5 reasons why you should come over to the high side with Nissan’s capable, popular crossovers the Qashqai and X-Trail
Once upon a time, sedans ruled the car market without question. Times have changed, and now it’s sport utility vehicles (SUVs) aka crossovers that are the fastest growing segment, and even encroaching on sedan sales here in Singapore.
If you look at cars like the Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail, then you won’t wonder why. The Qashqai, after all, was Singapore’s best-selling crossover in 2016, and it’s become even better since then. Along with the X-Trail, it was face-lifted in 2017.
So if you’ve wondered what all the fuss about crossovers is about, then read on to find out why – from two of the best examples available.
1. They elevate the senses
A high-riding position is one of the key attributes of a crossover/SUV. Drivers find it appealing because it allows for better sight-lines and overall vision, but don’t forget that everyone onboard gets the same positives as well.
Is it really that different? Well the Qashqai, is 1,595mm tall, and the X-Trail towers at 1,740mm. Compared to a regular Japanese sedan at 1,500mm tall, that’s a 10-centimetre difference. It may not sound like much, but try standing on a small step and tell us the difference. Big, isn’t it?
It also helps that the driver’s seat of the Qashqai and X-Trail are very nice places to be with their leather upholstery, D-shaped steering wheel, and power adjustability with memory function. Nissan’s LED headlight with Adaptive Front Lighting System also means you’ll enjoy the same superior view even at night.
2. Do More
Part of the shift towards crossovers and SUVs is the fact that they feel roomier than cars with lower rooflines, such as sedans and coupes. The high roofs of the Qashqai and X-Trail are emphasised by the fact that they have panoramic sunroofs as standard equipment, which makes the cabin feel even more spacious and airy.
But SUVs have an association with an active lifestyle because they can literally do more. For the same reason that it’s easier to fit things into a large square box (the wide loading space of a Qashqai) rather than a narrower, shoe-box shaped rectangle (a conventional sedan’s boot).
It’s far easier to pack a bicycle into the rear of a Qashqai, thanks to its fold down rear seats and big cargo space – it has a generous 430-litre boot that expands to 860-litres.
The X-Trail is even more cavernous, going from 135-litres with seven seats in play, to 445-litres, and finally, a colossal 1,900-litres.
3. You’ll drive better – without doing a thing
A better car makes for a better driver, and Nissan takes that concept forward with its approach – Nissan Intelligent Mobility – making the car more than just an appliance, but a partner in your goal of a safe, smooth time behind the wheel.
There are a number of advanced systems onboard that help you drive in the best way possible – these include Intelligent Trace Control, Intelligent Engine Brake, and Intelligent Ride Control. We won’t explain the full workings of these systems here, but in a nutshell, they use the car’s existing systems (brakes, engine and more) to allow it to handle better, and to deliver a more comfortable ride.
The best part is that you, as a driver, simply have to drive the way you always do. No extra action is required on your part, and indeed that’s the whole idea – so your drive in a Qashqai and X-Trail, or indeed any Nissan model with these technologies – is easier and safer, even if you don’t realise it.
4. Up the ante with cool crossover style
We can’t explain why fashion or trends exist, but the takeaway is this: Crossovers are cool.
We can, however, explain what makes the Qashqai and X-Trail a handsome looking duo.
Both display Nissan’s strong, clear design language, most clearly exemplified by the V-Motion grille (see the chrome ‘frame’ around the Nissan logo?), while LED daytime running lights add an instantly recognisable visual signature in the form of a solid shape of light on the front end.
Crossover DNA is displayed clearly with the tall profile of the cars, the contrast fenders, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, and large alloy wheels. So if you do have the good fortune to become a Qashqai or X-Trail owner, you can tell people why it’s cool.
Another aspect of an elevated motoring experience – in the luxurious sense – is having more capability and quality right in front of you when you drive. With features like steering wheel remote controls, Nappa leather (on the Qashqai Premium), sunroofs, and as explained, extensive safety systems and advanced driving aids. It really is a more luxurious type of motoring, for a not-so-luxurious price.
5. You’ll feel safer, but be safer too
A high-riding position and more interior room makes crossovers feel safe – but ‘feeling’ and ‘being’ aren’t the same thing. In the case of Nissan’s crossovers though, it is.
Both cars boast class-leading safety features. That includes six airbags, in form of dual front, and dual side curtain SRS airbags for total occupant safety, Vehicle Dynamic Control and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.
Those features could actually be perceived as the least you can do these days, and naturally the Qashqai and X-Trail go even further than that.
Both cars have Intelligent Emergency Braking, a system that detects an impending collision and warns the driver, or if the driver does nothing, will brake automatically to mitigate the severity of the impact.
Besides the Intelligent Adaptive Front Lighting mentioned, the cars also have Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, that not only gives you a full 360 view – selectable for front, side and rear too – that makes parking a cinch, it also warns you of people or other obstacles that are moving while you are.
Additionally the Qashqai 2.0 Premium can also lay claim to being the safest car in its class. Besides all the features mentioned, it also has Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert,
Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent Driver Alertness, which are all features that are rarely found in this price range or on East Asian cars.