Nissan Qashqai SUV - Practicality & boot space
The Nissan Qashqai offers plenty of storage space and a clever boot for easy loading
Although it has the looks of a big, sturdy SUV, the Qashqai is virtually the same width and length as a Ford Focus hatchback. That means it should fit easily into the average single garage. It's considerably taller than the Ford, though, and provides a more commanding view of the road, although some people might find it slightly intimidating to drive. Only an extended test run will answer that question.
That lofty driving position allows good visibility when entering and exiting parking spaces, although as the rear windscreen is mounted high, the parking sensors provided as part of the Smart Vision Pack are a must-have. Front, rear and side colour parking cameras are standard on Tekna cars, too.
Nissan Qashqai interior space & storage
There’s plenty of head and legroom in the front seats, and there should be room in the back for all but the tallest adults – though headroom is not quite as good as in some rivals. The panoramic glass roof eats into rear-seat headroom, but gives an increased sense of space – and could help rear-seat passengers who suffer from travel sickness. Unlike the first-generation Qashqai, the latest model isn't available with seven seats. The company only offers this option in the Nissan X-Trail SUV.
With a 430-litre boot, the Qashqai can hold more luggage than 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. There's also a false floor, which can be arranged in 16 different positions to prevent your luggage from sliding around. It's worth bearing in mind that the Renault Kadjar has a bigger 527 litre boot and better parcel shelf arrangement.
A tyre-inflation kit is fitted as standard. These can be tricky to use and will only repair certain punctures. We'd recommend choosing the optional spare wheel, which is available from dealers as an aftermarket accessory.
The Qashqai's electric parking brake frees up space for cup-holders and a storage area between the front seats. You'll also find deep door bins, a large glovebox and numerous other storage areas dotted around.
Although the doors all open wide, access can still be made tricky by the car’s relatively tall stature. There’s a more noticeable step up into the Qashqai than you’ll encounter in a regular family hatchback - although the extra height might make it easier to get young children in and out.
The 1.5-litre diesel has a towing limit of 1,500kg, while the 1.3-litre petrol can tow a 1,300kg braked trailer or match the diesel in 158bhp guise. In comparison, a 2.0-litre diesel-engined Kia Sportage can tow 2,000kg, so while the Qashqai should be able tow enough to satisfy most families, it's far from top of its class.