Has the Grandfather of crossovers still got what it takes?
Written 2 years ago by Rebecca Donnelly
Would you believe that the Nissan Qashqai has been around since 2006? I wouldn’t have thought that it was that old either because it started a whole generation of cars that looked more like an off-road model than a traditional hatchback. These days there really isn’t all that much in the range that’ll make it any different than the competition because almost every other maker has made a version of the Qashqai but none of them has that name.
When the recession hit Nissan were in a great place to take advantage of the market because it had largely forgotten about the rest of the range. Remember cars like the Primera, Almera and the Terrano were all removed because the Qashqai did everything. Putting all your eggs in that one basket in 2008 and 2009 was a very good move for the Japanese car maker because it had a great product that caught everyone else napping.
It was around this time when the Renault/Nissan alliance started gathering steam as well and that opened up the part sharing that allows both companies access to the technology and engines of the other. Between the two they could save on costs and sell the cars at reasonable prices and if you put that with assembling the cars in England you’ve got a bonus for the consumer.
But Qashqai commanded a premium in both new and used sales and year after year the Qashqai held its value for every trade in. Then the market began to understand that there was some competition for the Qashqai and so began the war for the top spot but that meant toppling the king of the segment; Nissan.
Now there’s a multitude of choice in that segment, Tiguan, Tucson, Kadjar, Rav 4, Duster, Yeti and so much more that it makes the segment very hard to do business in. The Qashqai still does the business for Nissan because there are so many loyal fans out there and Nissan has tried to stay ahead of the game with the kit and equipment. The price is a competitive €25,620 but the segment is so flooded that it’s hard for anyone to make real headway, the Qashqai is Ireland’s fourth best selling car for this year and that’s some achievement for Nissan seeing as the best selling car in Ireland is the Hyundai Tucson and even the Kia Sportage is sitting at number nine. The rest of the top ten are hatchbacks so you can see that there’s been a shift towards ‘normal’ cars and away from crossovers.
Nissan have done a great job at keeping the Qashqai ahead of the game and sitting in the top ten every year but it would do well to start paying attention to the rest of the range as the Pulsar didn’t set the world alight but the Micra seems to have what it takes to make an impression this year. The 2017 fight has started and with all that competition out there Nissan will need to really work hard to keep in that top ten, fortunatly they have a great car in the Qashqai.