Nissan Qashqai review 2021

The Qashqai is a best-selling crossover that’s a top pick with families.

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Out of 5


  • Roomy interior
  • Impressive technology
  • Stylish design


  • Rivals are more fun to drive
  • Firm ride on models with large alloys
  • Limited engine choice
Model review

The term ‘game-changer’ is one that’s thrown around a lot in the car world, but it very much applies to the Nissan Qashqai. Though it might not have looked all that remarkable at its launch in 2006, the Qashqai was the first true crossover – and it was able to blend the styling of an SUV with the relatively small footprint and low running costs of a regular hatchback. This market is now absolutely huge, but it was the Qashqai to help kick off it all. Built in Sunderland, ever since its launch the Qashqai has been a huge seller in the UK, frequently appearing high up in the list of the UK’s most popular cars.

The second-generation Qashqai reached showrooms in 2014, and represented quite the design makeover. Bringing a far bolder design, more interior technology and greater space, this model was again a huge seller for Nissan, and deservedly so. The Qashqai received a noticeable update in 2017, with the Japanese marque taking the style and quality up a further notch, while kitting it out with the latest safety technology on the market. 

Across the first two generations of Qashqai, Nissan sold more than 3.5 million versions of this crossover, also solidifying it as the most popular car produced in the UK.

Current model

Nissan’s latest third-generation Qashqai was finally unveiled in 2021 after being teased heavily for some time. 

Though it might not look dramatically different to the model it replaced, there are a range of important new elements that make it up. For starters, it’s the first model to be built on the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance’s CMF–B platform, allowing it to be electrified for the first time (a full hybrid is on the way in 2022) and offer greater technology, such as various new connected services. 

It’s also quite a lot roomier than its predecessor, with a far larger boot and new wider-opening rear doors really aiding access for rear passengers.

Value for money

Prices for the new Nissan Qashqai start from £24,555, which makes it one of the most affordable new models to buy in this segment. While it gets an exceptional amount of safety kit included – such as rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring – it misses out on features like a touchscreen and alloy wheels. Both of these features are added with the £27,155 Acenta Premium, which is well worth considering as it also gets blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. 

When it comes to used Qashqais, there are an exceptional number to choose from on the second-hand market, with prices actually starting from as little as £2,000 for the earliest examples – it represents one of the best ways to get behind the wheel of a used crossover. At the time of writing, the cheapest second-generation models are available from £6,000, though you’ll need to spend closer to £9,000 to get one with under 80,000 miles on the clock. You can find slight savings on the latest generation, so expect to save yourself a few thousand pounds by opting for a nearly-new example.

Looks and image

The Qashqai epitomises what a crossover is all about, and it undoubtedly remains one of the most stylish models in its class. With its sharp V-shaped grille and fancy lights that wrap around the front end, it certainly stands out on the road. That said, models higher up the range are the versions to go for if you really care about style – coming with large alloy wheels up to 20 inches and the option for a contrasting-coloured roof. 

Inside, this latest generation of Qashqai is a huge step forward compared to its predecessor. Depending on trim, you get a smart new touchscreen and digital dial system, which really lift the cabin, while the overall material quality has stepped up a notch too - though it isn’t quite as upmarket as Nissan would have you believe. 

Behind the wheel, the Nissan Qashqai is a safe and dependable option that will fit the brief perfectly for many drivers. Visibility is good, while smooth engines and that raised ride height make it very easy to live with. Though it’s better to drive than before, it’s not quite as fun as models like the Seat Ateca, however, it’s largely comfortable, as even versions on the largest alloys get a different suspension setup to help compensate.

Video review

Space and practicality

The Qashqai has always been a huge hit with families, and this latest model will only be even more appealing. It's slightly bigger than its predecessor, and means it’s now roomier than ever. Those in the back of the car will find themselves with plenty of room, while the rear doors almost open at right angles, which enables impressively easy access, especially if you’re trying to get young children into their seats. 

The new Nissan Qashqai’s boot has also grown by 74 litres, and now measures an impressive 504 litres in all. It doesn’t quite rival the class best, but it will certainly offer plenty of room for most. 

This Nissan also has a brilliant safety record,with Euro NCAP awarding the Qashqai the full five stars, with exceptional scores being recorded for adult and child occupant protection and the safety assist category – the latter helped by its comprehensive list of driver assistance features.


While Nissan will introduce a full e-Power hybrid model in 2022, for the time being this new Qashqai is only offered with a single 1.3-litre turbocharged mild-hybrid petrol engine, though it comes in several forms. 

The first serves up 138bhp, and is available solely with front-wheel-drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. Nissan claims taht 0-60mph will take 10 seconds while it’ll top out at 122mph. 

The second option is a 156bhp model, which also gets the option of a CVT automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive. With this, it can reach 0-60mph in nine seconds and hit 128mph when maxed out.

Running costs

You’ll have to wait until the full hybrid model arrives for the most efficient new Qashqai, but the current petrol options shouldn’t prove too thirsty to run, particularly when in comparison to rivals. Nissan claims up to 44.9mpg, with CO2 emissions of 143g/km. You’ll only notice it becomes considerably thirstier if you choose all-wheel-drive. 

It should prove to be affordable to insure as well, with insurance groups ranging from 11 to 17, depending on trim level, while servicing will be competitive with rivals too. 

Things to look out for

The latest Qashqai, at the time of writing, had only been on sale for a few months, so not a huge amount was known about its reliability. The previous model had a decent reputation for its dependability, though it was known for its air-con to fail and for having faulty parking sensors, so it’s worth looking out for both of these problems if buying a used example.


The Qashqai competes in one of the most tightly-fought new car segments, and there’s no end of rivals to choose from. Particularly strong models here are the Hyundai Tucson, Seat Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan, though the Ford Kuga, Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C5 Aircross are all worth a look too.


Given the sheer number of Qashqais that are sold, it does tend to lose value steeper than some of its rivals. That said, the latest models are better than ever, and given its popularity, there will always be used buyers looking for a Qashqai.

Trims explained

Five trim levels are available on the latest Nissan Qashqai. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.


Standard equipment on the Qashqai includes an electric parking brake, keyless start, automatic lights and wipers and LED front and rear lights. You also get rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and a long list of safety equipment, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and high beam assist.

From £24,555

Acenta Premium

Upgrade to the Acenta Premium and you gain dual-zone climate control, auto folding door mirrors and 17-inch alloy wheels. Keyless entry, a reversing camera and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also included.

From £27,155


The N-Connecta brings extra style thanks to 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and decorative silver trim. A panoramic camera system, front parking sensors and a larger nine-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay are also included.

From £29,190


High-spec Tekna cars bring a raft of luxuries, including an electric boot, electric driver’s seat. Head-up display and full digital instrument cluster. A wireless smartphone charging pad, satellite navigation, heated seats, heated steering wheel and a heated windscreen are added too. Styling changes include 19-inch alloy wheels, a glass roof, silver roof rails, upgraded LED lights and blue and black seating upholstery.

From £31,865


Right at the top of the range, the Tekna+ gains front massaging seats, an electric passenger seat, 20-inch alloy wheels, a 10-speaker Bose sound system and quilts premium leather seats with blue interior trim.

From £35,195


  1. Britain’s best-selling SUV
  2. Smart design inside and out
  3. Practical interior is ideal for families
  4. Very generous standard safety kit
  5. Limited range of petrol engines…
  6. Though a hybrid is on the way
  7. Nothing special to drive
  8. Broad range of trim levels
  9. Huge choice of used models
  10. The original crossover remains one of the best

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