Nissan Qashqai SUV - Interior & comfort
The Nissan Qashqai boasts a refined, hi-tech and solidly built interior with a decent amount of equipment
Whichever Nissan Qashqai you choose, all models offer excellent visibility thanks to their raised ride height. The 2017 redesign didn’t dramatically alter the Qashqai’s interior layout, but it brought some improvements to perceived quality.
The latest steering wheel, for example, is less fussy to look at and more pleasant to hold, while many of the surfaces you’ll come into contact with on a regular basis – so called ‘touch points’ – are made from better materials than before. The effect is initially subtle but the cumulative impact is significant, particularly over time.
Nissan Qashqai dashboard
The Nissan Qashqai's dashboard feels well built, with plenty of soft-touch plastics - it's better than the Renault Kadjar in this regard. Most of the buttons are easy to find and the infotainment system is intuitive to use, particularly thanks to a faster processor and more responsive ‘Nissan Connect’ touchscreen added at the end of 2018, which is standard on Acenta Premium and above. Getting comfortable is easy thanks to a driver's seat that adjusts for height and a steering wheel that can be adjusted both in and out and up and down.
Once underway, the Nissan makes for an excellent motorway cruiser, with only a whisper of wind noise audible. The car's raised ride height gives the driver an excellent view of the road and the suspension absorbs all but the worst bumps.
The Qashqai's seats offer good support and are available in a range of cloth trims. The range-topping Tekna and Tekna+ models come with leather upholstery, heated front seats with electric adjustment and manual lumbar support for the driver's seat.
Standard equipment generally impresses, but the entry-level Visia model doesn't feature alloy wheels as standard. All models have a package of electronic driver assistance systems including 'Active Trace Control' (which helps to stabilise the car through corners) as well as air-conditioning and a colour screen in the dash.
Mid-range Acenta Premium cars deliver 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearstick, climate-control air-conditioning and power-folding door mirrors to make for a good-value package. Upgraded technology includes a NissanConnect infotainment system with TomTom Connected services and Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility.
The popular N-Connecta trim features Nissan's Around View Monitor 360-degree camera and NissanConnect, which is a suite of connectivity tools that integrate apps with your phone and offers online services. It also brings tinted rear windows and keyless entry and go. As this is the cheapest model to come with the insurance-reducing Smart Vision pack, it’s our favourite in the range. Now, it comes with the ProPilot driver assistance pack too, if you spec an automatic gearbox.
Tekna cars are fitted with extras like 19-inch alloy wheels, matt silver roof rails, part-leather trim and a nine-speaker Bose stereo system. The Tekna+ brings big car luxuries like quilted, full-leather seats with power adjustment, as well as a panoramic sunroof.
For 2020, Nissan introduced the Qashqai N-Tec which adds black exterior styling, including 19-inch alloy wheels finished in gloss black and tinted LED headlights. On the inside, black Alcantra trimmed seats are standard, as is Nissan’s ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving and parking assistance package.
However, you'll generally find a little more equipment in an equivalently-priced Renault Kadjar.
Nissan doesn’t offer a very long list of options for the Qashqai, but you can get different alloy wheels, bumper protectors, metallic paint and tow bars. The Smart Vision Pack costs around £550 and is a must-have option, as it'll reduce the likelihood of a low-speed crash you should enjoy a lower insurance premium as a result. It includes emergency braking, traffic-sign recognition, a lane-departure warning system and high-beam assist, which dips your full-beam headlights automatically when it detects oncoming traffic.
Entering destinations into the Qashqai’s sat nav system is simple and quick. It’s a shame the map graphics aren’t a little sharper, but getting to where you’re going is easy, something that’s aided further by a second screen that nestles between the dashboard dials. The rest of the infotainment system is similarly easy to use, but it pauses frequently when you’re changing radio stations, for example.
If you choose the self-parking option, be aware that using this is a somewhat involved process. The system gets into spaces relatively well, but you have to move the on-screen ‘parking box’ into the desired location before it’ll operate. You may find it simpler to park the Qashqai yourself, and the 360-degree camera makes this a more hassle-free experience.