vents, gear knobs, seats and floor mats.
What else? Actually, they have a dash of red in them, and thankfully there are a few less morbid items to cheer you up inside this stylish crossover’s cabin. Chrome door handles, crisp instruments, colour trip computer, cool climate controls and a Bluetooth / nav smartphone-ready infotainment system, for instance.
Why you shouldn’t: Most of the posh Qashqai derivatives are only shipped with the dreaded CVT auto-box, although I hasten to add that this one got the same lecture as most of its contemporaries. This means that it does its best to simulate gears (and gear changes) as to avoid the constant rpm-drone everyone seems to hate so much.
Why you should: The 1.2 turbo-petrol motor has a decent amount of poke (116hp), the ride is fairly comfy for suburban family trips and Nissan claims just 6.2L/100km average from the sensibly large 65L tank. Real world scenarios may differ but careful driving should yield a range of almost 1,000km!
Added to that, Nissan provides a fairly huge 6-year/150,000km warranty and a 3-year/90,000km service plan in the very competitive price just shy of R500,000.
|Engine:||1.2L i-4 turbo-petrol|
|Transmission:||Multi-step CVT, FWD|
|Avg. cons.:||(claimed 6.2)|
|0-100km/h:||11.57 seconds (claimed 12.9)|
|Top Speed:||(claimed 173km/h)|