Nissan Qashqai review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

New Nissan Qashqai ups the practicality, economy and quality with a dash of new technology to tackle its crossover SUV rivals

For: 
Great all-rounder, comfy, practical, economical and very well built
Against: 
Style takes a back seat and space in the back could be better

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The Nissan Qashqai is the car that kick-started the crossover revolution when it was launched in 2006. This new 2014 Nissan Qashqai builds on the Qashqai’s original strengths by offering 4x4 styling but with space and running costs to rival a Volkswagen Golf.

Launched at the start of this year, the new Nissan Qashqai has already proven a strong competitor in the crossover class. Power comes from a choice of four engines: 1.2 and 1.6-litre turbo petrols, plus 1.5 and 1.6-litre diesels. The three trim-levels available on the Nissan Qashqai are Acenta, Acenta Premium and the flagship Tekna.

The new Nissan Qashqai adds a huge range of clever in-car technology, some impressively economical petrol and diesel engines and a choice of manual or Xtronic automatic gearboxes. The interior quality is as good as it gets in what is now a crowded crossover class that includes rivals like the Skoda Yeti, Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5.

Thanks to extended dimensions, space and practicality inside have been improved - although they’re not class leading and there’ll be no replacement for the 7-seat Qashqai +2 model. There’s more clever tech under the skin too, making sure the new Qashqai is comfortable and secure to drive.

Other reviews: 

• Nissan Qashqai automatic 2014 review

• Nissan Qashqai diesel 2014 review

• Nissan Qashqai Tekna 2014 review

Styling

3.8

One thing is certain: the second-generation Nissan Qashqai looks far more upmarket than the original model. The overall shape
is typical crossover, with a raised ride height, roof rails and black plastic trim giving a familiar rugged off-roader look.

Up front, the Nissan Qashqai features a sharp nose with angular headlamps and distinctive LED running lights, while the twin chrome bars on the grille add a touch of interest. At the back, the LED tail-lamps wrap around the corners of the car and on to the tailgate. The optional Ink Blue paint also really helps the Qashqai to stand out. On top-of-the-range trim Nissan Qashqai Tekna models, 19-inch wheels come as standard, while Acenta cars get 17-inch alloys.

Inside, the Nissan looks sharp and feels well built. There are sporty cowled dials and a full-colour trip computer display, while coloured ambient lighting on the centre console and gloss black trim on the dashboard give an upmarket feel.

The rest of the cabin is pretty smart, and while the standard panoramic glass roof doesn’t open fully, it lets in plenty of light. Choosing Acenta trim over the Tekna means you have to forego leather for cloth.

The Nissan Qashqai Acenta comes with decent kit, including climate control, Bluetooth and automatic lights and wipers. However, you’ll have to fork out around £450 for rear parking sensors, while sat-nav isn’t even an option – you’ll have to upgrade to the Acenta Premium version for this desirable kit.

Driving

4.1

The diesel engines available on the Nissan Qashqai come from sister company Renault. While our the 1.5-litre diesel dCi has been around for a while, constant development means it revs smoothly and is subdued at idle, all while returning excellent economy.

It delivers decent performance, too, and feels more lively on the road, thanks to the combination of prompt throttle response and the precise six-speed gearbox’s well chosen ratios.

The original Nissan Qashqai was surprisingly fun to drive, but the latest model takes a more mature approach. Refinement has been vastly improved, with much less road and engine noise, particularly on the motorway.


Nissan Qashqai Tekna 2014 interior

In a series of corners, the Qashqai feels composed and the electrically assisted steering is direct and surprisingly weighty, while grip is strong. Active Trace Control torque vectoring helps boost agility, braking individual wheels in order to reduce understeer and deliver more positive turn-in.

Also included is Nissan’s Active Engine Brake function, which reduces jerkiness in the transmission when you lift off the throttle. Plus, the Body Motion Control constantly dabs the brakes to smooth out body movement over bumps. It works well, particularly at low speed, but hit a series of imperfections and the ride gets fidgety as the brakes and dampers fight to keep control.

This is rarely a problem around town, where the high driving position, light controls and decent visibility make the Nissan easy
to navigate through crowded streets.
Unfortunately, only the range-topping Tekna gets park assist (which steers the car into parking spaces) and a 360-degree camera system.

 

Reliability

3.9

The new Nissan Qashqai was marked down for reliability and build quality in our Driver Power 2014 customer satisfaction survey, but it ranked 21st out of 150 cars. 

Safety experts at Euro NCAP awarded the new Qashqai the full five stars, with the car scoring well in the adult and child occupant categories. 

Nissan has improved things with its Safety Shield technology, which features heavily in the new Qashqai. It comprises clever features like front collision avoidance (autonomous braking), lane departure warning, drowsiness detection, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition and cameras to help you park and detect moving objects behind when you’re reversing – the Qashqai will park itself, too. 

Practicality

4.2

The seven-seater Nissan Qashqai +2 is no more – the new Qashqai offers more space for passengers and luggage than before in response to owner feedback. Anyone wanting seven seats will have to opt for the new Nissan X-Trail instead.

Overall, though, there’s still decent legroom in the rear, and the transmission tunnel doesn’t intrude on the middle-seat passenger’s foot space.

However, the Acenta Premium Nissan Qashqai has a panoramic glass roof, which cuts into headroom. There’s more space in models without this addition, but the combination of small side windows and black trim makes the Qashqai’s cabin dark.

As you’d expect of a car aimed at families, the interior is packed full of useful storage. There’s a large glovebox and several cubbies that are perfect for odds and ends. An electric handbrake also frees up the centre console for extra stowage and cup-holders.

The Qashqai’s 430-litre luggage area is impressive, and also features a flat loading lip and base, plus it benefits from a clever false floor that doubles as a boot divider. Fold the rear bench seat flat and the capacity increases to 1,585 litres. Better still, there’s a compartment under the boot floor for storing the parcel shelf.

Running Costs

4.1

The new Nissan Qashqai is impressively economical, especially the 1.5dCi diesel, which claims 74.3mpg and is road tax free with excellent CO2 figures of 99g/km. That means it’ll be a good company car, too.

The 1.6-litre diesel is similarly frugal claiming 65.7mpg and 115g/km of CVT, while opting for the excellent Xtronic CVT auto on this model only penalises things slightly with 62.8mpg and 119g/km.

If you must have a petrol Qashqai, a 1.2-litre turbo offers the same performance as the old 1.6 and 57.6mpg (129g/km), while a 1.6 turbo will arrive offering 50.4mpg (132g/km). Qashqai prices are on par with rivals but equipment levels tend to be slightly higher, especially in terms of safety kit.

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Yawn...

Yawn +2 lol 1.2 3 cylinder bit too small for car this size.

A road-tax free family size SUV! Now there's a first.
I will be watching out for the 1.6L turbo petrol.

What a ridiculous article. One of the "Against" items is that there isn't a great deal of back seat room which you then do not mention anywhere in the review, plus you give the car 5/5 stars despite only awarding no more than 4 in the review itself.

Looks good in and out. As someone who would only go for petrol power, I would take a lot of convincing that a 1.2 litre turbo is enough for a car this size.

How can anyone call a CVT gearbox "excellent" ? And no performance numbers at all? Sure, this is no The Stig vehicle, but i recon one does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand the 1,2 liter in such a "large" vehicle GOT to be sluggish....

Funnily enough, the floss and gloss review make sno mention of the fact that they have "decontented" it by removing the all independent rear suspension on all but 4-wheel drive models. At this price point the CX-5 makes much more sense but then again the Qashqai is bulit in the UK :)

Fantastic that internal combustion units are still being developed to get more performance per litre. I'm very impressed by the Qashqai and the move to smaller CC engines. If 1.6 litre turbo is good enough for Formula 1, then there is no reason why a modern tech small engine can't work in this.

It remember when the Ford 2.8L Cologne V6 in the Granada only made 100BHP. Nowadays the Ford EcoBoost I-4 gets 160BHP from 1.6Litre. So people who think these small engines aren't good enough are just not keeping up with the game.

NETC Cranfield are doing some amazing work at the moment. There is some special stuff in the pipeline for Nissan. Watch this space.

So is it actually a 4X4 that I can launch my boat with or not? Pretty useless revew really.

Yes I'm sure they have no idea what there doing ;0) - Ford have the ecotec 1.0 running the c-max and the focus estate (which is a huge car)

I disagree about the small capacity 'turbocharged' engines versus larger capacity normally apirated, and I am not just being critical of Nissan - I aim this at others like VAG and Ford. Turbocharged engines are less robust than non turbo engines with a rather expensive component (namely the turbo!) which could go bang in the long run. These types of engines will also be more stressed. It also seems that they dont offer the economic benefits (as reported I note by a lot of other posters on AE) and also suffer from a lack low down pull when they are off boost. The 1.6 turbo sounds more convincing however. For me there is no replacement for displacement.

So you would rather have your car powered by the 100BHP 2.8L V6 than the 160HP 1.6L 4cyl?

Your comment suggests that this latest generation of engines has not been designed from the bottom up as a turbo aspirated power unit, rather than the previous generations bolt-on turbo. You suggest that motor engineers have not taken the boost stresses into account when designing these dedicated turbo engines. That turbo bearings and oil feeds have not taken into account the lessons of previous generations. In other words, no progress has been made?

Lack of low down torque when the turbo has not spun up just means the driver must adapt to the way the engine works. Most just dismiss it because it doesn't pull straight off like a diesel. Same as petrol drivers dismiss diesels because they won't rev over a long range. Different styles of driving. Easily learned, even for those with slow-firing synapses.

Fuel consumption problems are almost always due to poor driving too.

2014. Try to catch up.

No this is a Qashqai, it's a fake SUV, completely soft aimed at paved streets. You need a Pathfinder, or possibly an X-Trail for that job. Or Navarra.

When did the Focus became a "huge car" ? My X5, now that's a "huge car" ;)

Thanks!

LOL Your rambling comment here makes little sense. You have also taken my comment completely out of context. Where did I say I would prefer to have a car powered by a 100hp 2.8 V6 from a Granada?! LOL! Re. reliability, you are obviously not aware of the issues affecting VAG TSi engines!
2014. Try and get real.

Agree. Dropping a 1.2 litre powerplant from a Micra into an SUV of this size seems ridulous to me.

It is a huge car for a tiny 1 litre engine!

Yes, almost any car is huge for a 1 litre engine, i've driven the 1.0 125 hp, and it's OK for the Focus, but the 1,6 tdci impressed far more. The 1.0 fits perfectly in a Fiesta though...

Strangely enough though the Nissan Qashgais have always offered really
excellent value for money couple with good economy the are never used by
British local authorities such as the NHS or Police!

One always sees Volvo and BMW in use in most areas including the North East of the UK - why is this?

Are
the reponsible British authorities just squandering the poor tax payers
money - again? - buying expensive foreign products where British
products meet the bill or is a case of strong financial lobbying ??? to
the responsible buyers involved coupled with rigged and pre arranged
requirement specifications which block out Nissans and other British
products such as Ford, Honda, Toyota and GM etc??

It happens in Germany and one nevers see foreign police cars being used there!

Please do not say its the EU!

Any comments?

Weak argument.You said "there is no replacement for displacement" and my example of the Granada is a car with more displacement producing less power.And my point about new engine development learning lessons of old engines completely wipes out your point about TSi, as the 1.4 twincharger was introduced in 2005, development 10 years ago! Yes, it's 2014, the reality is that all makers are going this way. You are not very good at this.

I was invited by the Nissan agent that deals with my Qashqai+2 NTEC to view the new Qashqai and it was a complete waste of my time gone is the room for rear passengers gone is the seven seats gone are the swivel air vents gone is the room for my small disability scooter all in all a complete and utter waste of my time and I certainly do not want a 2.0 litre x-trail which is the only thing that nissan can offer that has got seven seats or room for my buggy didnt bother having a test drive no point
sorry Nissan you have lost my patronage

5 out of 5 stars!?! Sorry AE, this is not a review - this is an add. In a year time we will see how NQ competes with other SUVs...

Got an invite to see the new Qashqai at my local dealer as the owner on an Acenta 1.5 diesel. I do like the car and the interior changes, but simple things like a power socket in the boot or for rear passengers is ridiculous. We love camping and yes I know I don't have a socket in the boot in mine, but I hoped that this would be addressed in the new model. An SUV that isn't that utilitarian. Also they sales guy was next to useless, he offered no information or advice and they didn't even have a brochure.

I'm sure Nissan are gutted lol Fascinating to read though (not)

Cool. Thanks for letting us know

Unqualified preconceptions spring to mind

...gone is the cheap materials, the rattly build quality, the high emissions... you stick with your NTEC! Pmsl

It's not the Micra engine.
Forget the CCs, look at the power output.
But of course, you know better the the Nissan engineers.

Anyone would think it was still 1998 the way you people talk.

Can you give any reasons why the 1.2 litre 3 cyl with 113BHP is too small when the engine it is replacing (the 1.6 petrol in the Mk1) has 112BHP? Do you know something that the Nissan Engineers don't?

I think it will work just fine.

I agree mike.....as a dog owner and a family that likes to go camping the +2 boot was an ideal size....the new xtrail which nissan say will replace the +2 isn't really a contender for me as I wanted the economy of the qashqai and boot space that I get at present from my +2 model.

There are 4x4 models available higher up the range. Set the drive mode to AWD and it splits the torque 50/50 between front and back wheels.

But if you want a car this size that can do off road driving, I'd look at the Kia Sportage since it has hill decent control and diff locks.

HAHA. Are you serious ? You are emphasizing style as a negative for this car ? It is, in the opinion of most people , the most stylish car in the crossover segment. Seriously, where do you people come from ? Clearly not from the same planet as most of us....

How dos it conpair with the s cross more kit and better handling?

Went for a test drive yesterrday in the 1.5 diesel Tekna and it was brilliant and full of little toys.
Compared to the Tiguan (current) and the Q3 they are miles ahead in price and spec!

In the end I went for a Ford Ranger pickup, so I can also carry my dirt bike in the back, or bicycles if cycling with wifey.

It shows the variances between franchised dealers. My dealer (Wellington Motors) is absolutely fantastic. I cannot praise their attitude and customer service enough. Just bought a 1.6 Teckna i4x4. A few holes in the salesmen's knowledge but in general really good. Two hour test drive offered, pick up my car and return for service. Free courtesy car. Free courtesy bus into town if wanted. Free car wash on a Saturday. A real old fashioned 'family' type business. It was a big reason for jumping from my 3 series, which I love to a Nissan. I was not just buying the car, but buying into the dealership and how they do things. The car was only released for sale in Feb. I would say you may have been a little too early.

Idiot. We don't need prats like you posting this sort of idiotic comments.

i4x4 is available, exactly the same as the Pahfinder, X-Trail that the idiot above mentions.

Well I got a Ford Ranger in the end, as a pickup is useful for other stuff too

So what exactly is idiotic about it? It makes perfect sense to me. If you don't agree then say why you think a Qashqai is a more suitable tow car for a boat than a Navarra? This Qashqai which is developed on the same C-Platform as the 2003 Renault Megane and Scenic?

Or you are just one of those keyboard warriors that shouts insults around is is very proud of his self. God I can't stand these people who attempt to bully on the web. Give me strength.

But without the power or the counterweight that the idiot above omits. As if 4 wheel drive were the only qualities required. Personal insults on the web? You big hero you.

This 1.2 Nissan QQ engine is a 4 cylinder engine, not a 3 cylinders...

Last updated: 12 Jun, 2014
AEX 1,338
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