Welcomed at BB Hatfield Nissan, a Dealership promoting both the Datsun and Nissan brands, I am eager to get up to speed with this popular SUV. Dealer Principal Marcel Moolman is a man on a mission, running the dealership with humility and passion that is evident in the quality of service his team provides. With an impressive track record and a client-based philosophy, Marcel believes that selling cars is not about how well you know the car, but rather, how well you know people. Exuding confidence and genuine care for the contentment of his clients, Marcel has infused his team with the same values that he seeks to uphold.
Sales Representative Jacques Steyn impressed me from the start with his incredible passion for the Nissan brand. He notes that the Nissan brand is well known for their bakkies and their ability to combine leisure with practicality, and as such, the Nissan catalogue has become popular for its spread of vehicles that cross the 4X4, SUV and Comfortable vehicle categories. As an experienced and enthusiastic Sales Representative, Jacques is eager to share the good news of Nissan with his customers and the world in general.
A driven and very empathic Sales Executive, Chris Fourie, meets with me to talk about Nissan. 17 years of experience in the motoring industry (9 of which have been dedicated to Nissan), he’s developed a sense of understanding and love for clients which Chris believes is what makes his work so successful. By putting customer service first (having learned this in the Finance industry), Chris’ philosophy is responsible for bringing back many repeat buyers and their referrals too. Chris is very open about the integrity of the Nissan brand, and although his loyalty lies with this Dealership, feels the brand itself is such a remarkable brand that every client can also rest assured that any Nissan dealer in the country will be there to serve them, should they need it.
This Crossover SUV has a combination of practicality and the comfort of a family vehicle. What I like about the Qashqai is that it doesn’t lean either way into Sporty or Comfort, but seems quite a good compromise. The sharp, sleek design of the Qashqai culminates in the v-shaped grille – which identifies well with Nissan. I love the angular headlights that give off quite a posh bearing, which is designed to increase visibility.
The Qashqai has the rugged look of an SUV with its raised ride-height, whilst emulating the elegance of a sedan. I particularly like the integrated turn signals in the mirrors, which are eye catching and modern; the standard 19-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels are also a head-turner and gives a nod to the sporty character I mentioned earlier.
The interior of the vehicle is well finished and has great, high-quality materials for that luxury feel. The seats are electronically adjustable to highlight comfort and is scientifically designed in order to reduce fatigue by maximising blood flow around the body. The driver’s side feels spacious and boasts ample head and leg room. There is also a vast amount of boot space (which you can reconfigure in numerous ways to your advantage) and is ideal for my pets, my children’s bags or even a good old shopping spree.
Although the display is not touch screen, the infotainment system offers Bluetooth connectivity. The steering wheel is multifunction and above the steering wheel is a colour display that relays real time infographics to you regarding vehicle systems, caller ID and the likes.
The new generation Qashqai has aerodynamics that reduces drag, increased performance and maximises fuel efficiency. The feel of the vehicle is smooth with no noticeable body roll. At only 139 g/km for the 1.6 litre variant, the Qashqai produces low Co2 emissions. Thanks to the on-board Active Trace Control systems, it proves to be poised and responsive in terms of handling. It also comes standard with Active Ride Control which allows the wheels to slow down independently over rugged terrain, in order to smooth out bumps in the cabin. Taking it up a notch, in the 4-wheel drive variant, the vehicle can also automatically detect slipping on the wheels, and power-up the Nissan All-mode 4×4 iSystem to equally distribute torque between the wheels for better traction control.
To prevent driver fatigue, lane drifting or delayed brake reaction, there are sensors strategically placed in and around the vehicle. To my mind, the Qashqai seems to be the ideal family vehicle, lending itself to practicality, functionality, safety and comfort all wrapped into one, stunning combination. At a starting price that is easily in the same ball park as some hot-hatchbacks, the Qashqai is also affordable and comes standard with more features than many other competing vehicles in its class.
Back at the Dealership, I am once again reminded that the attending team is incredibly well-versed on their products and services. The team also informs me that the Used Cars division of the dealership have a strict quality assurance process that stipulates that only vehicles within their warranty period are sold as Used Cars. The Dealership emphasises that buying a used car from this dealership should be akin to buying a new one – each used car on the showroom floor is as close to new as possible, ensuring that the client is supplied with the best possible vehicle for their budget, whether that is new or used.
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson