Nissan Qashqai review 2019

Find out more about the Nissan Qashqai in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • Offers great value for money on the new and used market
  • New iterations, face-lifts and constant updates keep the model feeling fresh and up-to-date
  • Lots of good choices when it comes to engines and trim levels

Cons

  • Stiff competition from rivals
  • Not the most practical in its segment
  • Lacks flare and uniqueness compared to some other crossovers
  • MPG

    48 - 74

  • CO2

    100 - 154 g/km

Model review

The first generation of the model arrived back in 2007. Featuring the desirable SUV body style, but wrapped in a compact and affordable package, the Mk1 Qashqai was an instant hit. In its first year, Nissan sold approximately 100,000 of them in Europe alone.

Under the bonnet, the car came with a few engine choices, ranging from 1.5-litre units to 2.0-litre ones. Power outputs range from 105bhp to 148bhp, and you could get the car with either front or four-wheel-drive.

For 2010, the Japanese manufacturer facelifted the model, giving it a restyled front end along with LED taillights at the rear. In terms of the interior, the Qashqai received a new instrument panel layout, better soundproofing and minor storage additions.

The second-generation car went on sale in the UK in February of 2014, sporting a new, more modern look. However, it still retained the qualities that made the original a huge success – desirability and affordability. The same can be said for today’s Qashqai, which while still in its second iteration, received a facelift in 2017 to keep it feeling fresh.

Current model

As mentioned before, the latest Qashqai is a facelifted second-generation model. It’s now much more polished, well-rounded and capable than what Nissan first produced in 2007 – which is a testament to the continuous work the company puts into bettering the car year after year.

The car features a range of small yet efficient engines that suit the car nicely. Most of the units send power to the front, but some offer 4WD. Pair this with the choice of a manual, CVT or DCT automatic, and there’s truly a Qashqai for everyone – not to mention the various colour and trim options.

Like the first-generation, the latest Qashqai was given a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating in 2014, with adult occupant protection particularly praised.

With regards to how the Qashqai drives, it’s rather good. Overall, the car is more comfort-oriented, so don’t expect much of a spirited driving experience, but it handles well. One thing to note, however, is that comfort will be affected by the size of wheel you choose – just something to keep in mind.

Value for money

The Nissan Qashqai starts at £19,995, which is on par with the competition, if not a little cheaper in some cases. Although, in saying that, you aren’t going to want the entry-level variant, but rather at least a mid-spec one in order to get some desirable kit and creature comforts.

On the used market, the Qashqai - especially in Mk1 form - is a great bargain. The cheapest models start at around £1,000, but naturally, these will have plenty of miles on the clock. Step up to the second-generation pre-facelift model, and fortunately they’re still a good deal, with cars listed for around £6,000.

Used post-facelift models start at around £11,000, so you really can’t go wrong. In conclusion, new and used, the Qashqai is really good value for money.

Looks and image

The Qashqai does little to stand out in the styling stakes. Maybe partially to blame for this is that the car, being as popular as it is, is very common on the roads. It wouldn’t be surprising if this has allowed any spark the car’s appearance had to fizzle over the years.

Some may find this acceptable, as they just want something that just gets the job done, while others may want something a bit more special and unique, which is understandable. Crossovers like the Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq have a bit more flare inside and out – something that might just be enough to sway buyers.

Space and practicality

The Qashqai is also almost perfectly average in this department. It’s naturally more practical than a run-of-the-mill hatchback, with a 430-litre boot that’s bigger than the Volkswagen Golf’s (380 litres for reference). That being said, it looks like the competition has put forth an effort to one-up Nissan. For example, the Renault Kadjar has a 527-litre boot – that’s quite a bit larger than the Qashqai’s.

Cabin space is good though, with five adults able to fit nicely. Interior stowage is also an area where the Qashqai fairs well. Our only complaint is that the interior doesn’t feel the airiest place to spend time in, thanks to rather high windows.

Engines

There’s just one petrol engine in the Qashqai’s range, and it’s a turbocharged 1.3-litre that puts out either 138 or 158bhp depending on the configuration. With a 0-60mph time of 10.5 seconds for the former and 8.9 for the latter, it’s reasonably nippy no matter which you go for.

With the diesels, on the other hand, there’s a bit more choice. First of all, there’s a 1.5-litre that’ll serve you well if you often drive long journeys, along with a larger 1.7-litre that packs 148bhp.

Running costs

The aforementioned 1.5-litre diesel is your best bet if high MPG numbers are at the top of your list. It’ll return 64.3mpg, while emitting just 100g/km of CO2 emissions. The 1.3-litre petrol isn’t much worse though, with a claimed 53.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 121g/km.

This all results in a car that’s really rather affordable to run, especially for an SUV. It certainly won’t break the bank – in addition, every new Qashqai will cost £140 a year in road tax.

Things to look out for

Overall, the Qashqai has proven to be fairly reliable in the surveys, if not slightly below average. This can be said for first and second gen models, with customers reporting bits and bobs here and there going wrong. For example, on Mk1s, listen out for rattles or groans from the rear suspension caused by worn shock absorbers, and look out for malfunctioning central locking key fobs.

Rivals

As the model played a key part in the birth of the compact SUV boom we’re still experiencing today, there are no shortage of competitors that have spawned since the Qashqai’s inception in 2007.

Cars like the Renault Kadjar, Skoda Karoq, Seat Ateca, Ford Kuga, Fiat 500X, Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X are all gunning for a slice of the Qashqai’s success. Some have done a better job than others, mind you, and Nissan definitely isn’t leaps and bounds ahead when it comes to the best crossover – there’s stiff competition for sure.

Depreciation

The Qashqai isn’t known for being the best at holding its value. As models are so common and aren’t particularly expensive, premium or sought after, they lose value at about the same pace as other mainstream compact crossovers.

There are two upsides, however. The first of which is that Qashqais aren’t that expensive to buy new anyway, meaning there’s not massive amounts of value to lose. And secondly, it does result in some used car bargains.

Which Qashqai to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

1.3 DiG-T Visia 5dr

Most MPG

1.5 dCi [115] Visia 5dr

Fastest Model (0-60)

1.3 DiG-T 160 Acenta Premium 5dr

Summary

  1. The Qashqai, after starting the crossover craze in 2007, is still one of the class leaders
  2. The model has evolved and improved over the years, while sticking to its roots of being an affordable compact SUV
  3. It features a good selection of small yet efficient engines that won’t break the bank when it comes to running costs
  4. It drives well and offers good levels of comfort, although remember the larger the wheels the less comfortable the ride will be
  5. It’s neither the worst nor the best when it comes to practicality
  6. It faces stiff competition from other cars in the segment
  7. There are plenty of used first and second-generation Qashqais that can be had for as little as £1,000
  8. Overall, the car offers great value for money whether new or used
  9. It’s best to go for one of the mid-level trims to get some good kit at an affordable price
  10. Prices for new models start at £19,995

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