New Honda HR-V vs Nissan Qashqai: practicality

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 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

The Nissan Qashqai gives front seat occupants slightly more head and leg room than the Honda HR-V. However, in truth, both cars will keep even the lankiest of folk happy.

Instead, it’s in the back that there are significant differences, with the Qashqai having enough knee room for six-footers but the HR-V offering so much of it that you could be in a chauffeur-driven limousine. Or at least you could if it wasn’t for the fact that head room is actually pretty tight, whereas the Qashqai has plenty, even though Tekna+ versions come with a panoramic glass roof.

Nissan Qashqai rear seats

You also get less shoulder room in the HR-V, and its central rear seat is narrow and quite a bit higher than the outer two. This all adds up to the Qashqai being far better suited to carrying three people side by side in the back.

The official figures suggest that the Qashqai has a much bigger boot, too, and our tests confirm that; we managed to fit seven carry-on suitcases in, compared with just five in the HR-V’s.

Adding to the Qashqai’s practicality is a height-adjustable boot floor made up of two individual planks that go across the load area widthways. When these are in their higher setting, they ensure that there’s no lip at the entrance of the boot to heave luggage over (that said, the HR-V’s boot lip is only small).

Nissan Qashqai 2022 adjustable boot floor

The planks are also reversible, with one side carpeted and the other providing a wipe-clean surface. Or, if you prefer, you can position one of the planks vertically to divide the boot space in two and prevent smaller items from sliding around.

The HR-V counters with a small underfloor area towards the rear of its boot that’s ideal for keeping muddy shoes away from other luggage. And while both cars have rear seats that fold in a 60/40 split and lie completely flat once down, the HR-V has a further trick to boost versatility, in the form of seat bases that can be flipped up like those in a cinema. This leaves you with space for a dog, a few pot plants or even a bike. 

Boot space

Honda HR-V

New Honda HR-V boot space

Boot 304-1290 litres Suitcases 5

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai boot space

Boot 479-1422 litres Suitcases 7

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