16 Dec 18
The Scottish Sun
IF you want proof the Nissan Qashqai has become well and truly sewn into the fabric of Britain, try typing it into your phone.
It’s a completely nonsense word, breaking even the most basic rules of English grammar, but your phone won’t try to correct you.
Nissan’s Qashqai keeps on getting better and the revamped version is more fuel efficient and powerful
No passive aggressive suggestions such as “did you mean ‘cash and carry’?” or “what about ‘quash quickly?’” So popular, it has slipped its way into our lexicon without us even noticing.
How popular? Well, more than three million have rolled off the Sunderland production lines over the past 12 years. Sixty thousand were sold in Britain last year alone.
Flattered by multiple imitations since its launch in 2006, the word Qashqai isn’t far off becoming shorthand for “family SUV”, in the same was as people say “Jeep” instead of 4×4 or “Hoover” rather than vacuum cleaner.
Even so, Nissan must not rest on its laurels — those imitations I mentioned mean the C-segment SUV market has become as crowded as Katie Price’s living room on Christmas morning.
The Qashqai is frequently imitated after changing the SUV market
Pressure from government- enforced emissions regulations equals the pressure from rivals, so for 2019 Nissan is introducing a range of new engines to complement the Qashqai’s 2017 exterior makeover.
“New engines? How boring,” I hear you say. But bear with me, because this is important.
Many of you will drive a Qashqai already.
Those who do, or have in the past, will probably agree it could be accused of being a little boring to drive. Not bad to drive, just dull.
The introduction of a new 160PS 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine — replacing the old 1.6- litre — has changed all that.
The 1.3 litre Qashqai is more slick to drive
While still not head- snappingly fast, the sub-nine seconds 0-62mph time feels urgent and purposeful.
That’s because, while horsepower is more or less the same, this new engine has dumped on an extra 20Nm of torque, making the lower end of the rev band much more responsive.
I was even caught out at slow speeds — a gentle nudge had me lurching ungracefully around a car park.
Around town the extra shove means making gaps at busy junctions is much less nerve-racking.
But this beefed-up Qashqai also attacks country roads with real vigour.
The Qashqai features some excellent touches
If it wasn’t for the painfully flabby and unengaging steering, the 160PS Qashqai could almost be called a sporty SUV.
And the best part? It produces less CO2 and drinks ten per cent less petrol, and the increased efficiency means the Qashqai’s service-interval mileage has risen from 12,500 to 18,000.
That’s money in your pocket, folks.
If you want to save yourself a further £1,100 you can option the same engine in a lower state of tune — 140PS — and for many that’s all the engine needed.
It’s noticeably slower but still competent.
The 160PS Qashqai features a hi-tech interior
Like its bigger brother, the smaller engine smashes all the headline figures of the previous 1.2-litre it’s replacing.
There’s also a new, more powerful diesel in the mix, but Nissan will be lucky if it accounts for even 20 per cent of sales.
There’s one more thing to shout about — the introduction of a dual clutch transmission.
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Gone is the laggy, clunky automatic, in comes a buttery-smooth and joyously linear wet double clutch system which rivals that of VW, the pioneers in this field.
It really is a classy touch. It can only be mated with the more powerful engine but it’s a match made in heaven.
Like VW with the Golf GTI, Nissan is a victim of its own success.
The original Qashqai set the standard, so it has to work extra hard to meet expectations of customers in a saturated segment.
With these new engines, it’s bought itself two more years of being top of the pile.
Swift beemer is bit of a devil
OWNERS of sports cars love nothing more than talking numbers.
Horsepower, torque figures, kerb weight and 0-62mph sprint times all lodged into memory banks to be whipped out any moment the conversation turns towards vehicles.
The BMW M3 is expensive, but you get a lot of car for your money
So when I tell a few petrol-sniffing mates that the £86k BMW M3 CS is only 10bhp more powerful than a standard 444bhp M3 and around 10kg lighter, they don’t seem very impressed.
But this manic M3 is not just about the numbers.
It has been precision engineered to be bonkers quick and ultra-precise around a race circuit or when pounding a punishing road.
Need proof? The crankshaft is lighter and stronger for improved engine response, a magnesium oil pan has been introduced to allow a better flow of lubricant at cornering forces up to 1.4g, and a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic bonnet is 25 per cent lighter than the one on the standard car.
BMW M3 CS is a bit of an animal
Steering is sharper, suspension is tuned for the track and power delivery throughout the range is now better than ever.
This car is an absolute beast. It’s been a while since a vehicle genuinely had my heart beating out of my chest.
But when the M3 CS is flicked into its most hardcore settings, it is a total animal.
The guttural growl of the quad exhaust pipes sounds like Satan sneezing, the steering is pleasingly precise and the generous dollop of torque constantly threatens to unstick the fat Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres at the rear in a cloud of expensive smoke.
BMW M3 CS has plenty of room inside and the interior is flawless
But as with any M3, you can still throw the kids in the back and some shopping in the boot, while Comfort settings are, erm, pretty comfortable.
With just 1,200 models being made and this generation of the mighty M3 slowly being phased out, the potent CS looks set to become a future classic.
It’s a car that lives in a little world of its own and one that is likely to leave number-hungry petrolheads in awe.
[boxout headline=”GO: BMW M3 CS” intro=”Key Facts:”]Price: £86,380
Engine: 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds
Top speed: 174mph
Length: 4.6 metres
Gifts are ride ‘n’ joy
BIKING has come a long way since the days of leather vests and DayGlo all-in-ones. Being seen on two wheels is now bang on trend.
Whether your friend or a family member loves the thrill of a sports bike, or simply enjoys looking cool outside the nearest hipster coffee shop, we have put together a collection of gift ideas for Santa’s list.
The Bell Eliminator Helmet is highly comfortable for the rider
Bell Eliminator helmet, £349.99, urbanrider.co.uk: Bell’s racing pedigree means this helmet has the latest safety tech but also packs bags of style.
Available with a peak (for that meaty scrambler look) and a variety of visors, it is one of the lightest and most comfortable helmets money can buy.
Belstaff Brooklands jacket, £525, belstaff.co.uk: Classic styling meets modern technology.
This 8oz waxed-cotton masterpiece boasts the latest D30 T5 EVO X removable shoulder and elbow protectors, as well as sealed seams for protection against the British weather.
Dainese D-Core socks, £22.95, dainese.com: Christmas would not be complete without the gift of socks. But these breathable bad boys have been designed specially for the most comfortable, ergonomic fit.
Compression tech reduces vibration and optimises blood flow, and the high cut fits snugly into protective boots.
Deus Ex Machina Warren washbag, £40, urbanrider.co.uk: Deus Ex Machina is arguably the hippest motorcycle/surfing/lifestyle brand in the business right now and its range of rucksacks, duffle bags and hold-alls have been designed to complement each other. This washbag is the coolest way to transport a toothbrush.
Knox Urbane shirt looks great but its design principle is safety
Knox Urbane armoured shirt, £159.99, legacy85.co.uk: Big, bulky biking jackets are so yesterday. It is now all about riding in a casual shirt or hoodie, but this raises a few questions about safety.
The Knox armoured shirt can be worn underneath any garment to provide abrasion resistance, as well as shoulder, elbow and extensive back protection.
Racer Forge Urban heated gloves, £195, urbanrider.co.uk: Banish freezing-cold hands with a pair of clever, electrically heated bike gloves. Operated by a small rechargeable battery, these hand-warmers look the business, offering three heat settings and six hours of heat on a single charge.
Tissot T-Race Marc Marquez watch, £642.40, store.motogp.com: Limited to 4,999 pieces, this Swiss-made 2018 model features orange and black detailing, the Spaniard’s racing number on the back and its own helmet display case. A must for any MotoGP fan.
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