Ever-popular crossover is packed with equipment and inexpensive to run
- Roomy, easy-to-use interior
- Sharp looks, well built
- Loaded with kit
- Low emissions
- Boot not that big
- Lacks exclusivity
- Interior feels off the pace
- Five seats only
The original Nissan Qashqai has become a sales phenomenon for the car maker in the same way the iPhone is for Apple. As the first mass-market family crossover, it sparked a generation of imitators, from the Renault Kadjar and Volkswagen Tiguan, to the Kia Sportage and Ford Kuga.
It’s easy to see why buyers are hooked: this new vehicle type blends the low running costs of family hatchbacks with more rugged SUV looks and added practicality. The Qashqai car has quickly become a commercial success in the process: more than two million have rolled off the production line since launch in 2007.
Where a decade ago this pioneering family car had the market to itself, today there are more than 20 rival crossovers clamouring for your attention. It’s a fiercely competitive class with the Nissan Qashqai remaining a popular choice.
It was designed and developed in the UK, and is produced in the hundreds of thousands at Nissan's factory in Washington in the north east of England.
You’ll truly be buying British if you choose a Qashqai.
Better quality – outside and in
The latest Nissan Qashqai has attempted to address the quality gap between its classiest rivals: the 2017 facelift added smarter materials to the roomy cabin, as well as extra sound deadening and thicker windows to make sure the car cruises quietly, with less road and wind noise.
It largely works. We found the vehicle to be noticeably quieter than earlier iterations, although the most powerful 1.6 diesel can make a minor racket when worked hard. The petrol engines are much improved in this respect.
The cabin is well suited to the rigours of family life, with plenty of room front and rear. Higher-spec cars get the full-length panoramic glass roof, which provides a bright and airy interior; just watch out as it also nibbles into rear headroom.
Nissan Qashqai practicality
Interior storage space is taken care of by a large central storage box between the front seats, while there are numerous cubbies and compartments to store keys, wallets and mobile phones. To make room for this, the Qashqai uses an electronic parking brake switch rather than a conventional handbrake lever.
One slight niggle is that over-the-shoulder visibility is still restricted by the large rear pillars, making checking the Qashqai’s blindspot tricky at times. Most models get a single or 360deg surround-vision parking camera to make up for it.
Luggage volume stands at 430 litres (somewhat smaller than many rivals) and the boot floor has a clever trick up its sleeve: it’s made up of two panels, which can be repositioned to create either a deeper boot or a totally flat load area when the rear seats are folded down. There’s also space under the boot floor to stow the parcel shelf when not in use.
Two petrol and two diesel engines
There are four engines available in the Nissan Qashqai range: a pair of petrols and a diesel duo, all turbocharged.
The two diesels, 1.5- and 1.6-litres respectively, are likely to make up the majority of sales in the UK. The 1.6-litre diesel is available with the choice of two- or all-wheel drive (AWD) and also has the option of a CVT automatic gearbox (the four-wheel drive version is manual only, though).
Most relevant for those looking to minimise running costs is the 1.5-litre diesel, with CO2 emissions rated at 99g/km (even on the biggest 19-inch alloy wheels) and a claimed fuel efficiency of 74.3mpg.
Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are attractive across the range as a whole, with even the largest petrol engine averaging a claimed 48.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 134g/km. These should be cheap cars to run for the average family.
The new Qashqai performs well on a road test. It’s very easy to drive with safe, assured handling and admirable ride comfort, which remains pliant even when specified with large alloy wheels (rims of between 16 and 19 inches are available). Numerous Qashqai accessories are available to tailor your car (see our Feature section of our review here).
The Parkers Verdict
The latest Nissan Qashqai remains one of the default choices in the burgeoning family crossover sector for good reason. It may not be outstanding in any one area, but cleverly achieves high scores in virtually every discipline, making it a tricky benchmark to overlook – especially at such democratic prices.
Read the full Parkers Nissan Qashqai review for more detailed driving impressions
What owners say about this car
Very disappointed with the auto CVT gearbox. Seemed OK on test drive but in everyday life it's very poor. Revs... Read owner review
When choosing a replacement car recently, I scoured the car markets, but have decided to order another Qashqai as I... Read owner review
A nice car to drive with all the toys, but totally let down by the SatNav system, which only works... Read owner review