Review

Nissan Qashqai SUV

Price  £18,545 - £28,990

Nissan Qashqai SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Very practical
  • Comfortable ride
  • Versatile family car
Cons
  • Pricey top-spec version
  • Tight rear legroom
  • Poor rear visibility

At a glance

The greenest
Acenta 1.5 dCi 110PS 5dr £21,960
The cheapest
Visia 1.2 DIG-T 115PS 5dr £18,545
The fastest
Tekna 1.6 DIG-T 163PS 5dr £25,380
Top of the range
Tekna 1.6 dCi 130PS 4WD 5dr £28,990

“There’s no denying the Nissan Qashqai has consolidated its position as one of the class leaders.”

While the original Nissan Qashqai of 2007 broke the family-car mould, this second-generation model is very much a case of evolution, rather than revolution. It's taken the successful recipe of the previous iteration and tweaked it, rather than starting all over again.

That's no bad thing, however. After all, as the saying goes: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So for this model, Nissan has tweaked the styling and made the car even more practical than before. In general, it's worked, as despite the high quality of the opposition – such as the Mazda CX-5, Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson – it's still hard to make an argument against the Qashqai.

As a family car, the Nissan ticks an awful lot of boxes. As long as you don’t go for the very top-spec version, it's reasonably priced, while the selection of petrol and diesel engines available are generally pretty efficient and provide enough oomph for day-to-day use.

Of the two petrols, we’d recommend the turbocharged 1.2-litre version. It develops 113bhp, which should be plenty for most people, while its running costs are significantly better than the 161bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre's. The less powerful petrol will return around 50mpg, while CO2 emissions stand at 129g/km, which means a £110 annual tax bill.

However, the biggest seller is the 109bhp 1.5-litre diesel. With a six-speed manual gearbox and smallest available wheels, it’ll return just over 74mpg, while its CO2 emissions are rated at just 99g/km This makes it exempt from road tax for private buyers, while company-car drivers will only be liable for 19% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax.

You can have your Qashqai in one of four different trim levels – Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna. Standard equipment is pretty generous, with even the entry-level model coming with Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, heated door mirrors, air-conditioning, as well as front and rear parking sensors. Our favourite trim level – Acenta – adds extra features like alloy wheels, a more flexible boot space, automatic lights, alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and automatic wipers for not much more than the Visia.

Obviously, as a family car, the Qashqai has to be practical, and for the most part it is. It's slightly disappointing that there's no seven-seat version – you need to upgrade to a Nissan X-Trail if you want two extra seats – but it the Qashqai has a good-sized boot and enough room in the back for three children. Try to sit three adults across there and you might struggle, but three kids and all their paraphernalia will be able to travel without much fuss.

Alongside practicality, safety is obviously a massive concern for parents buying a family car. There's no need to worry, however, as the Qashqai received the maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, as well as plenty of standard safety kit. This includes all the mandatory equipment you’d expect, such as a variety of airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, tyre-pressure monitoring and ISOFIX child-seat mounting points.

There's also electronic brake force distribution (which sends the optimum amount of braking force to the wheels that can deal with it best) and hill-start assistance (which prevents the car from rolling backwards during a hill start).

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.8 / 5

Despite looking like an SUV, the Nissan Qashqai offers frugal diesel engines that make it particularly cheap to run

Engines, drive & performance

4.2 / 5

The Nissan Qashqai offers a pair of smooth diesel engines, comfortable suspension and predictable handling

Interior & comfort

4.5 / 5

The Nissan Qashqai boasts a refined, hi-tech and solidly built interior with a decent amount of equipment

Practicality & boot space

4.5 / 5

The Nissan Qashqai offers plenty of storage space and a clever boot for easy loading

Reliability & safety

3 / 5

The Nissan Qashqai is very safe, but owners are critical of reliability

What the others say

4.3 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
“The new Nissan Qashqai was marked down for reliability and build quality in our Driver Power 2014 customer satisfaction survey, but it ranked 21st out of 150 cars.”
4.5 / 5
"The Nissan Qashqai's practicality credentials have been boosted for the new-generation model, with greater interior space and luggage capacity."
4 / 5
"While the ride can be a little jittery around town over patchy surfaces, it smoothes out nicely on motorways and A-roads."
9 / 10
"The latest Qashqai builds on the strengths of that original model, offering more style, space and equipment, along with better fuel economy and sharper handling."
What owners say 
2.8059701492537
2.8 /5 based on 67 reviews
42%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
14 Jun 2016
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