Nissan Qashqai SUV

Review

Nissan Qashqai SUV

Price  £17,995 - £28,280

Nissan Qashqai SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Great all-rounder
  • Excellent build quality
  • Low running costs
Cons
  • Rear visibility could be better
  • Rear seats can feel cramped
  • Expensive top-spec model

At a glance

The greenest
Acenta 1.5 dCi 110PS 5dr £21,330
The cheapest
Visia 1.2 DIG-T 115PS 5dr £17,995
The fastest
Tekna 1.6 dCi 130PS 5dr £26,580
Top of the range
Tekna 1.6 dCi 130PS 4WD 5dr £28,280

"The original Nissan Qashqai was a groundbreaking car and the new model is even better - the new Qashqai shoots straight to the top of its class." 

The Nissan Qashqai SUV is a crossover that is car-like to drive, but has the styling of an off-roader. Buyers can choose between four-wheel drive for extra grip in slippery conditions or two-wheel drive for better fuel economy. Rivals to the Qashqai include the Skoda Yeti, Kia Sportage, Peugeot 3008, and the Hyundai ix35.

Engines include a 1.2-litre petrol, plus 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre diesels. The 1.5-litre diesel is our pick. It feels quick enough for a car like this and is also very cheap to run. All Qashqais are fun to drive and relaxing at motorway speeds.

The Qashqai is an ideal family car, with a boot that's larger than the ones you’ll find in conventional family hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf.

All Qashqais come equipped with items such as front and rear electric windows, cruise control, air-conditioning, and an engine stop-start system to save fuel. Customers can choose from basic Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium, and top-of-the-range Tekna trim levels. 

 

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.6 / 5

Improved diesel engines make the new Qashqai even cheaper to run

The Qashqai is impressively cheap to run when compared to conventional SUVs. The most economical version is the 1.5-litre diesel, which can return economy 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions of just 99g/km. The second figure means the smaller diesel is exempt from paying road tax.

The 1.6-litre diesel has more power, but economy drops to 64.2mpg and emissions rise to 115g/km. It costs £30 per year to tax. The larger diesel engine is the only one that can be mated with four-wheel drive. With it fitted, economy is 57.6mpg and emissions rise to 129g/km, for free road tax in the first year, plus a standard rate of £110.

The 1.2-litre petrol is still the most expensive model to run, it can achieve 50.4mpg and return CO2 emissions of 129g/km for road tax that is free in the first year and £110 annually thereafter.

Insurance ranges from group 14 in the 1.2-litre petrol to group 19 in the 1.6-litre diesel. Nissan offers fixed-price services that start from £149 on petrol models and £159 on diesel cars. All Nissans come with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty that is shorter than the ones offered by manufacturers such as Kia, Hyundai and Vauxhall.

Interior & comfort

4.2 / 5

Refined, hi-tech and solidly built cabin

The Nissan Qashqai feels well built inside, with plenty of soft-touch plastics. Most of the buttons are easy to find and the infotainment system is intuitive to operate. Getting comfortable is easy thanks to a driver's seat that adjusts for height and a steering wheel that can be adjusted for rake and reach.

Once underway, the Nissan makes for an excellent motorway cruiser, with only a whisper of wind noise making it into the interior. The car's raised ride height gives the driver an excellent view of the road and the suspension absorbs all but the worst bumps.

Practicality & boot space

4.2 / 5

Plenty of storage and clever boot for easy loading

There is plenty of head and legroom in the front seats of the Nissan Qashai, and there should be room in the back for all but the tallest adults. Acenta Premium and Tekna models come fitted with a panoramic glass roof that does eat into rear-seat headroom. Unlike the old Qashqai, the new model is not available with seven seats. Nissan only offers this option in the new Nissan X-Trail.

With a 430-litre boot the Qashqai gives more boot space than you would get in a Volkswagen Golf (380 litres). Seats that fold flat and the lack of a boot lip also mean you can slide heavy items into the load bay, and it's easy to fit them in thanks to the huge boot opening.

The car's electric parking brake frees up space for cupholders and a storage area between the front seats. Hunt around the interior and you’ll also find deep door bins, a large glovebox and numerous other storage areas dotted around the cabin.

Reliability & safety

4.5 / 5

Wide range of safety technology as standard

In our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey the Nissan Qashqai did well to come 21st out of 150 cars. It scored particularly well thanks to its comfortable suspension and in-car tech. Inside, it feels well-built, but is still not up to the standards of a car such as the Volkswagen Golf.

Nissan only finish 22nd out of 33 in our 2014 Driver Power manufacturer's rankings, however. That still means it finished ahead of rivals such as Ford, Vauxhall and SEAT.

When it was crash tested by Euro NCAP the Nissan Qashqai achieved the full five stars. It comes with stability control and six airbags. Buyers can also choose options such as automatic autonomous braking, lane departure warning, drowsiness detection, blind spot warning, and traffic-sign recognition. Top-of-the-range Tekna models also get park assist, which means the car can detect a suitable parking space and affectively park itself. 

Engines, drive & performance

4.2 / 5

Smooth diesel engines, comfortable suspension and predictable handling

The Qashqai is surprisingly entertaining to drive on a twisty road thanks to suspension that resists body lean and steering that is heavy at speed so that its doesn’t respond to every little steering input. Even if you choose to fit the larger alloy wheels, the car's suspension should remain comfortable in most situations. The Nissan's raised ride height also gives the driver a good view and Tekna models get camera's located all round the car.

Even though the 1.5-litre diesel doesn’t make the Qashqai fast, it does have plenty of power for motorway cruising and gets from 0-60mph in 12.4 seconds. If you are willing to sacrifice some economy, the larger 1.6-litre diesel gets from 0-60mph in 10.5 seconds. The 1.2-litre petrol is the least economical and gets from 0-60mph in 11.3 seconds. The 1.6-litre diesel fitted with grippy four-wheel drive makes the best tow car and can pull a maximum of 1,800kgs.

Price, value for money & options

4.4 / 5

The Qashqai offers lots of equipment at a competitive price

Even the basic Nissan Qashqai Visia comes fitted with equipment such as a Bluetooth phone connection, cruise control, air conditioning and a five-inch TFT display. The Acenta model adds to that list with smart-looking alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, electric folding door mirrors, plus auto lights and wipers. Buyers can also choose the Smart Vision pack, which adds safety features such as autonomous braking and auto-dipping headlights.

Acenta Premium adds a seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav system, and keyless start and go. It also gets the Smart Vision pack as standard, making it the best trim level to go for. The Tekna model adds items such as powerful LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, and an around-view monitor. It also gets park assist as standard, which makes parking the car easy.

Nissan's should hold their value better than rival models from companies such as Mazda, Ford, Hyundai, and Vauxhall.

What the others say

5 / 5
based on 1 review
  • 5.0 / 5
    "The new Nissan Qashqai adds a huge range of clever in-car technology, some impressively economical petrol and diesel engines and a choice of manual or Xtronic automatic gearboxes. The interior quality is as good as it gets in what is now a crowded crossover class."

Last updated 
10 Jul 2014

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