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Qashqai 1.2 Turbo Acenta CVT | Nissan

Date of Release: January 2018
Number of Reviews 1

With a redesigned exterior and an updated interior, the 2018 Nissan Qashqai 1.2 Turbo Acenta CVT is an evolutionary result of its predecessor.

The Torque Rating:  



SUV/MPV Lifestyle

School run dice
Sticky finger proof
Easy access boot
Baby seat fitment
Climate control


In terms of styling, the revised front facade, redesigned alloys and smoother lines give the Qashqai an enthusiastic look.

The well-appointed cabin of the 2018 Qashqai is the perfect blend of luxurious amenities and class-leading comfort. Furthermore, a host of nice-to-have features and comfortable seats make it perfect for those long-distance journeys.


The Qashqai employs a Nissan’s four-cylinder 1.2 turbo-petrol engine. Coupled with a smooth CVT transmission, it develops 85kW and 165Nm of torque.  In terms of ride comfort, the Qashqai’s agile handling and responsive steering make it stimulating to drive.


The well-appointed Qashqai comes fully equipped with a wide host of safety and driver assist systems – designed to enhance your driving experience. Standard equipment includes ABS with EBD, brake assist, adaptive cruise control, electric parking brake and hill start assist.  


Imagine being the brave car designer who put forward the plans for a car that wasn’t quite a hatchback but wasn’t a 4x4 either – it was something in between. Even braver was the boss that approved it! On that day, the crossover segment was born with a car, South Africans in particular, took a while to pronounce correctly. The Nissan Qashqai – the original pioneer of the ever-popular cross-over segment.

3.3 million units later, this top-selling model receives a number of important updates, keeping it a relevant choice in today’s tough market. Nissan SA recently launched this popular car in the heart of Johannesburg, under the theme “#CityProof”. Based on the styling updates, it’s clear that Nissan intends this to be a tar-biased car, with the top models featuring particularly flash-looking mag wheels, wrapped up with some very low profile, 19-inch tyres. If you intend going off road, best you look at the Qashqai’s bigger brother, the X-Trail (read our full review on the X-Trail here).

What is impressed us the most about the new Qashqai, is that Nissan hasn’t necessarily introduced a thousand new things, but what they have changed has made a big difference. In other words, they have applied some clever engineering.

The new range is made up of three main tiers, entry spec (Visia), mid-level spec (Acenta and Acenta Plus) and finally top spec (Tekna). We still can’t work out why Nissan won’t offer an automatic gearbox in their top spec grade. Anyways, today we focus on:


1.2 T Visia R 334 900

1.2 T Visia + Alloys R 346 700

1.2 T Acenta R 367 000

1.2 T Acenta CVT R 381 000 << THIS CAR

1.2 T Acenta Plus CVT R 394 000

1.5 dCI Acenta R 394 000

1.5 dCI Acenta Plus R 407 000

1.5 dCI Tekna R 434 000

Whilst this middle of the range Qashqai doesn’t include the impressive Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) safety features found in their top of the range Tekna model (the NIM features are arguably the biggest change to the facelifted model), it does offer good value for money. Starting from the outside, exterior highlights include:

  • In line with all of Nissan’s new cars, the new Qashqai features Nissan’s signature V-motion grille. Like the X-Trail, we like how the name badge sits on top of a smooth plastic panel, under which, hides a radar (if fitted), the heart of Nissan’s new clever NIM (Nissan Intelligent Mobility) technology.
  • Good looking halogen headlights, supported by those signature “boomerang” shaped LED daytime running lights. The taillights look particularly good, giving off a 3D look, similar actually to an Audi Q3.
  • Chrome-lined windows, a new shark fin aerial, integrated boot spoiler all add to the car’s contemporary appearance. Our car, however, didn’t feature those flashy mag wheels we spoke about earlier. Instead, you will need to settle with the perfectly adequate 5 spoke 17” mag wheels. The plus side of these wheels is that their profile is taller, meaning that the tyres stand a better chance of surviving a pothole hit.

Other than that, not much else has changed on the outside. The lights do make a big difference though in giving this car a modern look. On the inside, the new Qashqai more premium than ever. Interior styling highlights include:

  • A new D-shaped, multi-function steering wheel that is really easy to use. The cruise control function makes highway driving a breeze.
  • Mostly soft to touch, quality materials, although key parts such as your centre armrest and side armrests are canvas covered in the Acenta spec vs. leather covered in your higher specs. It looks and feels good, we just not sure it will wear as well.
  • The Acenta infotainment system still features, a now fairly dated single tone screen, but on the positive side, the actual housing looks and feels good. It has most of the features you would want, including Bluetooth Audio streaming. An obvious nice-to-have feature that is missing from this spec is a rear-view camera.
  • Great contemporary features include fully automatic climate control, electric handbrake, power-folding mirrors and a self-tinting rear-view mirror. You also get automatic headlights and windscreen wipers!
  • Cabin space if fair, including decent headroom space. Boot size is good at 430l and can be boosted up to 860l by folding down your usual 60:40 split rear seats. Unfortunately, the seats do not fold down perfectly flat.

The main argument of going for a middle of the range spec is that whilst it might not be as feature packed, you are still effectively buying the same shell (the core of the car) whilst paying less. And, the core of this car is great!

Our model included Nissan’s popular 1.2l petrol-turbo engine, linked to decent CVT auto transmission. We say decent as we are normally not fans of CVT gearboxes, but this one didn’t seem to whine as much a reacted a bit better to driver input. Don’t think the engine is too small either… Acceleration and driver response is more than adequate, right from very low speeds up to highway cruising speeds. Road comfort is good with low levels of road noise. Overall, the new Qashqai feels well-built and provides good performance, yet remaining very fuel efficient – claimed fuel economy is 6.2l/100Km with our average coming in at 6.7/100Km.

We also got to drive the 1.5 turbo-diesel engine. It provided a better torque fuel and slightly better fuel consumption. Normally we have a clear favourite but this time we didn’t. In all honesty, you can’t really go wrong with either engine – they are both good.

We enjoyed the Qashqai launch, especially the energy and vibe you get from being in central Johannesburg, but let’s try to imagine what it would be like to live with the new Qashqai on a daily basis – this is how it performed against our SUV Lifestyle judging criteria:

School run dice (3 out of 5): Does your car have enough ‘oomph’ to quickly get past any irritating slow coaches or misbehaving taxis?  Whilst the CVT gearbox will be nice to have when stuck in heavy traffic, it does slightly slow down engine response times – the box takes a second to find its sweet spot. Once it does, the car definitely gets a move on. Better to be safe than sorry – we suggest just cruising along. The 1.2l turbo-petrol produces 85 kW of power and 190 Nm of torque.

Sticky finger proof (3 out of 5)Does your car go from clean to dumpsite in less than 10 seconds, or does it hold its own? Unfortunately, nothing beats leather seats in this department. The cloth seats do feel great and at least have a dark pattern, which will help hide the inevitable grub marks toddlers create.

Easy access boot (4 out of 5): Is your boot easy to pack/unpack, even when your hands are tied up with other things… like your children? Wide entrance, flat floor, these are some the primary reasons families opt to drive SUV’s. We also like that the Qashqai houses a full-size, steel spare wheel.

Baby seat fitment (5 out of 5): There's a good chance you are going to use one of these. Is it as easy as 1 2 3? Rear passenger space feels a touched cramped for adults (mostly in headroom height) but is more than adequate for kids. There are three full back seats, each with their own headrest and 3-point seatbelts. And of course, there are the all-important ISOFIX mounts.  

Climate control (4 out of 5)How quickly can you cool down your car? The Acenta does come with automatic climate control, but unfortunately, there are no dedicated rear vents.


We have no doubt, that these already popular family cars will continue to sell well. Priced at R381k, you don’t only get a stylish, feature-packed SUV, powered by a modern, fuel-efficient turbo engine but additional peace of mind too! Thanks to Nissan’s Assured customer care plan, the car’s price includes a 6-year / 150,000Km warranty (incl. roadside assist) as well as 3-year / 90,000Km service plan. Put those to factors together and this car goes from “CityProof” to “Futureproof”.


  • Effortless drive – really great fuel efficiency combined with great ride comfort
  • Stylish exterior, especially if you can afford the 19” mag wheels. We liked the Vivid Blue and Magnetic Red colours the most.
  • Value for money


  • CVT box slows down performance
  • No keyless entry, start/stop and no park distance control.
  • Single tone infotainment screen

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