Nissan Qashqai Crossover full 9 point review
The 114bhp 1.2-litre petrol model is best suited to town driving; you have to work the engine hard to keep up with traffic on faster roads. The 161bhp 1.6 petrol is pretty brisk, but it needs a fair few revs to deliver its performance. Our favourite model, the 109bhp 1.5-litre diesel, isn’t quick, but it delivers its power smoothly and is gutsy enough from low revs. The 129bhp 1.6 diesel engine feels stronger, which makes it useful if you regularly haul around your family and their luggage.
Ride & Handling
The Qashqai controls its body movements well through corners, and its steering weights up reassuringly as you turn the wheel. While the ride can be a little jittery around town over patchy surfaces, it smoothes out nicely on motorways and A-roads, and feels beautifully damped over speeds bumps.
No other small SUV matches the Qashqai’s outstanding levels of refinement. The two petrols and the 1.5-litre diesel engine stay smooth and quiet, even at high revs. Road and wind noise are also well suppressed on the motorway. Only the 1.6-litre diesel lets the side down; it’s noisier than the smaller diesel and you can feel slight vibrations through the pedals. Even so, a nicely weighted gearshift and easy-to-moderate brakes on every model round off an impressive performance.
Buying & Owning
The Qashqai isn’t cheap to buy, but strong resale values go a long way towards making up for this, while its fuel economy figures are also impressive. The 1.5-litre diesel model is particularly tempting if you’re a company car driver; its sub-100g/km CO2 emissions mean comparatively cheap tax bills.
Quality & Reliability
The Qashqai has a classy, soft-touch dashboard, and buttons and switches that operate with a solid action. This model was too new to be included in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey, but the previous-generation Qashqai was rated one of the most dependable cars in the small SUV class. Nissan as a brand also performed well in our latest reliability survey.
Safety & Security
All versions have six airbags, stability control and emergency brake assist, while a Smart Vision Pack (optional on Visia and Acenta trims, and standard on more expensive models) adds lane-departure and collision-warning systems. The Qashqai also got a maximum five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP. An engine immobiliser helps protect against thieves.
Behind The Wheel
The Qashqai gets the basics right, with lots of adjustment to the driver’s seat and steering wheel. The various infotainment systems are also easy to use. Things aren’t perfect, though; thick front and rear pillars block your view out, while adjustable lumbar support features only on range-topping versions.
Space & Practicality
No other small SUV is better suited to family life, thanks to the Qashqai’s huge boot and spacious cabin. The rear seats don’t do anything particularly clever, but they do fold flat without the need to flip up the seatbases first. All bar entry-level Visia versions also come with a false boot floor, under which you can stow the parcel shelf when it isn’t required.
Visia models come with air-conditioning, Bluetooth and cruise control, but they miss out on some desirable kit. Acenta adds dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels, and automatic lights and wipers, but we'd go for N-tec, which also gets sat-nav, front, side and rear cameras, a digital radio, and front and rear parking sensors. Range-topping Tekna versions are pricey, but come with heated leather seats, full-LED headlights and a self-parking system.