New Nissan Qashqai vs Seat Ateca vs Skoda Karoq: practicality

It’s been a while since the Nissan Qashqai was the pick of the family SUV crop, but now there’s a brand new one. Can it beat tough rivals from Seat and Skoda?...

Nissan Qashqai 2021 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

They’re all practical family SUVs, with enough space in the front to accommodate long legs and bodies alike. As long as you’re not exceptionally tall, you’ll have no issues. There’s plenty of storage space in each, too, including trays, cubbies and, of course, cupholders. That said, the Nissan Qashqai fails to match the other two when you attempt to fill its door bins, which are a bit stingy in the front and rear.

Speaking of the rear, when it comes to seating space, this is another area in which the latest Qashqai, as advertised, makes gains over the old one. For a start, its unusually wide-opening doors help you get in and out easily and are handy if you’re fitting a child seat. The outer rear seats leave some spare leg room for six-footers, even when the front seats are slid back. There’s some breathing space when it comes to head room, too, despite the Tekna’s standard panoramic glass roof.

Seat Ateca 2021 rear seats

That said, both its rivals have more. Although the tape measure suggests otherwise, the Seat Ateca offers a fraction more head room than the Qashqai when you’re sitting normally, while the Skoda Karoq (also with a standard glass roof) has the most clearance. The Ateca and Karoq have slightly more leg room and foot space under their front seats, too, plus you sit with your backside higher from the floor, further aiding comfort.

The Qashqai is tight on head and leg room for a tall passenger sitting in the middle rear seat, while the other two provide just enough space for three to travel side by side in reasonable comfort.

As tested, none of the cars has sliding or reclining rear seats, although that facility is available with other versions of the Karoq – just not SportLine trim. The rear seats in all of them split and fold 60/40, with the Ateca and Karoq adding a ski hatch for extra flexibility when carrying long items. You can fold down the seatbacks easily in the latter pair via release handles in their boots, whereas the Qashqai requires you to trot around to the side of the car to unclip its seats.

Skoda Karoq 2021 rear seats

The Karoq has the biggest boot. It’s capable of carrying up to nine carry-on suitcases below its parcel shelf. The Ateca manages eight, while the Qashqai fits seven – still a good amount of luggage space.

The Qashqai’s standard height-adjustable boot floor is a great piece of design. It comes in two pieces that can be slotted vertically into the centre of the boot floor, creating a divider that helps to stop items from rolling around. The Karoq’s adjustable boot floor is a £195 option that’s unavailable to Ateca buyers. When you raise the height-adjustable boot floor in the Qashqai and Karoq and drop their rear seatbacks, you end up with a flat extended floor, whereas the Ateca has a step halfway along.

Boot space

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai 2021 boot

Boot 479-1422 litres Suitcases 7

Seat Ateca

Seat Ateca 2021 boot

Boot 510-1604 litres Suitcases 8

Skoda Karoq

Skoda Karoq 2021 boot

Boot 521-1630 litres Suitcases 9

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