At first we didn’t believe the driver information center of the 2015 Nissan Qashqai we were driving. It would reset itself every time we restarted this U.K. spec model we were driving in Scotland, and every time we did so, it would display numbers in the high 40’s, more often 50’s, and if we hit the primary roads, it would touch or exceed 60 miles per gallon.
We expected good things from the Nissan Qashqai (pronounced, we were told, “cash-ki,” after nomadic tribes in northern Iran) with the 1.6-liter turbodiesel and six-speed manual transmission. But for a compact crossover—slightly smaller than the U.S. market Nissan Rogue—this was other side of the moon. Fifty miles per gallon in a crossover?
Then we checked the official specifications…and those numbers were even more spectacular. Using the EU standards, the Nissan Qashqai with the manual transmission and 1.6-liter diesel was rated at 53.3 mpg urban, and 67.3 mpg extra-urban!
Forgive the use of the exclamation point. We’d even use the word “awesome,” but we’ll reserve that word for comedian Bill Engvall’s definition of having Shania Twain meeting him at his hotel room wearing nothing but a fur coat, and holding a note from my wife saying, “have a good time.”
As Engvall said, that would be awesome. He also said, it ain’t gonna happen. And it really didn’t happen for us. We forgot that the English “Imperial” gallon—and yes, the UK hasn’t fully surrendered to the French system of liters and meters—is bigger than our gallon. Oops. So the low 50’s miles per gallon in Britain moved to the U.S. is the low 40’s mpg.
At least their miles are the same as ours. Or technically speaking, our miles are the same as theirs. We have no idea why our gallon is smaller. Perhaps you could look it up and tell us. And we have no idea why Canadians went to the metric system other than to truly confuse American visitors. It goes with their using a smaller dollar and calling it a looney.
But we digress.
The actual conversion of Brit to Yankee miles per gallon for the Nissan Qashqai is 44 mpg city/56 mpg highway.
Still, that’s still darned impressive, and we’d still marvel at the U.S. miles per gallon if we had seen those numbers first. They’re far outside anything we’ve seen in a similar sized crossover in the U.S.
In the Nissan crossover spectrum, the Qashqai s larger than the Nissan Juke but smaller than the Nissan Murano, both of which are sold in the U.S. and the UK. It’s also smaller than the North
American market Nissan Rogue which has a wheelbase of 106.5 inches and is182.3 inches long.
In the UK, the 2015 Nissan Qashqai is available with four engines, two gas and two diesel, the gas engines including a 1.2-liter turbocharged four with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT, and a 1.6-liter turbo gas engine available only with the CVT. Both gas engines come with front-wheel drive only.
The diesel versions of the Qashqai include a 1.5-liter available with only front wheel drive, or the 1.6-liter we tested. The 1.5-liter is gets phenomenal fuel mileage, at least if the testing procedures are to be believed. We were more than satisfied with the economy of our test 1.6-liter diesel with the manual, however. Nissan claim a 0-100km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration of 9.9 seconds. That’s quicker than the CVT, with 11.1 seconds, or the 6M/4WD at 10.5 seconds. You pay for the economy of the 1.5L diesel with a 0-100 km/h time of 11.9 seconds.
The torque of the 1.6-liter doesn’t make it feel slow, however, coming strong off the line, though it starts to run out of breath in the 4000s rpm and signs off at five grand. Short shifting doesn’t hurt acceleration as it put the engine back in the meat of the torque band. Still, there were times entering a motorway from a roundabout left us wishing for more oomph to merge in among the lorries and Vauxhalls towing caravans.