What's the used Nissan Qashqai hatchback like?
Back then, our judges were impressed by the British-built Qashqai’s "low costs and first-class levels of comfort, refinement, space and safety". The good news is that this still holds true as a used buy.
Engines: The present Qashqai was heavily facelifted in 2017 and some engine changes adopted in 2018, but the original engine range consisted of 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre diesels, or if you prefer petrol power there was a choice of 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre turbocharged units. In both cases, the smaller engines were actually preferable both in terms of costs and smoothness. A CVT automatic gearbox called Xtronic was available on the 1.2 petrol and 1.6 diesel.
That facelift brought in a raft of changes and eventually a new engine line-up. It now kicks off with a 138bhp 1.3-litre petrol unit, and is followed by a 158bhp version of the same engine. On the diesel side, there's a 113bhp 1.5-litre engine, as before. A 148bhp 1.7-litre diesel was introduced in 2019.
Trims and equipment: Of the trims available on the later cars, entry-level Visia models come with air conditioning and cruise control, but misses out on lots of desirable kit, including alloy wheels. Acenta trim is certainly worth a look, because it adds 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers and various infotainment upgrades. However, we can certainly see why you’d be tempted by N-Connecta, which adds privacy glass, bigger wheels and keyless entry. You get more safety kit, too. Tekna models are pricey and the bigger 19in alloy wheels ruin the ride quality, but it comes with part-leather seats and a panoramic glass roof. Meanwhile, Tekna+ gets you more luxurious nappa leather seats.
Ride and handling: On the road, the lower-powered 1.3 petrol strikes a happy compromise between smoothness and economy. It's brisk enough in everyday use, and effectively replaces the previous 1.2 and 1.6-litre units, neither of which impressed as they should. The 1.5-litre diesel is gutsy and delivers plenty of poke from low revs, though there is the occasional gruffness to it. The 1.6-litre diesel on the older variants could also be a little gravelly, although there was a noticeable increase in available shove.
The Qashqai was developed on UK roads and you can tell by the way it strikes such a good balance between ride comfort and handling. The steering is responsive, the body doesn’t lean too much in corners and there’s lots of grip, yet the Qashqai also rides bumps and potholes with real composure, particularly if you avoid the largest 19in wheels. It also does a really good job of shutting out wind and road noise.
Interior and practicality: While newer rivals such as the Seat Ateca have overtaken it, there’s easily enough room in the boot of the Qashqai for a folded baby buggy, a travel cot and a few overnight bags. Opt for an Acenta version or above and you also get boot dividers that can be used to either segment the load space or raise the boot floor for a flat loading lip. Drop the rear seats and you can fit an adult’s bicycle in, provided you first remove its front wheel.
If you plan on carrying taller passengers, it’s worth choosing a model without the panoramic glass roof, because this eats into head room. That aside, there’s just enough space in the rear for three to sit side by side or for two adults to travel in comfort.
Up front, the Nissan Qashqai feels very spacious and has enough storage for odds and ends. What’s more, the quality of the dashboard is a real step up from the first-generation 2007-2014 Nissan Qashqai, giving this newer model a classy feel.
The Qashqai’s practical nature is backed up by a full five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, as tested at the time it was new, although the restricted rear visibility means it’s worth choosing a model with parking sensors or a reversing camera.
What used Nissan Qashqai hatchback will I get for my budget?
The market for this second-generation Qashqai starts at about £5500, for which you’ll be able to buy an early 2014 diesel with plenty of miles on the clock. There are far fewer early petrol examples out there, so most 1.2 petrols cost around £6500, but the majority have covered far fewer miles.
Increasing your budget to £8500 will buy you a 2015 Qashqai that’s covered an average mileage for the year. Spend between £9000 and £11,000 and you'll have your choice of top-spec 2016 cars, while you'll need nearer £12,000 for a post-facelift model from 2017 onwards. Look to spend between £12,000 and £15,000 on 2018 cars, and £18,000 to £24,000 on late 2019 and 2020 models. Some of the last models of this generation Qashqai (2021 examples) will set you back upwards of £20,000.
Nissan offered the Qashqai with a choice of front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The vast majority of buyers opted for the former, but if you do want the capability of four-wheel drive, it means spending extra for the more powerful diesel engine with one of the higher trim levels.
Find a used Nissan Qashqai for sale here
How much does it cost to run a Nissan Qashqai hatchback?
Opt for an early 1.5 diesel and you get great fuel economy – you should see at least 50mpg on average in daily use. The post-facelift 1.5 diesel returns a claimed official 74.3mpg in certain trims, under the old NEDC tests, and 53.3mpg under the later WLTP tests, while the best performing petrol in later cars is the 1.3 140 with 53.2mpg under the NEDC tests and 41.5mpg under the later and more realistic WLTP tests.
Of the engines available before the tax alterations, the best diesel is the 1.5 which only emits 99g/km. The 1.6 diesel isn't too bad with 120g/km (133g/km with four wheel drive - same as the 1.2 petrol). The worst is the 1.6 petrol at 138g/km.
Road tax (VED)
Road tax will vary on anything registered before 1 April 2017 depending upon the amount of CO2 it produces. Anything registered after will incur a flat rate fee, regardless of which engine you go for, because of changes in the road tax system. The current VED rate is £180 per year for all petrol and diesel cars.
Minor servicing from Nissan costs £229 for a petrol Qashqai or £269 for a diesel one, while major visits are £309 and £369, respectively. It’s not the cheapest car in terms of servicing (which is required every 12 months), but this is largely offset by Nissan throwing in 12 months' European roadside assistance as part of the deal.
The Nissan Qashqai has proven mostly reliable according to real-world owner reviews analysed in our annual What Car? Reliability Survey.
However, some owners reported issues, including outdated sat-nav systems needing dealer updates, air conditioning systems requiring frequent regassing, a single report of alternator failure after 30,000 miles, and recurring tyre pressure warning messages.
Furthermore, feedback on Nissan’s dealer network suggests that some found the dealerships struggled with repairs. For more information about used Nissan Qashqai reliability and common problems, see our dedicated page.
Which used Nissan Qashqai hatchback should I buy?
All Qashqais, including entry-level Visia trim, come with air conditioning and a USB socket. However, you should upgrade to Acenta to get dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels and a leather steering wheel.
If you're buying one of the earlier pre-facelift Qashqais we’d recommend the 1.5 diesel, particularly if you regularly drive on the motorway. However, of the later models, we prefer the 1.3 140 petrol engine, which blends smoothness and refinement with reasonable economy.
Our favourite Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T 140 Acenta
What alternatives should I consider to a used Nissan Qashqai hatchback?
Unlike the first generation of Qashqai, the model reviewed here isn’t available as a +2 seven seater. If that’s what you’re after, you’ll need to look at a Nissan X-Trail instead.
Or if you prefer to buy a used car with the reassurance of a long manufacturer warranty, the Kia Sportage is an alternative to the Qashqai. It’s not as good to drive as the Nissan, but is spacious and well equipped, and comes with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty from new. The Hyundai Tucson – with its five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty – is also worth considering for the same reason, although with both of these warranties, it’s worth making sure you’re happy with what’s covered in the later years, as cover can reduce.
The mechanically similar Renault Kadjar is another very credible Nissan Qashqai rival as well as being slightly cheaper to buy. If you need something that’s more powerful and slightly larger on the inside, have a look at the Mazda CX-5.
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