What should I look for in a used Nissan Qashqai hatchback?
The Qashqai is a very popular choice with families, so look out for scratches and scrapes where bulky items such as bikes and baby buggies have been lifted in and out of the boot, as well as general wear to the rear seats.
Bear in mind that the 1.5 diesel model will need a new cambelt every five years or 75,000 miles, at a cost of about £500; so if the car you are looking at is approaching this age and/or mileage, make sure it’s been done or factor the equivalent discount into the asking price. All other engines use a timing chain.
While the second-generation Qashqai is not widely known to suffer from diesel particulate filter problems, if choosing a diesel example it’s still worth taking it on a long run once a week in order to minimise the chance of any issues arising.
What are the most common problems with a used Nissan Qashqai hatchback?
The Qashqai has been recalled a few times so far. The first time was due to the risk of the tow bar detaching and applied to cars built up to October 2014, while the second related to the possibility of the rear oxygen sensor failing on cars built between 10 April 2014 and 7 May 2016, causing a warning light to illuminate on the dashboard.
The right rear wheel arch protector on vehicles made between the start of production and 23 September 2016 may deform and rub against the brake hose, damaging it in the process and causing it to leak brake fluid. Finally, the directional indicator in the door mirror may not operate when the heated rear screen is switched on and this recall applies to Qashqais made between 12 June 2017 and 28 June 2017.
Some owners have reported problems with the stop/start system on the 1.2 petrol, while others have found that this engine consumes an excessive amount of oil or can experience timing chain problems, indicated by an unusual noise particularly when accelerating.
The parking sensors can stop working (or alternatively sound when you’re not close to anything) as a result of water ingress.
The Qashqai’s air conditioning tends to need regassing every couple of years, so check that it gets nice and cold when you look at the car. A regas for the Qashqai is not cheap, because Nissan uses a more environmentally friendly refrigerant that isn't widely available at third-party garages. If it’s not a regas, then it could be that the compressor has failed, in which case you’re looking at a bill of about £300 for a new one.
Models with four-wheel drive can also slip out of reverse gear, so check this as part of your test drive.
Is a used Nissan Qashqai hatchback reliable?
Unfortunately not, judging by our latest reliability survey. While earlier Qashqais performed acceptably, 47% of second-generation diesel models and 46% of petrol versions had problems – a pretty disastrous showing, in other words. A high volume of electrical faults was largely to blame, but there were other problems, too, all of which means the Qashqai puts a serious dent in Nissan’s reputation for making reliable cars.
If you would like to see the full reliability list for small SUVs, head to the What Car? reliability surveypages for more information.