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Nissan Australia invited me to Hepburn Springs, in country Victoria, to spend International Women's Day driving the new Nissan Qashqai e-Power with a wonderful group of women, including… Renée Bargh! Nissan Ambassador, singer, dancer, presenter (with two Emmy awards), interviewer of the stars and, her favourite of all, mother to her beautiful son Tide.

Renée Bargh in a Nissan Qashqai e-Power

I got to have a lovely little chat with Renée Bargh about her time driving the Nissan Qashqai e-Power, motherhood, and kids in cars and ask who's the better driver, her or her BFF Delta Goodrem! So settle in and enjoy!

BabyDrive: How did you and Tide find the drive to Hepburn Springs from Melbourne airport in the Qashqai e-Power?

Renée Bargh: The drive down was actually really lovely. It was close to Tide's nap time, so it was a little bit dangerous! (All parents have felt that fear!) I had actually to try and keep him awake, that was my challenge because he was so comfortable back there. It was so smooth, and we were on country roads, so I was expecting to feel the road a little bit more than usual road surfaces. But it was so lovely and smooth, so quiet. And yeah, he just seemed really cosy back there.

BabyDrive: Could you reach back in the Nissan Qashqai e-Power to pass Tide things if you need to?

Renée Bargh: I could. I had my Mum with me (she was in the back with Tide), and she's a Godsend. So she was back there trying to keep him awake the whole time. But at one point, I did need to throw the dummy over, and it was really nice and close and easy to reach him, which was surprising because of how roomy and big it felt inside. But I was able to reach his car seat, which you can't in a lot of cars. As a Mum, that's something so important and something I never thought of until I had Tide. Until you have kids, you don't realise how important the backseat is! You don't realise a lot of things until you have kids!!

BabyDrive: How is Tide at travelling in the car? Does he like being in the car?

Renée Bargh: He does now. It's so funny because I was the girl on Instagram asking to ‘please tell me what to do to get my kid not to scream every time I put him in the car'! It was torture, I avoided trips for a while and then, all of a sudden, something switched. It might have been getting the Nissan X-Trail e-Power?! I don't know, but something happened, and he just loves it now. I try to time all my long drives around his naps because who wants to sit in the car facing backwards for more than an hour? I get that it would get boring, but I have a lot of tricks and tips and songs that we play to keep him happy.

BabyDrive: Are there any songs that you play? Or do you have to sing to Tide in the car?

Renée Bargh: I love to sing, and he loves to sing, too. But there is that happy song. It goes ‘ding ding ding the bicycle'. Oh my gosh, it drives me nuts. He loves it and stops crying. It's crazy! It used to be the Shussssh track that was the thing when he was younger, which is literally just someone saying Shussssh. It's a Spotify track, it's ridiculous, but it worked and he'd stop crying. And now it's the happy song. He really likes this band called Jungle, which is a really cool band. Every song of theirs gets him smiling and happy again. So we're lucky as it's a bit easier for us to listen to. Otherwise, it's The Wiggles on repeat as well.

BabyDrive: How do you find the boot of the Qashqai e-Power?

Renée Bargh: Again, I was really surprised by it. I brought a cot with me because I have a baby that is not an amazing sleeper. So I have to bring all of our things wherever we go, and I have to cart a huge suitcase, and another small suitcase for Tide and a couple of bags and everything fits really well in the boot. So I thought that was pretty good. I'm definitely not a light traveller, that's something I'm working on! Also, with work, I always feel like I need to have a change of clothes, and now I have extra things like a pram for the baby and stuff like that. So, the boot space is definitely important.

BabyDrive: How does Tide like his Infasecure Momentum More convertible child seat?

Renée Bargh with her son Tide in an Infasecure Momentum More child seat installed to a Nissan Qashqai e-Power

Renée Bargh: He loves that seat! I've never used that seat before. That is a great seat. It is similar to the one we have at home, but I feel like he is actually a bit more reclined than usual in the Momentum More. So he was very cosy and comfortable. Mum had to work hard to keep him awake in it!

InfaSecure Momentum More

BabyDrive: Do you like driving? Is that something you've always liked doing?

Renée Bargh: I love driving! I mean, prior to having a baby, driving was my time to make phone calls. Because a lot of my friends are overseas, I always found that that's my time just to be focused and have good conversations. Podcasts were another thing I loved.

Now, it's a little different. But I still love it. Especially when it's a car that I love to drive, I think it makes a huge difference. How nice is the Qashqai's panoramic roof? It is insane. It's like driving a convertible! Actually, I could only have it open halfway because Tide has really sensitive eyes. I had it fully open, and I was enjoying it, and my Mum said, “He's squinting. I think it's too bright for him.” So I was like, ‘I'm sorry, kid, I'm blinding him', but Mum was loving it too so I had it open halfway instead.

BabyDrive: My kids love the panoramic roof because they can see all the trees and sky while driving and at night they can look out at the stars in the night sky, and the festive lights around Christmas time too.

BabyDrive: I know Delta Goodrem is your Bestie, who is the best driver you or Delta?

Renée Bargh: Oh, she'll kill me. I don't know if I'm gonna be honest about this or not. If you ask Delta, I think she would say me. But she would also say if we want to get somewhere quickly, and VERY quickly, it would be her! She is a good driver. But she's gonna kill me; I'm gonna leave it at that. There's so much more I could say!!

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Tace Clifford
About Tace Clifford
Tace Clifford founded BabyDrive in 2017 after discovering a huge information gap in mainstream car reviews that left new parents and expanding families in the dark when it came to one of the biggest purchasing decisions of their lives.

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