Kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai vs Toyota RAV4

Can the Nissan Qashqai be knocked off the top spot by the new Kia Sportage or the revised Toyota RAV4?...

Kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai vs Toyota RAV4

Our Verdict

All three of these SUVs have at least one thing going for them, but the Qashqai remains the best all-rounder. It’s not perfect, but it ticks all the boxes that are highly valued by buyers in this class.

It’s well equipped, strikes a fine compromise between handling poise and ride comfort and is considerably quieter than any rival at this price. On top of that, it’s competitively priced if you’re buying on PCP finance, and is the cheapest of the trio for company car drivers.

Second place goes to the Sportage, thanks to its cheap private ownership costs and relatively generous equipment list. It’s a shame the engine isn’t smoother and the ride more pliant, but the Sportage is decent enough to drive in other respects and should prove easy to live with. For private buyers the peace of mind provided by its industry-leading seven-year warranty is another big draw, even if those unimpressive CO2 emissions will put off quite a few company car drivers.

The RAV4’s biggest sin is its woeful refinement; if there was only one thing we could change it would be to fit a quieter engine with less vibration. The running costs are also a touch high, and you’ll need to spend close to £1000 to get the equipment that comes as standard on the others. Yes, the RAV4 is larger and more practical than both rivals we’ve lined it up against here, but if you really need the extra space there are better alternatives, including the excellent Mazda CX-5.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

1st – Nissan Qashqai

For Well-resolved ride and handling; superb refinement; classy interior; lots of standard kit

Against More expensive than Kia to buy; comparatively short warranty

Verdict Still the best small SUV on the market

Read the full Nissan Qashqai review

2nd – Kia Sportage

For Great value private buy; smart and practical interior

Against High CO2 emissions; noisy engine; choppy ride

Verdict Makes sense if you're a private buyer

Read the full Kia Sportage review

3rd – Toyota RAV4

For Most spacious; strongest engine; decent discounts

Against So-so interior; sloppy handling; too noisy

Verdict Hard to recommend in light of the competition

Read the full Toyota RAV 4 review

Specifications: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110 N-Connecta

Engine size 1.5-litre diesel

List price £23,810

Target Price £21,969

Power 109bhp

Torque 192lb ft

0-62mph 11.5sec

Top speed 113mph

Fuel economy 54.7mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 103g/km

Specifications: Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi 114 2

Engine size 1.7-litre diesel

Price from £22,050

Target Price £20,927

Power 114bhp

Torque 207lb ft

0-62mph 11.8sec

Top speed 109mph

Fuel economy 50.1mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 119g/km

Specifications Toyota RAV4 2.0 D-4D Active

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price £23,695

Target Price £21,232

Power 141bhp

Torque 236lb ft

0-62mph 10.6sec

Top speed 121mph

Fuel economy 50.5mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 123g/km