What's the used Nissan Qashqai hatchback like?
As evidence of just how highly we rate this second-generation Nissan Qashqai, it was crowned What Car? Car of the Year in 2014. 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.
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.
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.
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.