Nissan has spoilt motorists for choice with special editions of the Qashqai, with the slick Midnight Edition the latest iteration of the popular small SUV.
It flaunts its moniker with a Midnight badge on the rear and a street-smart look featuring Nissan’s signature “V-motion” grille, this one in gloss black, and matching gloss-black roof rails and side mirrors.
Stealing the show are 19-inch glossy black alloy wheels and low-profile Michelin treads.
The Midnight Edition is priced at $35,900 plus on-roads, with keyless entry and close, push-button ignition, LED daytime lights, rain-sensing front wipers and an electronic parking brake included for the price.
Open the doors and illuminated Qashqai kick plates light your way.
Audio features and connectivity deliver with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, digital radio, Bluetooth audio streaming with voice recognition and sat nav with traffic monitoring.
Active safety includes blind spot warning, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert and intelligent driver alert.
There’s also cruise control, but you’ll need to keep your foot on the brake going downhill otherwise the speed won’t adjust — all while the digital readout flashes incessantly as you’re over the limit.
Inside, it’s restrained luxe with suede-like microfibre and leather upholstery on seats with two-way lumbar support and six-way manual adjustments.
Much of the interior trim is shared with the premium ST-L and Ti grades — except for the black plastic door handles in our car, which seemed a bit stingy compared with the rest of the fit-out featuring different materials and textures, with just a touch of gloss black around the 7-inch touch screen which is easy to use.
There’s mix of soft and hard plastic, with a cavernous centre console with a USB point.
As with all other Qashqais, power is from a 2.0-litre petrol engine with continuously variable transmission. There’s enough power, but acceleration isn’t always smooth. Get up to speed, however, and you’re cruising.
The ride is rather firm, partly because of the big wheels, while we found the bonnet’s design made it difficult to park the car and gauge bushes without relying on the camera as you turned into a spot.
Otherwise, visibility is good.
We saw fuel consumption between 7.7 and 9.9L/100km in highway traffic, jumping to 11.9L/100km on short suburban trips, compared with the manufacturer’s stated 6.9L/100km.
But we did even better with 6.4L/100km (6.3L/100km in Eco mode) on a couple of straight freeway runs.
Night driving is a pleasure with Nissan’s adaptive front lighting system, where the low-beam headlights track with the steering angle to provide good illumination on curving roads.
Cargo space is a decent 430 litres. Fold down the second row and it more than triples to 1598 litres, which is handy when you’re loading up with plants and potting mix
- Price: $35,900
- Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
- Outputs: 106kW/200Nm
- Transmission: CVT automatic
- Fuel economy: 6.9L/100km