You’d have to pinch us to believe this classy little Nissan SUV was pre-owned

We recently had the opportunity to test a Motus pre-owned Nissan Qashqai 1.5DCi Acenta Plus, appropriately enough over a weekend my son and I were to join family for a camping weekend at the Vaal.

The latest specification Qashqai entered the SA market in 2018 and despite it going into its third year on sale, this car still does a brilliant job with that ‘I’m enjoying it’ feeling. Getting in and driving was intuitive and hassle free as if we had owned the car for some years.


Very well equipped, our Qashqai packed 19-Inch alloys, it has daytime driving lights, privacy glass tinted side and rear windows, silver roof rails and a towbar. Step inside to a neat multifunction leather steering wheel to help operate its Multi-Media Infotainment system. That includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, CD-Player, USB and Aux connection and a reversing camera with park distance control too.

Add climate and cruise control, hill-start assist and an onboard trip computer, seat warmers and a 12 volt socket, while the safety net stretches to six airbags, Isofix Mountings and ABS anti-skid brakes with EBD; Lane Change Assist and Stability Control.

The leather power driver’s seat with cloth Inlays is comfortable, although I found the window sill a little high, as I like resting my arm there when driving long trips. This was not really a problem though, as my arm naturally settled on the soft padded door arm rest. Interior finish impressed with quality soft materials and a centre console with deep cup holders helping with access to the gear lever without bumping your drinks over.


There’s plenty of boot space too at 430 litres standard and up to 860 litres with the rear seats folded down. We filled the boot and found the rear parcel shelf easy to remove, as we needed that last bit of space to pack everything in.

Heading out of the city onto the freeway before a crazy stretch of potholed road and finally a stretch of dirt, proved a keen test for our used Nissan. Shod with a trendy set of 19” alloy wheels, and 225/45 R19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, we enjoyed the security of that full size 17-inch steel spare wheel.

Powered by an 81 kW 260 Nm 1.5-litre turbodiesel turning the front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox, Nissan quotes 4.2 litres per 100 km economy at 109 grams per kay CO2. We achieved 6.6 litres per hundred at Reef altitudes.

Qashqai has a light clutch and a direct, firm and easy-shifting box, although I felt that second gear ratio was a bit long for this small turbodiesel engine at altitude on the Reef. Brakes are sharp at slow speeds, yet comfortable with great feedback at higher velocities. It did not take long to adjust to the foot pressures as required.


Once the weight gets going, the smooth and quiet little 1.5 Diesel has plenty of torque and pulls strong from about 2,200 rpm. With 6 gears you have plenty choice to suit the need. Driving around town is nippy, so keeping the engine within the torque curve is a must, but performance is quite safe and acceptable for a 1.5-tonne daily commuter.

Qashqai’s 1475 kg kerb mass, a useful 1875 kg GVM and that handy suspension and wheel combo delivers a surprisingly comfortable ride and felt well planted without any surprises. Even making last second adjustments with the combined braking and steering input while fully loaded with heavy camping kit aboard, it was surprisingly well behaved.

Available at a Motus Pre-owned dealership, our Qashqai comes in at R439K versus a R497K current new vehicle price. Which means a R58K saving compared to new.

Our sampler had 7805 km on the clock, but you still get the remainder of Nissan’s 6-year 150,000 km warranty and 3-year 90,000 km service plan, so you’re covered for four more years on the warranty and a year on the servicing. Which you can either do at 15,000 km intervals, or get yourself a new plan once this one runs out.


So if you’re looking for a good looking well-built reliable and comfortable 5 seater crossover that performs well and barely sips fuel, this Motus as-new used Qashqai 1.5DCi Acenta Plus ticks most of the boxes at a sixty grand discount. Packed with luxury and safety features, it may be short on some latest gismos, but most of the essentials are there and a lot more too.

Styling is still sharp and build quality all round is right up there with the premium brands. Best of all is that we hardly noticed that this was a used car — you’d easily have fooled us that it was still brand new! — Ken Hawkins

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