Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Quality is much better than old model
  • New infotainment set-up very effective
  • Seats supportive, massaging function optional

How is the quality and layout?

The interior is a step up from the last one, and even if it’s not quite the last word in clean design, it’s certainly up there with the best. The seats are large, well shaped and more up-spec models are finished in an appealing soft-feel leather with pleated facings. It feels solid and the quality of the materials used are as good as anything from Volkswagen, but are slightly behind the well-trimmed Mazda CX-5.

The controls are well placed and simple to use, the driving position is good, and only marred by a bulky A-pillar, which can obscure your view into roundabouts and angled junctions. Although it has a touchscreen to control many of the car’s systems, we’re glad to see physical controls for the climate control system – Nissan says its customers want these, and we heartily agree.

Front-seat passengers are also treated to massaging seats – a first for Nissan – in the high-spec Tekna model. They certainly aid long-distance comfort, although aren’t quite as effective as the system you’ll find in the Peugeot 3008.

Infotainment and tech

Behind the steering wheel is a fully customisable digital screen, plus, a bright-looking, highly-legible head-up display.

There’s a new 9.0-inch infotainment system too, with wireless Apple CarPlay, Google Streetview, and the option of Amazon Alexa voice recognition. It’s quick and reasonably easy to use, hooking up to your smartphone quickly and seamlessly.

The fitment of Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous car tech, first seen in the Leaf, is big news, as it can significantly lessen the stress of driving in heavy traffic. The system positions you a fixed distance behind the car in front, and locks you into the centre of the lane. It can slow down to 0mph in stop-start traffic, and resume driving once the car in front moves.

In practice, it works well, and has the added bonus of being easy to switch off when you’re on twistier roads that can flummox these systems. ProPilot can also adjust the car’s speed based on the speed limit by reading road signs and communicating with the car’s inbuilt sat-nav.

This latest system is available from the mid-spec N-Connecta grades. There’s also an adaptive headlight system that alters the shape of its beam depending on road condition and road users. For instance, it can partially deactivate small sections of the light in order not to dazzle oncoming traffic. All cars have LED headlights, but only upper spec cars will get this technology – and in use, it is very impressive, not once annoying oncoming drivers in a long overnight drive.

Comfort

  • Impressive motorway refinement
  • Driver’s seat is very supportive
  • Spot on seating position

You sit high up in the Qashqai, with a commanding view of the road ahead. We think most buyers will appreciate this, but taller drivers may think the seats don’t quite go low enough.

There are some jitters on rough roads, but where the Qashqai comes into its own is its motorway refinement, with low levels of wind noise, and very little engine noise to get in the way. Seat support is excellent, even on long journeys.