Car trim reviews

Nissan Qashqai Visia

The Nissan Qashqai Visia is an outstanding family car and a refreshing alternative to a conventional compact hatchback or SUV.

Nissan may now have the Pulsar hatchback to rival the Ford Focus or VW Golf, but fortune favoured the brave when they struck gold with the Qashqai back in 2007. It's about as long and as wide as the Golf, but has the high-riding looks of a 4x4. That means that it has the easy access and commanding driving position of the latter but the fuel economy and emissions of a regular hatchback.

The Visia is the entry level Qashqai, and is offered with a 1.2-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engines. The engines are designed to offer a good balance between performance and economy. All engines are available with stop-start to help improve fuel consumption further, and all Visia models come with Bluetooth connectivity, electric heated door mirrors and a 5" touchscreen monitor as standard.

Good points

Spacious, easy to get in and out of, versatile and comfortable…the Qashqai has all the attributes of a sensible family car that doesn’t cost too much. It’s safe and reliable, too, although there have been a number of recalls in the past. Add a big, rectangular boot and solid build quality, and it’s no wonder it has sold in such numbers and spawned a host of copycat models from other manufacturers.To drive, it’s light, stable, safe and undemanding, with low running costs and respectable fuel consumption. The only worry is that resale values are a bit weak, largely because of the numbers sold. The petrol engines are Nissan’s, while the diesels have been adapted from Renault units.

Bad points

The interior trim, although solid and seemingly unbreakable, is not up to the quality of rivals such as the VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra, and Nissan as a brand, rather than the Qashqai as a car, does not have the most dynamic image. The result is that secondhand values are merely average, not least because of the numbers out there.Given the family connotations this car has, the rear isn't all that spacious in the grand scheme of things. It also doesn't help when rear visibility isn't great either, so we'd recommend speccing the Smart Vision pack which comes with parking sensors to help alleviate the issue.

What you get

  • Folding rear seats
  • Alarm
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Rear electric windows
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Smart Vision pack

Our choice

The 1.2-litre petrol engine is suitable for most needs. The economical 1.5-litre diesel is a good choice if you travel long distances.

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