Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Build quality good but plastics let interior down
  • Glazed roof makes the cabin feel much airier
  • More storage space than its predecessor

While materials and appearance have been very much improved over the first-generation Qashqai, they’re still behind the levels found in the likes of the Ford Kuga, Peugeot 3008 and Volkswagen Tiguan, but fit and finish is decent.

The 2017 facelift added further soft-touch plastics, a new steering wheel with better ergonomics and a redesigned infotainment operating system, designed to feel more like using a smartphone with tiles of apps to navigate through. A further update was made to the Nissan Connect system in 2018, but it still lags behind the competition in terms of screen size, resolution and ease of use.

Some may find the Qashqai feels a little more claustrophobic than its predecessor thanks to its thicker pillars, more shallow windows and swathes of dark trim, but this is remedied by the huge glass roof fitted to more expensive models. An electric blind is fitted as standard, allowing you to block bright sunshine on a bright day.

2018 Nissan Qashqai interior

The raised driving position - one of the car’s key selling points – remains, and it’s easy to get comfortable with plenty of adjustment to seat and wheel positions; higher-spec models now come with electrically adjustable lumbar support too, a feature more commonly found on more premium cars. A 5.0-inch screen between the rev counter and speedometer displays an array of useful information and is easy to scroll between different menus and functions without it becoming a distraction. An electronic handbrake button has been adopted to allow more space for storage between the front seats.

Is the Qashqai comfortable?

  • Roomy cabin ideal for family life
  • Quieter than previous generation
  • Rearward visibility not great

Comfort was a strength of the original Qashqai and it remains impressive here: a family of four or five will be very at home. There is plenty of space front and rear, although rear headroom is pinched by the fitment of the panoramic glass roof. Kids will be fine, but taller adults may notice their heads brushing the headlining in the back seats.

The Qashqai comes only as a five-seater nowadays; the Mk1’s Qashqai +2 version with three rows of seats was replaced by the larger Mk3 X-Trail. Access to all five seats is easy enough and the middle seatbelt in the back row is now built into the backrest, rather than hauling down from the ceiling, like in its predecessor.

Up front the seats feel comfortable and supportive over long journeys; the 2017 makeover added more comfortable chairs with new foam padding, better upper-body support and four-way adjustable lumbar support on high-spec models. Top-trim Tekna+ models also get new latticework-effect Nappa leather, which feels very luxurious to sit in. Seat heating is available on some trims, too.

White 2019 Nissan Qashqai front three-quarter driving

Road and engine noise have been reduced compared with the previous generation. The 1.5-litre diesel engine is a little less vocal than before and at motorway speeds both diesel and petrol units are whisper-quiet. Ride quality over imperfect surfaces is good too, so occupants are unlikely to be jostled around, even when the bigger 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels are fitted. The fitment of extra sound-deadening material, and thicker glass in the rear windows, has added to the comfort on offer.

Like the previous model, rear visibility isn’t fantastic though. The tiny third side windows in the large rear pillars don’t really offer a clear view for over-the-shoulder blindspot checking, so you’ll be relying heavily on the 360-degree view camera system.