Used car tests

Used Nissan Qashqai review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Nissan Qashqai covering the Qashqai Mk1 (2007-2013) and Qashqai Mk2 (2014-date)

March 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the first Nissan Qashqai going on sale in the UK. The original model was a bold move on Nissan’s part, as not only was it the first-ever crossover, there were plenty of people who wondered if replacing a conventional family car with an SUV was a wise idea.

But it proved to be the right move at the right time, with the Qashqai Mk1 capturing buyers’ imaginations; almost 100,000 were sold across Europe in the first year, and the car notched up one award after another.

We’ve given its successor our fair share of gongs, including Best Crossover in 2014, then again in 2015. But as one of the UK’s most popular cars, is the Qashqai Mk2 all it’s cracked up to be as a used buy? 

Models covered

The original Nissan Qashqai arrived in 2007 and was on sale for six years before being replace by the Mk2. We’re covering both generations in this review.

  • • Nissan Qashqai Mk1 (2007-2013) - Original Qashqai is a great used family buy thanks to great practicality and reliability.
  • • Nissan Qashqai Mk2 (2014-date) - Second-generation crossover is now a decent-value used buy.

Nissan Qashqai Mk2

History

The second-generation Qashqai reached UK showrooms in January 2014. At first there were 1.5 or 1.6 dCi diesels along with a 1.2 DIG-T petrol. Trim levels were Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium and Tekna, but in October 2014 n-tec replaced Acenta Premium.

The 1.6 dCi had automatic and four-wheel drive options (although you couldn’t get both at the same time), and from October 2014 the 1.2 DIG-T came in CVT auto as well. Sitting below Tekna, the high-spec SV1 special edition arrived in September 2014 with keyless go, privacy glass and Safety Shield (Nissan’s hi-tech driver assistance aids). These were also fitted to the Black Edition that went on sale in July 2016; this also featured 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and Park Assist. 

Nissan Qashqai Mk2 reviews

Nissan Qashqai in-depth reviewNissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi reviewNissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi Tekna automatic reviewNissan Qashqai 1.6 DIG-T n-tec reviewNissan Qashqai Acenta reviewNissan Qashqai Acenta Premium reviewNissan Qashqai Tekna reviewNissan Qashqai long-term test review

Which one should I buy?

No engines should be avoided, although the 1.2 petrol isn’t ideal for motorway driving. If you tow, buy a 4WD model, otherwise stick with front-wheel drive for lower running costs. All Qashqais have climate control, Hill Start Assist, a five-inch colour screen and speed limiter/cruise control. Acenta models also have dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloys and auto lights and wipers.

A rear view camera, parking sensors, panoramic roof, upgraded infotainment, front collision assist, high beam assist and lane departure warning were all standard on the Acenta Premium/n-tec, while the Tekna also has LED headlights, traffic sign recognition and 19-inch alloy wheels. This is in addition to heated front seats and 360-degree cameras.

Alternatives to the Nissan Qashqai Mk2

As one of the most popular segments across Europe, there’s no shortage of great compact SUVs and crossovers to choose from. For value, the Kia Sportage is hard to beat; a seven-year warranty means peace of mind comes as standard too. The Renault Kadjar is closely related to the Qashqai, but finished third in the latest Driver Power survey, and is sold at more competitive prices. The Skoda Yeti has always done incredibly well in Driver Power, too.

Other rivals include the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which are reliable and well built. For driving enjoyment, availability and value, the Ford Kuga is hard to beat, but also check out the Mazda CX-5 for its style, value and sharp dynamics. 

What to look for: 

Sensor faults

The parking sensors are known to fill up with water then either bleep when they shouldn’t, or fail to bleep when they should.

Trim damage

When the rear seat backs are put up, the safety belts get trapped, which can lead to the buckles damaging the seat fabric. 

Air-con woes

Quite a few owners have had problems with the air-con. Sometimes it works fine for a while, but it can fail altogether.

Entertainment

The DAB radio can sometimes work erratically. Getting stations to store can be difficult, and the radio can cut out while on the move. 

Interior

The dash looks smart, but cabin quality is variable. Tall passengers in the back will find legroom tight. The Qashqai Mk1 came in seven-seat form, but the Mk2 doesn’t – buy an X-Trail instead. Boot space is 430 litres with the seats up, or 1,585 litres with them down.

Running costs

All Qashqais need to be serviced every 12 months, and in most cases the mileage cap is 18,000 miles. However, some engines are limited to just 12,500 miles; check the chassis number with a dealer to clarify the schedule.

Services alternate between minor and major, which are priced at £179 and £269 for diesel-engined editions; petrols cut these costs to £159 and £249. All engines are chain-driven apart from the 1.5 dCi, which needs a fresh cambelt every five years or 75,000 miles; expect to pay £480-£550 depending on labour rate. Fresh brake fluid is needed every two years (at £30) while the coolant should be replaced every three years at a cost of £65. 

Recalls

Despite Nissan’s reputation for thorough engineering, the Qashqai Mk2 has already had two recalls. The first in December 2014 affected cars built up to October of that year with a factory-fitted tow bar, which could detach.

The most recent campaign was started in July 2016 and affected cars built between April 2015 and June 2016. The rear oxygen sensor in the exhaust on these could fail, with no warning being displayed on the dash. The ECU was reprogrammed on faulty cars.

Driver Power owner satisfaction

The Qashqai has won plenty of awards, but owners don’t rate it so highly; it came 131st in our Driver Power 2016 satisfaction survey (48th in 2015). Seat comfort and practicality were the highlights (50th and 52nd), along with ride quality (59th). But 150th for reliability and build is worrying.

Verdict

Nissan has sold over 2.3 million Qashqais, and it’s easy to see why. It’s good to drive, available with decent engines and as long as you avoid entry-level models, equipment levels are generous. However, whereas Nissan is usually synonymous with reliability, the Qashqai isn’t proving to be very well built; it ranked bottom for build quality and reliability out of 150 cars in our Driver Power 2016 satisfaction survey. The Qashqai is easy to love and worth a look; just buy with care.

Click through to page two for our full buyer’s guide on the Nissan Qashqai Mk1 sold from 2007-2013…

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