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Cash comes off the Qashqai

NISSAN continues to enjoy a golden run with its medium-size SUV the Qashqai, something of a trend-setter when it was launched and a vehicle with a lot to like about it.

The Qashqai is comfortable in a hot section of the market, offering buyers a vehicle that is fully at home in both worlds.

It has a dual personality — at home gliding around the inner city streets with a family of five safely on board, then transforming into something of a devil on the open road where it can really take off.

That large digital speedo right in the centre of the dashboard is something to be closely watched. With its high power-to-weight engine putting out 106kW at 6000rpm and 200Nm of torque from 4000rpm it can creep up on you.

The cruise control is useful on the open road if you do not want to regularly donate to the New Zealand government.

Nice to know that you are not too generous with the oil sheiks —the Qashqai has admirable fuel consumption of 6.9 litres/100kms. A lot of that can be credited to the high-tech six-stage CVT automatic transmission, which deserves credit for imperceptible changes in gearing.

The Qashqai comes with a full to overflowing goodies bag.

The test drive model was the STL, the middle of three variants and a good spot to get a handle on the Qashqai.

Included in that is dual zone climate, an electronic parking brake, five-star safety rating, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, a reversing camera (all Qashqais have these) and the comfort of the Nissan Connect infotainment system including Pandora and hands- free phone connectivity powered by Google and Facebook.

Sitting above you is the daddy of them all, a panoramic sunroof that extends all the way back to the boot, taking in the rear seat passengers.

There is an intelligent key and the electronic parking brake will automatically switch on when you put the vehicle in park and switch off — a boon for the absent minded.

It all amounts to a classic SUV with elevated seating, easy ingress and egress, and comfortable seating for a family of five.

If all that is not enough to tempt you, Nissan is offering a special deal for the month of July that will see $4000 off the price of the STL, enough to tempt Ebenezer Scrooge of Dickens’ Christmas Carol fame.

A comfortable and popular all- round vehicle.