New Honda HR-V vs Nissan Qashqai: interiors

The growing family SUV class found its genesis in the Nissan Qashqai, but now the latest evolution faces pressure from the new Honda HR-V...

New Honda HR-V interior

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Unlike some rivals, these cars both seat you quite high, which makes them feel like proper SUVs and is good for forward visibility. However, while the Honda HR-V also keeps over-the-shoulder blindspots to a minimum, the Nissan Qashqai is let down by a rising window-line and thick rear pillars.

You’ll be grateful, then, that Nissan fits front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree bird’s eye view camera as standard; the HR-V also has sensors front and rear, but its camera merely provides a view of what’s directly behind.

Nissan Qashqai interior

Go for the Qashqai and you also get an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, which makes it easier to find your ideal driving position than with the manual seat of the HR-V. Plus, the Qashqai is more likely to keep you comfortable on a long trip, because it’s the only one with adjustable lumbar support.

Another handy feature that’s fitted to the Qashqai but not the HR-V is a head-up display, which projects important information, such as your speed, onto the windscreen, so that you can keep your eyes on the road. Both cars, meanwhile, have well-ordered dashboards and simple rotary climate controls.

The HR-V and Qashqai are also closely matched when you consider interior quality, with each feeling built to last. That said, the HR-V has a slight advantage in this area, being uniformly solid throughout, whereas you’ll notice a few rough edges and irregular panel gaps in the Qashqai if you go looking for them. Nissan compensates by throwing more pleasing, soft-touch plastics at the Qashqai’s dashboard.

Infotainment systems

Honda HR-V

New Honda HR-V infotainment

The HR-V comes with built-in sat-nav, a wireless phone charging pad and a 9.0in touchscreen, although the latter is rather prone to reflections that can make it tricky to read. To make matters worse, the graphics look fuzzy, and Honda’s operating system isn’t very intuitive or quick to respond. Thankfully, it’s possible to bypass it by using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring; you can connect to either wirelessly.

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai infotainment

The Qashqai matches the HR-V in offering sat-nav, wireless phone charging and a 9.0in touchscreen. Plus, its infotainment menus are more intuitive and are complemented by physical buttons and knobs. Its graphics look just as dated as the HR-V’s, though, and the screen can be similarly sluggish to respond to prods. Again, you can get around this by mirroring your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, although only the former is wireless here.

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