Nissan Qashqai: Cold starts

Qashqai feels the chill

With temperatures registering as low as –9 degrees C, along with a generous helping of snow, the Qashqai has had to cope with old-fashioned winter conditions. One thing I frequently notice about a vehicle is how well (or badly) the heater and air conditioning unit works.

They differ quite considerably with some blasting hot air equivalent to a summer’s day in the Caribbean and others cooling you to the polar-regions. Unfortunately even with the heater on ‘High’, the Qashqai lacks that ‘cosy’ feel. The air gets warm, but not hot.

Even after a journey of 15 miles into work, allowing the engine to properly warm up, the heater is in no real hurry to get to a respectable hot output. On the flip side, the rear-heated screen totally clears within a couple of minutes.

Icy roads

12-inches of snow has really put the Qashqai to the test. Our two-wheel drive model coped reasonably well, even managing to crawl up a small incline, but my fairly long sloping drive was too much. Although the Qashqai did well to be defeated - there was more than a foot of snow!

This was where the four-wheel drive version would have been ideal. The extra traction would have made a huge difference in these conditions. But the extra gorund clearance of the qashqai compared to a standard car meant I was often able to venture where a hatchback couldn't.

Current mileage: 3325

Average mpg: 45.0