Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Qashqai is a bit cheaper to buy than the equivalent Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq, especially when you factor in dealer discounts. However, if you’re buying privately and you change cars every three years or so, there’s a good chance either of those rivals will end up costing you less in the long run thanks to their slower predicted depreciation.
Monthly PCP costs are competitive enough, if nothing to write home about, although the Qashqai is a cheaper option than many of its rivals if you’re planning to lease.
Fuel economy is also impressive. Although the 1.5-litre diesel couldn’t match its claimed figures in our tests – an official WLTP combined result of 53.7mpg – it still averaged a thrifty 51.9mpg on our True MPG cycle. Even the 138bhp 1.3-litre petrol managed 41.3mpg, although the more powerful Seat Ateca 1.5 averaged a slightly healthier 44.5mpg.
If you’re a company car driver paying benefit-in-kind tax, it’s worth noting that versions with 17in wheels emit the least CO2. N-Connecta and Tekna models come with larger wheels as standard, but you can swap to smaller wheels for no extra charge.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level Visia misses out on a lot of desirable kit, so we’d recommend going for a higher-spec model if you can. Acenta Premium trim is our favourite: it adds 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers and various infotainment upgrades (see infotainment section), as well as the visibility aids we mentioned previously.
However, we can certainly see why you’d be tempted by the N-Connecta, which adds privacy glass, bigger wheels and keyless entry. Tekna models, though, are too pricey to recommend and the bigger 19in alloy wheels they have ruin the Qashqai’s ride quality. If you must have a lot of toys, though, it comes with part-leather seats and a panoramic glass roof – and you can swap those big wheels for smaller ones at no charge.
Meanwhile, Tekna+ gets you more luxurious nappa leather seats, but its price draws perilously close to Audi Q3 territory. There’s also the option of a special edition N-Tec finish, which is a cosmetic upgrade featuring 19in black alloy wheels, a sporty body kit and black roof rails. Again, though, we’d advise strongly against spending the extra and stick with the mid-range options.
Meanwhile, the Qashqai was the second worst-performing family SUV; only the Range Rover Evoque was reported as being less reliable.
The warranty is nothing special, either; you get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty that includes breakdown cover as standard. Kia and Hyundai offer the longest warranties in the class – up to seven years for the former.
Safety and security
All Qashqais come with six airbags and emergency brake assist, which automatically applies maximum braking pressure if the system detects that you haven’t braked hard enough in an emergency. The Smart Vision Pack adds traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB), which brakes for you if the system detects that you’re about to hit the car in front and haven’t braked at all.
Further safety systems are fitted to N-Connecta models and above, including blindspot monitoring, driver fatigue detection and rear cross-traffic alert. Further safety systems are fitted to N-Connecta models and above, including blindspot monitoring, driver fatigue detection and rear cross-traffic alert. There’s also Nissan’s ‘ProPilot’ system – available as an option on N-Connecta and standard above – which adds lane-keeping assistance and variable cruise control that can slow the car down to a full stop, and pull away again, in stop-start traffic.
The Qashqai received the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test in 2014, however it’s worth noting that testing has become far more rigorous since then. Both the Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca were tested more recently and scored higher marks for adult and pedestrian safety.
An alarm and engine immobiliser help to protect against thieves, prompting security experts at Thatcham Research to give the car a maximum five stars for resisting theft. The Qashqai also received four out of five for resisting being broken into.