In-depth reviews

Nissan Qashqai review - Interior, design and technology

Nissan has sharpened up the Qashqai’s looks, with top-end versions featuring plenty of luxury kit

The exterior look of the latest Qashqai isn’t that far removed from the previous model, yet it delivers a smarter, more sophisticated appearance with bold surfacing, a sharp headlight/running light design and a fresh take on the company’s signature V-Motion grille. It all adds up to give a more modern air, underpinned by a 35mm increase in length and 32mm in width.

The doors and front wings are now made from aluminium, with a composite boot lid also saving a few extra kilos of weight. Overall, the Qashqai has shed 60kg compared to the previous model, while being 48 per cent stiffer, which Nissan claims helps improve ride comfort, refinement and driving responses from the car. The manufacturer has also revised the Qashqai’s CMF platform (now called CMF-C) to help with accommodating its hybrid tech and to improve packaging.

Inside the cabin you’ll notice that there is a definite boost in perceived quality, with soft-touch materials on the dash and door cards. The top-spec Tekna+ trim includes a host of luxury kit such as quilted leather upholstery, electrically-adjustable front seats with heating, massage and memory functions, a heated steering wheel, a fixed glass roof and an automatic tailgate. The entry Visia trim is a little sparse, while the N-Connecta model could be the sweet spot in the range as it comes with the 12.3-inch digital cockpit, wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, front parking sensors and built-in sat-nav.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

In-car tech has been an area where the Qashqai has lagged behind its rivals, so Nissan has worked hard to improve its set-up for this third-gen version. And it has made a massive step up from the old car. There’s a 12.3-inch digital dials panel on all but the most basic models and, at the top of the range, a large head-up display. 

The main infotainment system itself is better too, although the graphics look a little dated compared to the set-ups in the Hyundai Tucson and Peugeot 3008. Where it does score highly, however, is in its speed of response to touches and its loading times. The process from typing a postcode on the touchscreen to a fully loaded route giving instructions takes just 19 seconds. Physical controls for the volume and the main shortcuts come in handy, while the screen’s position high on the dash means it’s easy to use on the move.

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