Nissan Qashqai SUV
Price: £17,595 - £27,845
- Great all-rounder
- Excellent build quality
- Low running costs
- Rear visibility could be better
- Rear seats can feel cramped
- Expensive top-spec model
"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 new Nissan Qashqai builds on the success of the original by establishing itself as the best small SUV or crossover on the market. It's more spacious, comes with more equipment, is more comfortable and is cheaper to run than the old one.
The latest version still has the great visibility offered by the 4x4 styling, but is even better to drive thanks to more comfortable suspension and improvements to the handling.
Cabin and boot space are slightly bigger, though still not the biggest in class, and the car feels more solidly built than before. More than ever, the Qashqai is a rival to traditional hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf on space, running costs and quality but it can now hold its own in a crowded crossover market that contains cars like the brilliant Skoda Yeti and Kia Sportage.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Improved diesel engines make the new Qashqai even cheaper to run
As is the norm with modern cars, the most economical Qashqai models are the ones with diesel engines. The 1.6-litre diesel version will do 65.7mpg and emits 115g/km of CO2, but we think the smaller 1.5-litre diesel is actually the one to go for - it's smoother, quieter and cheaper than the 1.6-litre version and is even more economical, with impressive economy figures of 74.3mpg and 99g/km of CO2. The 1.2-litre turbo petrol model will do 57.6mpg while emitting 129g/km of CO2 and the more powerful 1.6-litre turbo petrol version will do 50.4pmg with CO2 emissions figures of 132g/km.
Nissan Qashqai prices are on a par with its rivals but you tend to get more equipment as standard for your money, particularly on the safety side. The new Qashqai is predicted to hold on to its value relatively well too, so you can expect a decent deal if you decide to sell or part-exchange in a few years time.
Interior & comfort
Refined, hi-tech and solidly built cabin
The interior of the new Qashqai is about the best you can get in the crossover class of cars in terms of quality, with lots of technology and soft-touch plastics across the dashboard. Some of the materials in the less seen and less used areas of the cabin aren’t quite as good, but overall the interior feels plush and well made. The car is more spacious and much more refined than the old one, so engine and road noise is much quieter, especially on motorway drives.
Practicality & boot space
Plenty of storage and clever boot for easy loading
The Qashqai is now more spacious than ever, with plenty of room for passengers and luggage. The boot has a capacity of 430 litres, which is actually only 20 litres more than before, but it does feature a flat-loading lip and floor that makes putting awkward items into the boot a lot easier.
Despite the optional glass roof eating slightly into headroom for rear passengers, there is decent legroom and headroom inside the car for all but the tallest people.
Plenty of storage compartments are dotted around the cabin and the electric handbrake frees up space for more cupholders and storage between the two front seats. Deep doorbins, a large glovebox and a number of cubbies make the inside of the Qashqai a practical place for a family journey.
Reliability & safety
Wide range of safety technology as standard
The new Qashqai is available with plenty of safety features thanks to Nissan's Safety Shield technology. Although they’re not all available on the entry-level model, you can spec things such as front collision avoidance, lane departure warning, drowsiness detection, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition and cameras to help you park – for added peace of mind. Range-topping Tekna models get park assist too, so the car will even park itself if you’re nervous about doing it yourself!
The Qashqai gained all five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests, scoring particularly highly for driver and child protection, so families can be sure of high levels of safety in the event of an accident.
Engines, drive & performance
Smooth diesel engines, comfortable suspension and predictable handling
News that the Qashqai now has a slightly firmer suspension might scare some potential buyers, but it shouldn’t as the change is more about letting the driver feel in touch with the road surface rather than giving the handling a sporty edge. The car still copes well with bumps and potholes, including the models with bigger alloy wheels that traditionally do worse on rough road surfaces.
The Qashqai's 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine has been improved, so not only do you get great economy but you also get an engine that pulls well and performs more smoothly. Around town it responds quickly to the accelerator pedal and the car's six-speed gearbox is well suited to the small diesel engine.
The Qashqai isn’t a really sporty car but the steering is reasonably responsive and is light enough in cities that the car is easy to manoeuvre in heavy traffic and tight spaces. On twisty roads, the car feels safe and predictable, too.
Price, value for money & options
The Qashqai offers lots of equipment at a competitive price
The Qashqai is available in four different specifications – Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium and Tekna. The entry-level Visia is well stocked with kit compared to the outgoing model, and as you move up the range you get a car increasingly laden with gadgets and technology. The top-of-the-range Tekna has a level of equipment to rival a premium saloon like the Mercedes E-Class.
There's been no increase in price for the Qashqai, despite the improvements and new technology featured on the car, so it's even better value-for-money than the old one. The car should retain more of its value that some of its rivals despite its popularity, so second-hand deals should be easy to come by when the time comes to sell.
What the others say
"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: 6 Mar 2014