The 1.6 petrol is available only with the top two trims and, while it is well equipped, Tekna+ costs a hefty £29,250. To put that into context, a Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 in top Xcellence trim costs £4000 less and an Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI 150 in S line trim is £2000 less.
To rub salt into the wounds, the Volkswagen/Audi 1.4 is a more efficient engine, so if you want petrol power in the Qashqai, we’d suggest the 1.2 DIG-T coupled with the more sensibly priced N-Connecta trim. True, the 1.2 is quite a bit slower, but should still be suitable for most people’s needs.
In short, then, the Ateca remains the best package in the small SUV segment. But choose the right version and the Qashqai is still a fine alternative, especially if you value ride comfort over fun handling.
What Car? says...
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Nissan Qashqai 1.6 DIG-T 163 Tekna+
Engine 4cyl, 1618cc, turbo petrol
Power 161bhp at 5600rpm
Torque 177lb ft at 2000-4000rpm
Gearbox 6-spd manual
Top speed 124mph
Official economy 48.7mpg
CO2, tax band 134g/km, 25%
Release date On sale now
The 10 best small SUVs on sale right now
10. Kia Soul
The Soul is more of a jacked-up hatchback than a fully fledged SUV. However, it still offers many of the benefits buyers in this market are looking for – it's competitively priced and its interior is roomy and well equippped. All of the Soul's engines could be more efficient and quiet, though, and there's plenty of wind noise at motorway speeds. There's a fully electric version to consider if you'll mainly be driving in town.
Our pick: 1.6 GDi 2
9. Audi Q3
While high-end versions are pricey, the Q3 is a desirable choice in this market, with a high quality interior. It's also good to drive and relatively inexpensive to run, with engines that are mostly smooth and strong.
Our pick: 2.0 TDI 150 SE
Compact on the outside but spacious inside, the Vitara is an easy car to live with. There's lots of standard kit on offer and it's relatively practical. It's just a pity that its petrol engines' CO2 emissions are unusually high for this class.
Our pick: 1.6 SZ4