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Nissan Qashqai earns five stars

Smashing: Nissan’s Qasquai has earned a five-star safety rating in Europe, which means it should do the same here.

ENCAP ticks Nissan Qashqai’s safety report – with a ticking off for whiplash result

Nissan logo27 Feb 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

NISSAN’S Dualis replacement, the British-made Qashqai small SUV, has breezed through Europe’s new-car assessment program (ENCAP) crash tests, recording a five-star result.

One of the few quibbles that Europe’s independent vehicle safety analysts had about the compact five-door wagon was the performance of the front-seat head restraints, which they said provided only marginal protection from whiplash in a rear-end collision.

However, the vehicle still scored an 88 per cent pass rate in occupant protection, which was sufficient for the maximum star rating.

The five-star result is likely to be carried over by Australia’s NCAP engineers when the Qashquai replaces the Dualis on the Australian market in the third quarter of this year, provided the same level of safety equipment is included in the Aussie version.

The Qashqai scored an 83 per cent pass in child occupant protection, and 79 per cent in “safety assist” – the rating of mostly electronic safety systems such as seat-belt warnings and ESC.

The vehicle is offered with an optional autonomous emergency braking system in Europe, but it is as yet unclear if that device will make it Down Under.

The Qashqai’s lowest rating was a 69 per cent pass for pedestrian protection.

While the Qashqai was lauded for the way the bumper protected a pedestrian’s legs, outer sections of the bonnet and A pillars were criticised as “predominantly poor”.

In Australia, Nissan has opted to scrap the Dualis name and go with the Qashqai moniker used in Britain, Europe, New Zealand and elsewhere in the previous generation.

The engine line-up and pricing are being kept under wraps under closer to launch, but GoAuto expects the new model to arrive with the latest small-capacity turbo-charged petrol – and possibly diesel – engines now on offer in the United Kingdom.

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