Kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai

12 Jun, 2014 11:30am

The revised Kia Sportage is looking to steal back the compact SUV crossover crown from Nissan’s Qashqai

There’s healthy competition in the compact SUV crossover class, so cars at the front of the pack only 18 months ago have to raise their game to keep up with newer arrivals.

One such model is the Kia Sportage. When it was introduced in 2010, it caused quite a stir thanks to its cutting-edge styling, practical interior and decent amount of standard kit. Yet Kia has now decided the Sportage needs an update, and has introduced a subtly revised version.

But is it enough to keep Kia in class contention? To find out, we’ve lined up the new model against the new Nissan Qashqai, which was launched at the start of the year and has already beaten the pre-facelifted predecessor (Issue 1,301). We try both cars in efficient front-wheel-drive guise.

So can the Sportage hold its own against the newer Qashqai?

Click the links below for the full verdict on each car...

Kia Sportage review

Nissan Qashqai review

Now read our head-to-head group test results below...


Panoramic roof

The Acenta Premium-spec Nissan Qashqai and above get a fixed glass roof that stretches uninterrupted from the top of the windscreen to just above the C-pillars. It gives the interior a bright, airy feel, while a powered blind keeps the cabin cool when the car is parked in sunlight. However, the Kia Sportage goes one better: the front section of its roof slides back, creating a big opening above the driver and passenger.

Hi-tech lights

BOTH cars have LED lighting tech, but the Nissan’s set-up is more sophisticated. It uses the energy-saving bulbs for the headlamps and daytime running lights (DRLs). The Sportage has distinctive LEDs in the indicator side repeaters and DRLs, but uses xenons for the dipped and main beam.



The Kia Sportage features an efficiency-boosting ecoDynamics kit which includes stop-start, and helps to peg the Sportage’s CO2 output at 143g/km – or 135g/km with 17-inch alloys. That’s still much higher than the Qashqai, which emits a supermini-rivalling 99g/km.


1st place: Nissan Qashqai


The Nissan Qashqai maintains its advantage over the revised Kia Sportage. It’s more refined and comfortable than its rival, while low emissions and better fuel economy mean more affordable running costs. Add decent equipment and a versatile interior, and it’s the smart choice here.

2nd place: Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is a decent crossover – it looks good and the updates have definitely improved the cabin. But the rest of the revisions aren’t enough to put it back to the front of the class, and Kia needs to do more work on emissions to make it competitive.

Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Acenta Premium Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi 3 Nav
On the road price/total as tested £23,180/£25,855 £23,900/£24,395
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000) £10,906/47.1% £13,279/55.6%
Depreciation £12,274 £10,621
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £694/£1,388 £1,138/£2,275
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £1,744/£2,907 £1,904/£3,174
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 14/£302/A/£0 13/£283/F/£145
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £159/£249/£159 £329 (3yrs)
Length/wheelbase 4,377/2,646mm 4,440/2,640mm
Height/width 1,590/1,806mm 1,645/1,855mm
Engine 4cyl in-line/1,461cc 4cyl in-line/1,685cc
Peak power/revs  109/4,000 bhp/rpm 114/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs  260/1,750 Nm/rpm 260/1,250 Nm/rpm
Transmission  6-spd man/FWD 6-spd man/FWD
  55 litres/repair kit 55 litres/full alloy
Boot capacity 430/1,585 litres 564/1,353 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,365/545/1,350kg 1,490/450/1,200kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient 10.7 metres/N/A 10.6 metres/0.37Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (60,000)/3yrs 7yrs (100,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers 18k miles (1yr)/225 20k miles (1yr)/170
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 22nd/11th* 7th/10th*
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars 88/83/69/5 93/86/49/5
0-60/30-70mph 11.0/11.4 secs 11.9/12.4 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 4.7/7.4 secs 4.7/6.1 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th 10.1/12.7 secs 9.4/12.4 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph  113mph/2,000rpm 107mph/2,250rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph  48.8/33.2/9.6m 49.6/34.8/10.1m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph 64/48/61/71dB 64/47/61/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 42.6/9.4/515 miles 39.0/8.6/472 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined  67.3/78.5/74.3mpg 44.8/56.5/52.3mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined  14.8/17.3/16.3mpl 9.9/12.4/11.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 178/99g/km/15% 194/143g/km/24%
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/camera Six/yes/yes/yes Six/yes/yes/yes
Adapt dampers/air susp/hill descent  Yes/no/no Yes/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seats Yes/yes/yes No/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/cruise control £525/no/yes £510/yes/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth Yes/yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/£250/yes


Disqus - noscript

There is no way the Hyundai would have a higher resale value than the Nissan. Look at the current prices of used examples and you'll see that the Nissan wipes the floor with the inferior Korean brands!

Honestly... The "Head to Head" focuses on roofs, lights, and emissions? Fair enough on the emissions, but have you really split these cars based on roofs and lights? That's a new way to pick a winner!!

I agree on the resale point too... I'd very surprised if in the real world, the Kia got as much back as the Nissan - from what I've read elsewhere it seems to be a step up in quality.

In the States, Hyundais have higher resale than Nissans.

The Sportage needs a radical overhaul.

It needs a new engine as the existing diesels are like a bucket of bolts.

A new more efficient automatic gearbox, the existing one is rubbish.

Improved stiffer suspension, so it doesn't wallow when it goes into corners.

Steering that that reacts immediately and is sharp and responsive.

Infotainment system needs a complete rewrite. Sat nav is awful, don't even consider the Kia DAB module, it's awful rubbish.

The xenon headlights are awful too.

SUVs generally hold on to their price better that is until SUVs outnumber normal cars which - going by the current trend among car makers - won't be too long.
Kia Sportage is the larger of these two cars but the recent face-lift failed to bring the emissions down while the Mk II Qashqai literally rewrites the rules of MPG.
For a car this size to offer zero road tax is remarkable. The cleanest Sportage trails by 5 VED bands. Residuals and warranty are the two areas where Qashqai trails Sportage.

The residuals of the OLD Qashqai are higher than those of THIS generation Sportage. Look at the auction data! I can't see how the new QQ wouldn't have even higher residuals!

Yeah, but you are dealing with Americans. They're not the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer.

Yokohama Win Osss hehe

Puerile & Inane drivel is not wanted here.

That's odd, I always thought Nissan was the inferior brand compared to Hyundai/Kia. Nissans in general are blighted by pig ugly looks - look no further than the Puke (aka juke)- and quality that is only average at best. Been scratching my head to understand why there's so much love for this humdrum brand in the UK - then I realised it's because Nissans are manufactured in this country so it's a case of getting behind your own horse. Shoddy partisanship at its best.

Seems the Sportage's sales success in the UK has really got to your head. Cheer up lad.

No, just don't want anyone else to make the same mistake that I made in buying one. And Kia customer service sucks as well.

Hyundai/Kia make more reliable, better quality vehicles than Nissan. On top of that they have the best warranty in the business. So it's only right and proper that they have much higher resale values than the Japanese make.
Also don't forget we are only talking about Nissan- it's not exactly on par with Audi in terms of prestige is it?

It's all well and good arguing why Hyundais should have better resale values then Nissan but the fact is they don't for these models. The QQ has noticeably better resale values than the Sportage. It goes to show that a long warranty can't beat a car that's desirable and nice to drive!

I would agree that Nissan has some tacky models like the Pixo that are cheaply built for the Indian market which will inevitably bring down residuals

A warranty is only a good as the paper it's written on and only if you have need to use it. Most have so many exceptions & exclusions they're not worth the paper they're written on.

Besides who keeps a car for more than four years I get rid after three.


Heavy discounting and finance pushing = sales but not success.

But is inevitable, starting with the editorial.

Oh BTW, Kia salespeople, quite happy to sell you a tin can, but when it comes to disatisfaction and the need to sell one them back, they don't want to know, Dover Garage (Ash).

I should have listened to a couple of my work colleagues who have dealt with them, they were right!

But at the same time, Americans are the ones who made Toyota and Honda what they are today.

And in automotive reviews, Hyundais and Kias pretty much across the board have done better than Nissans, much less Toyotas.

It takes TIME for the market to catch up with the realities.

"Americans are the ones who made Toyota and Honda what they are today." What dull and boring? Europeans couldn't get enough Toyotas and Hondas when they produced classics like the MR2, S2000 and the Supra. The Americans love cars like the Camry which is like a chest freezer on wheels.

BT, if anyone sees RE62FXV, which I had, don't touch it.

I sold it, the dealer who I did a PX with sold it, the person who bought it from them has sold it after a very short time, it's been through 3 people's hands now and the last time I saw it, it was in Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire areas.

The gearbox is bonkers, goes up and down more times than a Guildford girls drawers. It handles like a mule and drinks diesel like a alcoholic drinks vodka.