Sound & Style: a Qashqai that appeals to the senses
It's always good to celebrate a success, and Nissan has done just that with the introduction of the Qashqai Sound & Style. Marking a record-breaking run for the innovative crossover that has seen sales across Europe comfortably exceed 250,000 since its introduction last year, the new special edition provides even more in the way of creature comforts.
Unashamedly luxurious, it's based on the top-of-the-range Tekna model, so the specification already includes such items as dual zone climate control, full length panoramic glass roof, Intelligent Key and xenon headlamps.
Sporting unique 18 inch alloy wheels, Sound & Style also adds an exclusive Nightshade paint – a purple-black colour – that perfectly sets off the satin silver finish to the roof rails, door handles and front grille. For those who fancy something different, paint choice extends to Blade Silver, Pearl Black and Arctic White.
Moving inside, the sophisticated upholstery is trimmed in Graphite half leather with red stitching, alloy pedals providing a finishing touch.
Given the name it comes as little surprise to learn that the Qashqai Sound & Style has a pretty special sound system, too. As well as a standard six disc CD autochanger, Nissan's collaboration with audio specialists Bose has delivered a hi-fi designed specifically to suit the acoustic qualities of Qashqai. To ensure valuable cabin space remains uncompromised, Bose has developed a range of small, slim loudspeakers that use compact and lightweight neodymium iron boron magnets able to do 10 times the work of a similarly sized ferrite magnet without sacrificing acoustic performance.
Two 1.5 inch tweeters, four 6.5 inch wide range speakers – one in each door – and a 5.25 inch woofer housed in a custom-built 7-litre enclosure mounted in the spare wheel deliver a sublime aural experience.
Bose calls its woofer design Richbass and it lives up to the name thanks to its high degree of cone ‘excursion' or movement which enables it to produce the low-frequency output of a much larger, heavier speaker.
The finishing touch is a multi-channel digital amplifier with custom equalisation and digital signal processing – in other words it can deliver a full and detailed sound that approaches live performance levels without distortion.
Otherwise Sound & Style offers all the key attributes of the standard Qashqai that have proved such a hit – its special brew of family hatchback, MPV and SUV, combined with immense practicality, a fun-to-drive attitude and an attractive design.
Qashqai Sound & Style is available now with either 2.0-litre petrol or diesel power, six-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive, priced at £19,199 and £20,599 OTR respectively.