Urban crossover might be the smartest vehicle Calgarians drive

It didn't take long with the 2019 Nissan Qashqai to realize it's not a typical crossover. On the contrary, it might be the smartest car I'll ever drive.

Whether it's intelligent all-wheel drive or intelligent cruise control, rear cross-traffic alerts or pedestrian detection, the upstart CUV's semi-autonomous features collectively find a shortcut to my inner geek.

But is that what makes Nissan's urban crossover so smart? Or is it the Qashqai's versatility?

In its maiden voyage on Calgary's roads with me at the helm, this urban commuter fends off a quintessential spring Alberta snowstorm, collects my parents from the Calgary International Airport, drops one daughter off at dance practice and picks up the other daughter's 24-inch bike from Canadian Tire's repair shop. Dry pavement or snow-covered, four passengers (with luggage) or one, rear seats up or down, the Qashqai is a vehicle that fits my life.

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And that's why it's so smart. Or should I say, why Nissan is so smart. The automaker knows what it's doing with the Qashqai. It's built a vehicle fits with most Canadians' everyday needs.

I ask Tyler, Brasso Nissan's resident delivery specialist, who he see typically buying one of the dealership's most popular 2019 models, and he hesitates. Not that he doesn't have an answer. It's because there isn't a tidy box to capture the first-timers, empty-nesters, young families and, yes, weekend adventurers who drive off the dealership's lot.

Not too big, not too small, the Qashqai is a Goldilocks solution to drivers like me looking for a perfect fit. It can manage a grocery trip to Superstore with its handy "Divide-N-Hide" reversible cargo panels. It's big enough to make me feel safe in traffic as I merge onto Deerfoot Trail. And it's small enough to easily navigate through the Telus Convention Centre parking lot for an evening work function.

The Qashqai also offers plenty of creature comforts that speaks to my inner auto diva. Apple Car Play uploads my phone's contacts, maps and audio apps so I can access it off the seven-inch colour touchscreen. But not in an overwhelming over-the-top way. It's easy - a theme the Qashqai touches on over and over again.

Meanwhile, a surprisingly luxurious two-tone interior makes the borderline subcompact feel much larger than it is (good call on those white leather seats!). At one point early in my extended test drive, I find myself outside the Qashqai in the Deerfoot Meadows' parking lot to make sure I'm in the right vehicle.

The Qashqai owes its high IQ to how easily it slides into life - even if that life is full of snow, groceries and mountain bikes!

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Experience the Qashqai yourself with a test drive today at Brasso Nissan. Located in the Calgary Auto Mall, Brasso Nissan has been part of the Calgary community for more than 50 years, and offers a vast selection of new and pre-owned models. All customers also enjoy access to a fleet of no-charge service loaners, door-to-door shuttle service, car washes and complimentary car care clinics.

By Jamie Zachary

Content & Innovation Specialist - Western Canada



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