Nissan Qashqai review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Qashqai is a spacious and comfortable family crossover - although it no longer has the biggest boot around.
When the latest Qashqai first arrived in 2014, it was one of the more practical crossovers in its class. Now, though, a glut of newer rivals has usurped the Sunderland-built car for outright space, meaning the Qashqai is merely average in this respect now. Still, visibility is good and the boot floor is versatile.
The Nissan Qashqai is 4,394mm long and 2,070mm wide including the wing mirrors. That makes it slightly smaller than the Kia Sportage and similar to the SEAT Ateca. It’s a touch lower than both cars, too.
Compared to a typical family hatchback like the Ford Focus, the Qashqai is doesn't offer much more outright room. The key difference is the extra height that’s such a central part of the crossover’s appeal. Where the Focus stands 1,469mm tall, the Qashqai towers 1,595mm off the tarmac, this extra translates to easier access and an elevated driving position.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Overall, there’s still decent legroom in the rear and the transmission tunnel doesn’t intrude on the middle-seat passenger’s foot space. Three adults could manage short journeys in relative comfort back there.
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The higher-spec Nissan Qashqai models have 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 rear cabin a little dark. Rivals like the Toyota C-HR suffer from similar problems, though.
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.
Any crossover has to be versatile, but with only 430 litres of boot space the Qashqai’s load bay is small compared with its rivals. It gives away 80 litres to the SEAT Ateca and a whopping 161 litres to the Peugeot 3008. Still, the luggage area is well-shaped, 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.
However, these features don't disguise the fact that a number of new models - from the 3008, to the Ateca, CX-5 and Sportage, offer greater capacity with the seats up.
If you plan on towing a trailer with your Qashqai, the most powerful diesel model is the best choice: all 1.7-litre iterations are rated at 2,000kg for braked trailers or 750kg. The 1.5-litre diesel is rated to 1,500kg for a braked trailer if fitted with an auto box, or 1,450kg in conjunction with a manual; unbraked figures are 737kg and 730kg for auto and manual options respectively.
Go for the entry-level petrol and you’ll be able to tow a braked trailer of up to 1,300kg, or an unbraked trailer weighing up to 687kg. The more powerful petrol can tow a braked trailer of up to 1,500kg, or an unbraked trailer weighing 687kg (with a manual gearbox) or 695kg (with an auto).
In this review
- 1VerdictNew engines keep the facelifted Qashqai competitive against a slew of family crossover rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveLow noise levels and a comfortable ride, though it's not the sharpest drive in the crossover class.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsAdvanced engines deliver some of the best fuel economy figures of any crossover.
- 4Interior, design and technologyLatest Qashqai has sharper, more grown-up looks than the original, and cabin quality is boosted
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Qashqai is a spacious and comfortable family crossover - although it no longer has the biggest boot around.
- 6Reliability and SafetySafety technology is comprehensive, although reliability scores in Driver Power aren't the best