Nissan Qashqai review
The new Nissan Qashqai moves forward in a few key areas, but ultimately can’t compete with the best in the crossover class
Nissan’s latest, third-generation Qashqai improves over its predecessor, with more space, better on-board tech and useful practical touches that give the Japanese manufacturer’s family crossover just enough of a lift to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive market.
The trouble is that the Qashqai’s close rivals are more proficient than ever before, meaning buyers will have to seriously consider where they wish to place their money. Nissan’s evolutionary take on its best-selling Qashqai recipe feels like an opportunity missed and, while it remains a solid proposition, it isn’t a class leader.
About the Nissan Qashqai
Nissan hit gold with the introduction of the Qashqai back in 2006. The Japanese manufacturer’s decision to move away from the traditional fare of the Almera hatchback and Primera saloon struck a chord with families seeking stylish 4x4 looks, plenty of space and low running costs, and the winning crossover formula has now seen over 600,000 Qashqais registered for UK roads and millions more sold worldwide.
The second-generation Qashqai, launched in 2014, didn’t need to do much more than finesse the original car’s obvious qualities and sit back and take the plaudits. However, the pace of change, particularly over the past ten years or so, has been nothing short of exponential, with manufacturers keen to cash in on the crossover craze.
Some of our favourites include the impressive Hyundai Tucson (our Mid-size SUV of the Year for 2021), the revitalised third-gen Ford Kuga and the stylish Peugeot 3008, although the VW Group offers a capable trio in the shape of the Tiguan, Skoda Karoq and SEAT Ateca.
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Further Japanese competition comes from the Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V, while the exhaustive list of rivals continues with the Kia Sportage, Renault Kadjar and Vauxhall Grandland all worthy of finding a place on the family driveway.
So, the latest Qashqai certainly has its work cut out, attempting to convince a new cohort of buyers that it still has what it takes to fit seamlessly into family life. Confusing then, that Nissan would launch the latest iteration of the Qashqai without its e-power hybrid system that offers the greener efficiencies so sought after in today’s market.
Instead, the Qashqai initially comes with just a 1.3-litre, 12V mild-hybrid petrol unit in 138bhp or 156bhp form, with the e-power variants arriving later in 2022. There is a choice of a six-speed manual or CVT auto transmission, while four-wheel-drive is available in combination with the higher-powered engine and auto ‘box.
A wide range of trim levels are available, starting with the entry Visia spec and moving through Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna and top-of-the-range Teckna+. The limited Premiere Edition is also available from launch.
The price for entry into Qashqai ownership is around £23,500, climbing to almost £38,000 for a top-spec car, although Nissan offers appealing finance deals which might help to persuade buyers away from the crossover pack.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe new Nissan Qashqai moves forward in a few key areas, but ultimately can’t compete with the best in the crossover class
- 2Engines, performance and driveNissan has added some dynamic polish to the Qashqai, but performance remains average at best
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsQashqai buyers seeking lower running costs may want to hold out for the more efficient e-power versions
- 4Interior, design and technologyNissan has sharpened up the Qashqai’s looks, with top-end versions featuring plenty of luxury kit
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThere’s a lot to like about the Qashqai’s practicality, but it lags behind some rivals for interior space
- 6Reliability and safetyStandard safety kit for the Qashqai is excellent, and a repeat five-star Euro NCAP rating should be a formality