Nissan Qashqai: which version is best?

  • Are you confused by the list of Nissan Qashqai engine, trim and drivetrain options?
  • We pick out the important details to help choose which is right for you
  • Click on links to our full review for more info
  • Are you confused by the list of Nissan Qashqai engine, trim and drivetrain options?
  • We pick out the important details to help choose which is right for you
  • Click on links to our full review for more info

One of the originators of the crossover genre, the Nissan Qashqai has attracted more than two million buyers with its blend of SUV practicality and hatchback-style drive.

But there’s a huge number of engine, equipment grade and gearbox combinations to choose from, plus two- or four-wheel-drive options.

We’ve cut through the waffle to work out which specifications deliver the best value for money and which engines give you the best performance and economy.

For more information read our full review of the Nissan Qashqai.

Nissan Qashqais for sale

Nissan Qashqai accessories 

Stick with two-wheel drive and there are five equipment grades to choose from: called Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta, N-Vision and Tekna. We’ve calculated the comparative cost of each based on an entry-level petrol or diesel engine.

Nissan Qashqai Visia spec

To start off Visia is well-equipped with gadgets such as cruise control and speed limiter, hill-start assist, manual air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth phone connectivity and USB compatibility.

You also get 16-inch steel wheels, remote central locking, alarm/immobiliser, cloth trim, electric windows front and rear, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, front armrest, and a stop/start system.

For the safety conscious, there's also the option to spec Nissan's Smart Vision Pack for a little extra cash. This includes autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane-departure warning plus front and rear parking sensors

Nissan Qashqai Acenta spec

Upgrade to Acenta and you get 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, six speakers for the stereo (Visia comes with four), auto lights and wipers, power folding door mirrors and front fog lamps.

Inside you get leather for the wheel and gear knob (manual only), ambient lighting, rear seat armrest with two cupholders, luggage board system, height adjustable passenger seat, and lumbar support for the driver.

Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta spec

Splash the cash on N-Connecta trim and you get some big ticket items such as a seven-inch touch-screen sat nav, DAB digital radio, keyless entry/keyless ignition and all-round colour parking cameras.

You also get the Smart Vision Pack which we mentioned earlier, as standard.

Nissan Qashqai N-Vision spec

The N-Vision trim level comes as standard with a panoramic glass roof, front heated seats, an electrically adjustable driver's seat, graphite alcantara and part leather trim, dark headlining, a spare wheel and, on the outside, satin silver roof rails. Snazzy.

Nissan Qashqai Tekna spec

Top-spec Tekna trim comes with just about every piece of kit the Qashqai has to offer, including blindspot monitor, moving objection detection, driver attention alert, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a heated front windscreen and automatic parking.

Plus, on the inside, tasteful graphite leather trim is also included. Note that you'll still have to pay extra if you want that panoramic glass roof and spare wheel, however.

Nissan Qashqai engine range

If you’ve got your head around the slightly confusing trim choices then brace yourself for the engine options.

In essence there are four to choose from - two petrols and two diesels. All economy figures below are based on two-wheel drive, manual transmission, and the smallest wheels available for comparison.

Petrol

Engine      Size      Power     MPG      CO2        0-62mph      Which trim?  
DIG-T 115    1.2-litres     115hp    50.4mpg    129g/km          10.6        all trims  
DIG-T 163    1.6-litres     163hp    48.7mpg    134g/km           8.9   N-Connecta, N-Vision, Tekna  

Diesel

Engine       Size      Power      MPG       CO2      0-62mph     Which trim?  
dCi 110
    1.5-litres      110hp    74.3mpg       99g/km         11.9        all trims  
dCi 130
    1.6-litres      130hp    64.2mpg       116g/km          9.9   N-Connecta, N-Vision, Tekna  

For economy we'd pick the dCi 110 diesel, while the performance choice is the DIG-T 163 petrol. Sitting in the middle of these two is the dCi 130 diesel which offers a good balance of pace and economy. The DIG-T 115 petrol costs a bit more to run than the higher-powered diesel, but is a good option for a low-mileage driver.

Nissan Qashqai automatic

Nissan's Xtronic automatic transmission is available on both the DIG-T 115 and dCi 130 engines. In the case of the former, it can be had on all grades except base spec Visia and returns an identical claimed fuel economy and CO2 figure to the manual. The 0-62mph sprint, however, takes significantly longer at 12.9 seconds.

On the dCi 130 automatic fuel economy drops slightly to 60.1mpg, while CO2 emissions increase to 122g/km. The 0-62mph sprint is also slower at 11.1 seconds. Note also that the diesel automatic Qashqai is only available in N-Connecta, N-Vision and Tekna specs. 

Nissan Qashqai four-wheel drive

This is only available with a manual gearbox and the dCi 130 diesel engine, in N-Connecta, N-Vision and Tekna trims. 

As with the automatic variants, fuel economy and CO2 emissions are inferior to the front-wheel drive equivalents, coming in at 57.6mpg and 129g/km. Plus it’ll take longer to get from 0-60mph, at 11.1 seconds.

These cars come with a 65-litre fuel tank rather than a 55-litre one and more sophisticated independent multi-link rear suspension.

Towing capacity is 1,800kg regardless and although the Qashqai looks rugged, it’s not a true off-roader. While four-wheel drive is a nice security if you regularly visit boggy campsites, less adventurous drivers may be better off by adding a set of winter tyres when it gets cold.

Which Nissan Qashqai should I buy?

As you’ve probably judged by now, there is a huge number of combinations of trims, engines and drivetrains to choose from and it comes down to quite a personal choice.

If you do a lot of miles the manual, two-wheel drive, 1.6-litre diesel engine in N-Connecta trim is your best balance of kit, performance and economy. 

However, if you only do short journeys then choose the 1.2-litre petrol engine. It return slightly inferior fuel economy but you’ll save a chunk of money on the list price.

Undecided if the Nissan Qashqai is for you? The below articles may help you choose your next new car:

The best crossover cars under £10k

The best family SUVs

Nissan Qashqai personal leasing offers

Used Nissan Qashqais for sale

Nissan Qashqai Owner Reviews

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