Nissan Qashqai Review
The Nissan Qashqai is a practical, efficient and high-tech family car. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest version
Strengths & weaknesses
The Nissan Qashqai is a really popular car in the UK, as buyers love its combination of striking looks and impressive practicality. The latest version arrived in 2021 and is easy to tell apart from previous versions because of its dramatic grille and unique headlights.
It’s available with a 1.3-litre petrol engine at the moment, but a hybrid model that combines an electric motor with a 1.5-litre petrol engine is due - and you’ll start to see them become available on BuyaCar once some used models are in circulation.
There are loads of alternatives to the Qashqai, and these include the Peugeot 3008, Skoda Karoq and Ford Kuga. The upcoming hybrid model will be a rival for the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, as these models also use petrol-electric power.
You can choose a Qashqai with either a manual gearbox or a CVT. The latter stands for Continuously Variable Transmission and it’s a type of automatic gearbox that doesn’t have individual gears; great for traffic but often noisy when accelerating, as it holds the engine at high speeds when you want to pick up the pace quickly.
You can also pick a four-wheel-drive model, but we’d stay away from this as it adds to the cost without really having much benefit for most people - especially as the Qashqai has no real off-road ability. Trim levels go from the entry-level Visia through Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna and up to Tekna+.
Read on to find out more about the Nissan Qashqai and all the different versions, to help you discover if it’s right for you.
Should I get a Nissan Qashqai?
✔ Well equipped and safe
✔ Comfortable to drive
✔ Efficient and punchy petrol engine
✘ Some alternatives are more spacious and better value
✘ Automatic versions aren’t much fun to drive
✘ High-specification models are expensive
The Nissan Qashqai is a smart-looking car that’s roomy enough for family life, plus it’s packed with high-tech equipment and is relatively comfortable to drive. It has plenty of safety kit, too, and the 1.3-litre petrol engine is both punchy and efficient.
The hybrid version will soon bring a much-needed more efficient option to the range for people who do lots of urban driving. The Qashqai is a good car but there is more choice than ever out there, and rivals offer more efficiency, bigger boots and just as much equipment at some pretty attractive prices.
The Qashqai is definitely worth a look if you spot a good deal, but don’t buy one without shopping around and checking out your alternatives first - as a number of rivals can work better for certain types of drivers.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Best Nissan Qashqai for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
There’s only one version of the Nissan Qashqai in terms of body styles - it’s an SUV or crossover. This review is based on the 1.3-litre petrol version. The hybrid model below is still relatively new and so there aren't many used versions available, though we’ve included details below for those who want a more efficient model.
The 1.3-litre mild hybrid version has a tiny electric motor - which can’t drive the car itself - that provides some assistance to boost efficiency. It’s a clever system but it’s hardly any different to a normal petrol car.
There are versions of the 1.3-litre petrol engine with 140hp and 158hp. Both are powerful enough for typical drivers - you really don’t need to spend extra on the more powerful engine, as this is hardly a sporty vehicle. Go for a manual model for the best value, though the CVT automatic is good for those who spend lots of time in traffic.
Nissan Qashqai e-Power
The hybrid Nissan Qashqai e-Power comes out very soon and will work differently from most other hybrids available. Similar to the now discontinued BMW i3 Range Extender, a 190hp electric motor will power the car's wheels. When charge runs low, a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine generates electricity, which either powers the electric motor or recharges the batteries - or both.
We’ve not tested this model yet, but it should be a great option if you live in a city as hybrid cars tend to excel at offering good fuel economy when driving in traffic. Just bear in mind the cost; hybrid models are typically more expensive than conventional petrol models, so consider how much of a premium is needed for the e-Power and whether you're likely to recoup much of this with the driving you do.
It's less likely to suit those who cover very low mileages - as it'll take longer to recoup the initial price premium with lower fuel costs - or mainly drive on faster roads, as hybrids are often comparatively uneconomical at higher speeds.
|Limited stock: Visia is the entry-level model. It comes with a seven-inch display behind the steering wheel, LED lights, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, rear parking sensors and was initially only available with a manual gearbox and a 140hp petrol engine.
|From £10,695: Moving up to Acenta Premium adds 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen media system on the dashboard, a reversing camera, keyless entry, automatic air-conditioning plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
|From £7,989: This trim level comes with larger 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, plus tinted windows, a larger nine-inch screen on the dashboard, wireless Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera for parking, front parking sensors and ambient lighting inside.
|From £11,600: Tekna models come with 19-inch alloy wheels, Drive Assist safety technology, a head-up display, adaptive LED headlights, a hands-free power boot door and a wireless phone charger.
|From £12,495: The top-spec Tekna+ model adds to this with 20-inch alloy wheels, leather seats with a massage function and memory function for your driving position plus a Bose stereo upgrade.
The best engine in the Qashqai is the 140hp version of the 1.3-litre petrol with a manual gearbox and front-wheel-drive. This setup offers everything you really need and nothing you don’t, as it’s the cheapest model in the range.
The CVT automatic version is good for driving in traffic, but it adds to the cost - it’s up to you whether that convenience is worth it or not. The hybrid model may be a better version for that anyway, though you’ll pay more in the first place and may have to wait as it’s newer and harder to find used.
There’s no need to choose the four-wheel-drive version, as if you really need four-wheel-drive then the Qashqai isn’t an ideal choice anyway. It’s designed to work as a family car rather than an off-road workhorse. Similarly, the 158hp petrol model isn’t worth choosing as you’ll rarely benefit from any extra performance over the 140hp model in this type of car.
Best Nissan Qashqai hybrid
While the Qashqai's 1.3-litre petrol engine gets mild hybrid assistance in both 140hp and 158hp forms, the e-Power model is the one to go for if you're after the best fuel economy. On sale from summer 2022, it should be able to average more than 50mpg.
It uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, though the 156hp that this produces doesn't drive the wheels. Instead, it serves as a generator to charge the small 1.8kWh battery. The battery then powers a 188hp electric motor that drives the front wheels. The concept is similar to the discontinued BMW i3 Range Extender, however there is no option to charge the Nissan Qashqai e-Power which means regular trips to the petrol station are a must.
Because this model is driven by the electric motor - rather than the engine - it should share the sprightly characteristic of typical electric vehicles, with smooth acceleration thanks to the lack of conventional gears in the automatic gearbox.
Which version of the Nissan Qashqai will suit you best depends on your personal situation. There’s not a huge difference between all the versions, as ultimately they are all family SUVs focused on efficiency and comfort. This means all models are somewhat similar, it’s just the finer details that matter when choosing which version to go for.
|Nissan Qashqai DIG-T 140 Acenta Premium: The entry-level Visia model isn’t very well equipped for the money so we’d spend a bit more and go for this Acenta Premium model with the 1.3-litre petrol engine and a manual gearbox. It has plenty of kit and is reasonably affordable.
|Nissan Qashqai DIG-T 140 N-Connecta: The N-Connecta model’s tinted rear windows and parking assist technology will be really useful for family life, so it’s our pick as a family car - though the Acenta Premium above is a bit better value.
|Nissan Qashqai DIG-T 158 CVT Tekna: The fastest Qashqai is the 158hp model, which gets from 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds if you choose the automatic CVT version. The manual takes 9.5 seconds. Neither is very sporty so don’t buy a Qashqai for performance.
|Nissan Qashqai DIG-T 158 CVT Tekna+: The most expensive Qashqai isn’t worth the cash - it’s a lot more than lesser versions listed above yet aside from a few luxury options it doesn’t feel much different to drive. It’s simply not very good value for money.
BuyaCar prices from £12,000
There are many rivals for the Nissan Qashqai, as it’s a family SUV - one of the most popular kinds of car at the moment. Examples include the excellent Peugeot 3008, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Qashqai isn’t as roomy or as good to drive as many of these cars, nor is it as good value for money. However, it’s very good when it comes to safety kit and should be spacious enough for most families.
Nissan Qashqai practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Nissan Qashqai is 4.4m long, 1.6m tall and 1.8m wide (mirrors folded), so it’s around the average size for a family SUV. You can read more about the car’s dimensions on our dedicated Nissan Qashqai dimensions page. It’s able to tow up to 1,800kg with the more powerful engines fitted, which is pretty good for an SUV of this size.
It’s roomy enough inside for families, although headroom isn’t the best. This means the back seats are more appropriate for kids rather than adults, especially with a sunroof fitted. Legroom is good, though, so the kids should have plenty of room to kick about.
|Weight 1,331kg - 1,570kg
The Nissan Qashqai has a different amount of boot space depending on which model you choose. The entry-level car has a decent 504 litres - though this is less than you get in some rival models - but higher-spec cars drop to 479 litres and then the Tekna+ version has only 436 litres, which is pretty poor.
Fold the seats down and there’s a variable amount of space too, spanning from 1,379 litres to a maximum of 1,447 litres in the lower-specification versions.
|Seats up 436-504 litres
|Seats down 1,379-1,447 litres
The Nissan Qashqai is so new that it’s tough to get a good idea of its reliability. The previous model finished in 52nd place in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but there’s not much we can gain from that as this is a completely new model and it will need to earn its own place in the rankings.
Safety is a strong point, though, as there’s loads of standard kit to help make driving safely easier.
The Nissan Qashqai comes with a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty from the factory. This is totally standard - it’s rare for models to come with more than this, although a Kia or Toyota model will get seven or 10 years respectively.
Therefore, it's worth looking for Toyota RAV4 or Kia Sportage models if you'd value having additional years of cover or plan to get an older used car but want one that still has a chunk of manufacturer warranty left.
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £521
The Nissan Qashqai is a good car in many ways and if you find one at a low price, it’s a great family car. There’s lots of standard equipment on most models, plus the petrol engine is good to use and relatively efficient. It’s also good that there’s a hybrid model available that should offer excellent fuel economy even when driving around town.
However, many rivals offer better value for money and a number are more fun to drive, more comfortable and have more space inside, too. The Qashqai makes sense if you love how it looks and can find a good deal, though.
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
The Nissan Qashqai is at its best in 1.3-litre petrol form with 140hp and a manual gearbox. Choose the Acenta Premium specification for the best balance of equipment and price, while this lower-powered engine should give you all the performance you need for everyday family life.
Choose a CVT automatic model in N-Connecta trim if you want a bit more luxury and a sportier look - thanks to the larger alloy wheels and tinted windows. This version is also better for driving in town, as the gearbox is smoother and you don’t have a clutch pedal to worry about.
You could also wait for the hybrid model, which uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, if fuel economy is very high up on your priority list. It’s said to be capable of more than 50mpg and it should be excellent for local trips, especially as it’ll be quieter than the conventional petrol versions.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example
|APR rates available
|Cash price £12,000
|Value of loan
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12
|Annual mileage of 8,000pa
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55
|Term 48 months
|Optional final payment £4,285.79
|Loan value £12,000
|Total amount payable £14,755.55
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