Nissan Qashqai e-Power — The Green Lane
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Nissan Qashqai e-Power — The Green Lane

Is this the UK's most reliable car?

What is Britain’s most reliable car? Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Saunders test drive the latest Nissan Qashqai e-Power…

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The Green Lane: Nissan Qashqai e-Power Review

The Nissan Qashqai e-POWER in the countryside

JT – In the midst of a cost of living crisis, reliable cars we can depend on day-in, day-out ease the pain of rising prices and mortgage rates. Thankfully, a new survey of 50,000 drivers by Which? Magazine has all the answers.

JS – Well, judging by our own experiences, it’s probably not a Land Rover!

Indeed! But it is British-built (unlike the new Defender, which is made in Slovakia) and was also the UK’s best-selling new car last year. Ladies and gentlemen, say ‘konnichiwa’ to the multi award-winning Nissan Qashqai.

Oh, arigatou! I had no idea the Qashqai was built here – or that the Defender was made there. The world’s gone crazy. And now it’s the most reliable car, too. I just Googled the Which? study and an incredible 99 per cent of Qashqai owners reported no faults in 2022. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Yes, it was designed in Paddington, engineered in Cranfield and built in Sunderland. Nissan sold 42,704 Qashqai in 2022 – it’s even recruiting extra staff to build more. And the latest generation model is the first in Europe to be equipped with Nissan’s e-Power technology.

And this model looks a whole lot better than the original Qashqai that was first launched in 2007! The Nissan is positively stylish – a serious rival to the Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage SUVs.

The addition of hybrid technology to the Qashqai will likely be the first time many drivers buy an electrified car.  Many people just aren’t ready to make the jump to all-electric, so this is a stepping stone to the future.

Yes, but the official fuel economy is still only 53.3mpg – likely 44mpg in the real-world. Is the hybrid worth it?

The Nissan has a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbo engine. It sends power to a tiny generator, which powers an electric motor driving the front wheels. Most hybrids do it the other way around – with the petrol engine driving the wheels and the electric motor as a back-up.

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The Nissan Qashqai e-POWER infotainment system

So, I don’t need to plug the Qashqai into a charger?

No cables to fight with, although you don’t really get the benefit of the all-electric ownership experience. It’s not a thrilling drive either. That said, this is a clever car and, with prices from around £35,000, the e-Power is fab value for money.

What’s in the box?

The cabin feels premium. Tekna versions get a 12-inch infotainment system, a head-up display flashed onto the windscreen and decent quality trim. It’s not as futuristic as the new all-electric Nissan Ariya, which also tested recently.

So, I hesitate to ask, but what was the least reliable used car in the Which? survey?

Did you really have to ask? The Land Rover Discovery 4. Don’t say we didn’t warn you… 

Jessica Saunders is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.