What's the used NISSAN QASHQAI Hatchback like?
s 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.
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 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 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, although the restricted rear visibility means it’s worth choosing a model with parking sensors or a reversing camera.
The engine range consists of 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre diesels, or if you prefer petrol power there’s a choice of 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre turbocharged units. In both cases, the smaller engines are actually preferable both in terms of costs and smoothness. A CVT automatic gearbox called Xtronic is available on the 1.2 petrol and 1.6 diesel.
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.