The Qashqai is a crossover vehicle that has proved phenomenally successful. Despite no-one being able to pronounce its name – its cash-kai by the way – this vehicle offers the agility and handling of a hatchback combined with the strength of an SUV. Now in its third generation and still the one to beat.
The goodBeautifully styled, richly equipped and great driving dynamics for a crossover
The badPrice is quite steep for high-end models
Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 158PS Tekna+ (2021)
Since its launch back in 2006, Nissan’s Qashqai has been at the front of an ever-growing chasing pack in the compact SUV sector and now there is an all-new third generation model that raises the bar once again.
Nissan lays claim to inventing the crossover sector when the Qashqai was first unveiled offering family-car practicality combined with nice handling and performance.
These days there are models from the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar, plus numerous other manufactures trying to cash in on the rapidly growing sector.
With an eye on future electrification, new Qashqai is only available with a 1.3-litre DiG-T petrol engine with 48-volt mild hybrid technology added to the mix. It is on sale with outputs of 138hp or 156hp and with the option of two or four-wheel drive. And, of course, there are numerous trim levels to choose from.
We opted for the top-of-the-range Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 158PS Tekna+ version with 270Nm of torque matched to an Xtronic automatic gearbox with 2WD. The car could sprint from 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds, maxed out at 124mph and delivers a combined 43.8mpg under stricter WLTP testing, with carbon emissions of 146g/km. It was priced at £36,125, increasing to £37,270 with specialist paint plus a two-tone roof.
New Qashqai sports a fresh look with an extended wheelbase, larger alloys and a front end that features a large Nissan V-motion grille which is finished in chrome. This is flanked by slim full LED advanced matrix headlights with boomerang signature daytime running lights.
Moving inside, the interior is more upmarket too with fine leather quilted seats that are power-operated for convenience, ambient lighting and a wealth of technology to explore.
The infotainment system has been upgraded and includes easy integration of smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in-car wi-fi for up to seven devices and a pitch perfect 10-speaker Bose surround sound system.
Our car also featured a head-up display, 12.3-inch driver tft screen, plus a separate panel to access the climate control settings.
When it comes to performance, the Qashqai once again focuses more on comfort than power, but it’s certainly no slouch. The acceleration through the auto gearbox is nice and smooth with steering wheel-mounted paddles for added driver fun.
There are drive modes called Eco, Standard and Sport that alter the vehicle’s responses. In addition, the ProPilot set-up assists with steering, acceleration and braking and helps maintain the car’s lane position and distance from the vehicle in front which, in turn, helps make motorway driving less stressful.
The Qashqai is grippy through country lanes with minimal body sway into tighter bends and the engine delivers ample zip for short bursts of pace to overtake slower moving vehicles.
The overall length of the new model has increased by 35mm and that, together with the longer wheelbase, means extra space for passengers. There is ample room for two adults in the back, but add a third and it gets a little too cosy.
A powered tailgate offers easy access to the boot which can swallow 436 litres of kit. This limit increases to 1,379 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. A double boot floor is handy for storing items such as muddy boots away from general luggage or it can be raised to act as a partition to stop shopping bags toppling over.
Although the car is yet to be tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating, previous models have achieved the maximum five stars and the third-gen Qashqai boasts a wealth of safety kit with special mention to the clever Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking with predictive function. This is able to read the road ahead of the car in front to detect if a vehicle suddenly brakes and reacts accordingly. Another new feature is a central airbag that protects front occupants in the event of a side collision.
All in all, the latest Qashqai maintains Nissan’s position as ’the one to watch’ in the compact SUV crossover sector. And, in 2022, Nissan is introducing its E-Power to the Qashqai. This will see the combination of a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an upgraded battery unit. The unique appeal of this set-up is that the engine will be used solely to generate electricity whilst the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor.
Nissan Qashqai Tekna 1.7 dCi 150PS Xtronic (2019)
It’s hard to believe it was back in 2006 that Nissan introduced the first crossover car to the waiting world.
That car was the incredibly successful Qashqai and these days it’s ‘the’ car to beat in the sector. And it would seem every manufacturer is doing its upmost to take on the Qashqai by flooding the marketplace with crossovers or compact SUVs – whatever you want to call them.
So, clearly Nissan needs to stay right at the top of its game with every reinvention of the Qashqai and, most recently, the Japanese manufacturer introduced upgraded diesel engines to the mix. And these deliver extra power, improved performance and lower emissions.
We had the opportunity to test out the Qashqai in high-end Tekna trim powered by the latest 1.7-litre diesel unit delivering 150PS and 340Nm of torque, priced at £33,315 (Vivid Blue metallic paint added an extra £575 to the cost).
This engine boasts an extra 20PS of power along with 20Nm of torque and was mated to the highly impressive Xtronic automatic transmission. It could complete the 0-62mph sprint in 11.2 seconds and maxed out at 120mph, while delivering 40.9 to 41.2mpg under the stricter WLTP testing with carbon emissions of 154g/km.
Obviously, the five-door Qashqai is renowned as being a practical, easy to drive, efficient and feature-rich family car and, although it is no longer sold in seven-seat guise, the vehicle still ticks all the right boxes.
Yes, it’s true, there are more dynamic rivals out there and some models certainly offer superior storage limits, but the all-round package delivered by the Qashqai still impresses after all these years.
It’s a car that can carry three adults in the back provided they don’t mind rubbing shoulders. And it has a boot capacity that ranges from 430 litres to 1,598 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats folded flat (reduced to 401 and 1,569 litres on our test car due to the optional superior Bose sound system with extra speakers). Our Qashqai also featured all-wheel drive and could tow a trailer or caravan weighing up to 2,000kg.
First impressions are vitally important and the Qashqai looks striking from any angle thanks to its athletic profile, a V-Motion front grille, sweeping light clusters, silver roof rails, a rear roof spoiler, privacy glass, chrome glass surrounds and 19-inch Diamond Cut alloy wheels.
Step inside and the interior is upmarket with clutter-free styling and the likes of part-leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, carbon-effect dashboard trim, ambient lighting, plus all the techno treats you could possibly wish for.
Creature comforts include the new NissanConnect seven-inch touchscreen navigation and entertainment system, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a pitch perfect Bose sound system, automatic dual zone climate control with pollen filter, Bluetooth with audio streaming and a D-shaped multi-function steering wheel.
So, the Qashqai still looks the business and is a practical family model that is packed with mod cons. But how does it handle when put through its paces? Once again, it’s a winner with good acceleration and a constant stream of power on tap courtesy of that new engine.
The road holding is confident and assured with minimal body sway into bends. In all honesty, it’s a car that’s just as happy out on the open country lanes as it is clocking up high motorway mileage or on shorter trips such as the school drop or weekly supermarket run.
Comfort levels are high with the slightly elevated seats resulting in good all round visibility. The front seats can also be heated and the driver’s side is power adjustable for extra convenience.
Safety is always a top priority for anyone looking for a family car and the Qashqai, with its maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, is packed with features and driver assistance aids to protect occupants and help to prevent accidents occurring in the first place.
Features include anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, tyre pressure monitoring, Isofix fixtures, and a full suite of airbags. The car also comes with Nissan’s Safety Shield+ package that introduces intelligent driver alert, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and moving object detection. There was also a Smart Vision pack as standard on the test car and that added an anti-dazzle rearview mirror, high beam assist, lane departure warning, intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, traffic sign recognition, plus front and rear parking sensors.
All in all, the Qashqai is without question the most established and successful crossover available to buy today, but Nissan has made certain every updated model really ups the ante to keep their car high in the sales charts.
Nissan Qashqai Tekna 1.6 dCi 130 Manual 2WD
When Nissan launched the very first crossover model in the form of the Qashqai it started a whole chain of events that saw manufacturers across the board scrambling to develop their very own car that could also offer a combination of the best family hatchback and SUV qualities.
And since 2006 when that Nissan first made an appearance we have seen dozens of models – some pretty basic and some very upmarket – but it’s the Qashqai that is still leading the chasing pack.
In fact, in the first six months of this year the Qashqai was sitting in fifth spot in the UK best-sellers table which is above the likes of the Vauxhall Astra, MINI and VW Polo. The only cars to sell more models in that timescale are the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Focus and VW Golf.
So it would be fair to say that Nissan certainly struck gold with its good-looking, richly-equipped and very practical car. And when you factor in the impressive driving experience, premium styling and frugal running costs the reasons for the Qashqai’s success really do stack up.
With its athletic stance, the Qashqai looks striking for any angle and those good looks are complemented by 19-inch alloys, a black honeycomb front grille, a panoramic glass roof, satin silver roof rails, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, rear privacy glass and body-coloured bumpers, door handles and mirrors.
Step inside the range-topping Tekna model and the spacious cabin is beautifully kitted out with leather trim and premium quality materials. There are techno treats galore to be explored, including the new NissanConnect 7-inch touchscreen navigation and entertainment system, a six-speaker sound system, CD radio with DAB, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats, cruise control with speed limiter, full colour front and rear cameras, an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control with air conditioning and lots more besides.
The test car was powered by a 1.6-litre 130PS diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 9.9 seconds, topped out at 118mph, offered combined fuel efficiency of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions of 120g/km.
The first thing to mention is how beautifully comfortable the Qashqai is, plus the high roofline and upright seating position mean there is ample room for three adults in the back (at launch the car was available as a seven-seater too, but that option has been discontinued). The dashboard layout is well thought out with all controls and readouts ideally positioned for diver usability and although the car is generously equipped it remains nicely clutter-free.
In and around busy town centres the clear all-round visibility is a bonus, especially as the car is like to be used regularly on the dreaded school run with children, parents and other cars darting out from all angles. The cameras help make light work of parking in tight spaces and with the Intelligent Park assist system; the Qashqai will even park itself for you if necessary.
Then out on the faster country lanes and motorways, the vehicle proves what an outstanding all-rounder it is. The acceleration through the six speed manual gearbox may not be the most rapid on offer, but it is both smooth and responsive with a constant supply of power on tap at all times. Despite its height there is no body roll whatsoever and this, along with the excellent road holding, means long sweeping bends can be approached with confidence.
If I had to be really picky, there was a little road surface noise when the car was pushed particularly hard, but that aside, the driving dynamics and performance of the vehicle were very difficult to find fault with.
As a family car the Qashqai needs to be practical and it is just that. The boot has a 430-litre capacity, which can be increased to 1,585 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there are cup holders front and rear, deep door pockets, a good sized glovebox and a handy central bin.
And when it comes to safety, Nissan has ensured the Qashqai is kitted out with all the latest innovative technology, including the company’s Safety Shield package which adds the likes of blind spot monitoring, driver attention alert, moving object detection and an around view monitor.
All in all, the Qashqai which has a price-tag of £27,710 (£28,110 with optional panoramic glass roof fitted) is quite the complete package. It looks fabulous, it drives beautifully, it delivers all the practical versatility that an active family demands, it won’t break the bank and it’s certainly worthy of its title as king of the crossovers.
Nissan Qashqai n-tec 1.6 DIG-T 163 manual
The ever-popular UK-built Qashqai has always been a bit of a trail-blazer with Nissan claiming that the model actually created the crossover segment when it was launched back in 2007.
In the years that followed that segment has gone from strength to strength and is now fiercely competitive with manufacturers vying for customers’ cash.
Then last year, Nissan unleashed its new Qashqai. The outgoing model clocked up more than two million global sales, so this latest edition had lots to live up to and thankfully it does just that.
Buyers can select from a range of well-equipped trim levels, along with the choice of powertrains and transmissions. And Nissan has ensured that the price-tag remains very attractive.
Powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the test car priced at £23,200 can sprint from 0- 62mph in 11.9 seconds and tops out at 124mph. According to official figures it can return combined fuel economy of 47.1mpg with carbon emissions of 138g/km.
There’s no denying the fact that the new generation Qashqai is still quite a presence on the road with its sporty stance and eye-catching good looks.
It boasts 18-inch alloys, a distinctive black honeycomb front grille, plenty of chrome trim, rear privacy glass, body-coloured bumpers, handles and mirrors, along with neat light clusters including LED signature daytime running lights.
The interior is beautifully crafted and the driver benefits from great all-round visibility thanks to the elevated seating position.
Elsewhere all passengers are treated to bags of space and the high roofline means back seat occupants have ample head room.
Storage options are comprehensive too which is important with a crossover model where flexibility and versatility are paramount.
The Qashqai’s boot can accommodate 430 litres of luggage and the 60:40 split-folding rear seats can be dropped down which increases this capacity to 1,585 litres.
The Qashqai’s interior has a very up-market and sophisticated feel to it and there is a good range of techno treats and creature comforts at your disposal.
These include the new NissanConnect 7-inch touchscreen navigation and entertainment system, a six-speaker sound system with CD player and DAB radio, a fabulous 360-degree around view monitor, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter and plenty more besides.
Out on the open the road, the Qashqai is a very confident performer, gripping the Tarmac like glue and making light work of tight bends with next-to-no body roll.
The acceleration from the petrol engine is impressive and there is a constant supply of power on tap as it moves up through the gears.
In and around town the excellent all-round view was a bonus with cars and pedestrians darting from all angles and then out on the faster roads the vehicle easily kept pace with speedy motorway traffic.
And somehow most of the bumps and dips were absorbed by the vehicle’s highly-efficient suspension system too.
It’s also worth mentioning the comprehensive list of safety features that the Qashqai comes equipped with, such as anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, hill start assist, numerous airbags and a Smart Vision Pack that includes traffic sign recognition, high beam assist, lane departure warning, forward emergency braking and lots more besides.
These are all important factors that will feature highly on the crossover-buyer’s wish-list as many of the vehicles will be used regularly to transport children.
All in all, the new Qashqai seems to have picked up on the success of its predecessor and then upped the ante even further.
Nissan Qashqai (2014)
Nissan lays claim to inventing the crossover vehicle when it introduced the beautifully crafted Qashqai to the awaiting world back in 2007 and now the company has very high hopes that the second generation model will meet the expectations of existing and new customers.
The outgoing Qashqai has sold two million models since its introduction – more than double the volume initially predicted by Nissan bosses – and the new model is guaranteed to continue the success story even further.
The 2014 Qashqai is available in a choice of trim grades – Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium, N-TEC, N-TEC+ and Tekna with prices starting from £17,595 and rising to £23,145.
It is 47mm longer and slightly lower and wider than the outgoing model which gives it a sportier and poised stance while maintaining its crossover character throughout including the high-seated driving position.
It is also lighter and more aerodynamic, which means improved efficiency and better economy.
Buyers can choose from four engines – two petrol and two diesel – with the option of two or four-wheel-drive.
There is also the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or the all-new Xtronic automatic transmission.
All models are richly equipped with a whole range of techno treats included as standard.
For example, the entry-level Visia boasts a five-inch HD infotainment screen, hill start assist, chassis control, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic air conditioning, a four-speaker sound system, cruise control and lots more.
Step up to Acenta and you can expect to see an additional two speakers for the audio system, 17-inch alloys, rain sensing wipers, upgraded upholstery, automatic headlights, dual auto climate control, ambient lighting and lots more.
The Acenta Premium adds the new Nissan Connect system with DAB radio and 7-inch colour screen, a panoramic glass roof, push button start, front collision avoidance, traffic signal recognition, high beam assist, lane departure warning system, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera
Finally, the range-topping Tekna is fitted with 19-inch alloys, Bi-LED headlights, full leather seats, roof rails, intelligent parking assist and Nissan’s Safety Shield system which features an around view monitor, blind spot warning, moving object detection and driver support assist. The Safety Shield system is also available as an option on other models.
Nissan predicts that the majority of sales will be from the 1.5-diesel (81PS) model with its impressive combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg and just 99g/km of carbon emissions.
I had the opportunity to drive that model in Acenta trim along some winding, climbing roads around Madrid and on some faster-moving motorways and it was certainly up the challenge.
The Qashqai’s interior has a truly premium feel to it and is clutter-free with all controls and readouts perfectly positioned for driver usability. Comfort levels for all occupants are excellent and all-round visibility also impresses, although the trio of rear headrests do obscure the vision through the rear screen a little.
The six-speed manual transmission proved beautifully smooth and the car coped with all steep inclines and tight bends with ease.
The cabin was nice and quiet and road-holding flawless even at higher speeds.
I also tested out the 1.2 petrol model with 115PS which really impressed. It was a lot quieter than its diesel counterpart and seemed much livelier through the six-speed manual gearbox. However the economy is not as impressive with combined fuel efficiency of 50.4mpg and emissions of 129g/km.
Other major features of note on the new Qashqai include additional legroom for back seat passengers, improved insulation to reduce noise levels, the incorporation of more premium materials throughout the cabin, NASA-inspired seats for outstanding comfort and a boot that is remarkably versatile with a number of floor configurations to be explored.
All in all, the new-look Qashqai is a fabulous vehicle and a perfect good news story for the UK.
Nissan may be a Japanese brand, but the Qashqai is designed in London, engineered in Cranfield and built in Sunderland and that’s great for our economy.
Nissan Qashqai Tekna 1.6dCI 4WD
The Nissan Qashqai has taken the market by storm and with incredible versatility, plenty of on-board creature comforts and excellent performance credentials, it’s easy to see why.
Add in full 4×4 capabilities and an attractive price-tag and it explains why the Qashqai is a model so many rival manufacturers are striving to compete with.
The test model was priced at £26k with all the additional bells and whistles and for that outlay, you are guaranteed a whole lot of car.
First impressions are vital and the Qashqai looks amazing from every angle thanks to its commanding presence, 18-inch alloys, panoramic glass roof, 18-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, body-coloured bumpers and door handles plus distinctive honeycomb front grille.
The car also boasted stunning white paintwork guaranteed to make it stand out in any crowded car park.
The interior is equally as impressive and feature rich with built-in technical wizardry.
There is a 360-dregree parking assist system, 5-inch colour touchscreen navigation system, rain-sensing wipers, a dual-zone climate control with pollen filter, Bluetooth, automatic lighting, an excellent sound system and plenty more besides.
The front seats can be heated and offer lumbar support meaning you will arrive refreshed after the longest of journeys. All dials, controls and read-outs are perfectly positioned for driver usability and the interior has a stylish design without being garish in any way.
All-round visibility is excellent and the high-seated driving position is another bonus, especially when driving through busy city centres with cars and pedestrians darting out from all directions.
The 1.6-litre diesel-powered engine is both smooth and responsive as it accelerates through the six-speed manual transmission and the cabin noise remains fairly quiet, although there was a little road surface noise. But hey, crank up the sound system and let the Bose speakers do the rest!
The Qashqai can easily accommodate four adults in style with plenty of room in the rear seats. And there will never be any restrictions on luggage as the boot is generously-sixed and can be increased in volume thanks to split-folding rear seats. Other storage options include a 14-litre cooled glove-box.
I think it’s fair to say that only a few Qashqai owners will venture off-road with their pride and joy, but it is very reassuring to know that the vehicle is more than capable of dealing with rougher terrain. That means you will never be caught out or stranded by one of Mother Nature’s unexpected snow storms.
As one would expect, Nissan has packed a very comprehensive list of safety features into the car, such as anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, numerous airbags, electronic stability programme and lots more.
All in all, the Nissan Qashqai is quite an all-rounder and apart from the company charging £42.96 for car mats, is an exceptional buy.
Nissan Qashqai+2 2.0 dCi Acenta
Crossover vehicles have certainly taken the market by storm in recent years and one of the leaders in the field is Nissan.
Now the company has raised the bar even further with its Qashqai+2 by producing a fantastic all-rounder and then adding two extra seats.
Pronounced cash-kai, this seven-seater boasts all the creature comforts of a family saloon combined with the strength and power of a sports utility vehicle.
But the one thing that you may have to sit down for is the price tag.
You see the Qashqai+2 comes in at a little more than £21k and for that outlay you get a vehicle crammed with quality features that also delivers a fabulous ride.
For example, the test model I had came complete with cruise control, dual-zone climate control with pollen filter, an auto-lighting system, rain-sensing wipers, an audio with Bluetooth compatibility and a socket for your MP3 player plus a whole lot more.
Occupants are treated to a light and spacious cabin and for travellers who insist on taking along a load of goodies there are numerous storage compartments throughout including an under floor area.
In addition, there are cup holders, sunglasses holder and decent sized door pockets.
Comfort throughout the vehicle is very good and the driver is even treated to lumbar support. The high-seated drivers position results in excellent all-round visibility too.
The multi-function steering wheel has many controls on it but elsewhere all dials and switches are perfectly positioned for ease of use.
The drive itself was very responsive. In and around town the great visibility made driving and parking a complete breeze. Then, out on the more open road, the 2.0-litre engine delivered plenty of power and the six-speed manual transmission was very responsive.
As one might expect, Nissan has crammed the Qashqai+2 full of top notch safety features including anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, numerous airbags and a great security system to keep away any uninvited attention.
When you add in the deceptively good economy figures, it’s clear to see just why the Qashqai+2 has sent many rival developers scurrying back to the drawing board.