- We help pick the right engine and trim for you
- Emissions as low as 99g/km help cut tax costs
- Petrol and diesel engines both worthy choices
The original Nissan Qashqai became a firm favourite with fleet drivers, with company car sales making up 63 percent of Qashqais sold in the 2012 financial year.
Now there’s an all-new Qashqai with sharper looks, improved interior quality and more fuel efficient engines. It’s an excellent all-rounder and you can find out all about it in our detailed review here.
It’s set to continue the previous model’s fleet focus, with 60 percent of new Qashqais expected to go to company car drivers and 40 percent to regular retail buyers.
There are four engines (two petrol, two diesel) and four trim levels to choose from – but which makes the best company car choice? Let’s look at engine choice first:
Best for running costs: 1.5 dCi
Nissan expects the top fleet seller to be the 1.5-litre dCi diesel in Acenta trim (more on trim levels in a bit). That’s largely down to its headline CO2 emissions figure of 99g/km.
Any car that dips under the magic 100g/km CO2 mark is always on to a winner on the BIK tax front and the 1.5 dCi (which is the smaller of the two diesel engines available – the other is a 1.6) also offers an impressive claimed average fuel consumption of 74mpg. Even if you don’t get near that figure in day-to-day driving, average consumption around the 60mpg mark is still entirely possible.
Best around town: 1.2 DiG-T
Not everyone wants to drive a diesel and if most of your journeys are likely to be urban-based then the entry-level petrol engine could make sense.
It’s only 1.2-litres in capacity but thanks to modern turbocharging technology it actually offers better acceleration figures than the old 1.6-litre petrol engine in the original Qashqai.
Carbon dioxide emissions are rated at 129g/km and Nissan reckons it’ll average around 50mpg.
What’s more, it’s an impressively smooth and quiet engine on the road. The only downside is a lack of responsiveness from low revs – on faster roads you need to work it fairly hard to make progress.
Nissan expects the 1.2 petrol to be the most popular engine of the range.
Best for driving in traffic: 1.6 dCi Xtronic CVT
If you’re after an automatic gearbox, there’s one option in the 2014 Qashqai range – a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) which can be combined with the larger 1.6-litre diesel engine only.
It’ll return 119g/km of CO2 and a 61mpg average (for reference the manual version manages 115g/km and 64mpg). Expect to pay more than £1,300 extra for the auto ’box, though.
Nissan calls the gearbox the ‘Xtronic’ and unlike many other CVT-type automatics it features steps in its delivery designed to make it feel more like a normal gearbox and avoid the strange ‘rubber band’ feeling common to this type of transmission. On the road it’s a user-friendly experience and it’s expected to make up around 10 percent of overall sales.
All the engine options described above are two-wheel-drive but if traction is a priority for you then you can spec the 1.6-litre diesel Qashqai with four-wheel-drive. Expect poorer CO2 emissions and fuel economy as well as a higher P11d value, however.
There are four trim levels: Visia (the entry-level grade), Acenta, Acenta Premium and Tekna (the range-topper).
The Visia is the most affordable and comes with essentials such as a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and manual air-conditioning. For most drivers, however, it will come down to a choice between Acenta or Acenta Premium.
If you’re happy to pay the extra £1,800 or so in overall P11d value the Acenta Premium version is the nicer car to spend time in, with a self-cleaning rear view camera, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors and a huge glass roof that makes the interior less claustrophobic.
The plush Tekna trim comes loaded with kit including all-LED headlights and, heated leather seats and a heated windscreen but its inflated P11d price makes monthly payments less palatable and its larger 19-inch wheels will harm CO2 emissions.
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