Pros: Interior space, comfort, connectivity, versatility
Cons: Underpowered, disappointing electrification, some cheap materials
The Nissan Qashqai kicked off the modern fascination with the crossover, a vehicle that looks like an SUV but is barely larger than a family hatchback. Today the market is full of them with crossovers available from almost every brand, so has the third generation Qashqai got what it takes to compete?
Nissan Qashqai Design
Nissan ushered in a new era of design with its latest Juke model and that styling has now been carried over into the new Qashqai. It has a bold facade with a high bonnet, large V-shaped chrome grille surround and the inclusion of boomerang-style LED headlights and daytime running lights. There’s the option for a contrasting colour to the upper bodywork and at the rear it all looks modern and uncluttered. It’s a way more edgy design than previous generations, designed to look both more dynamic and more premium and in this regard it works well.
Nissan Qashqai Interior
The move to a new platform means that, while the Qashqai hasn’t grown that much in stature on the outside, things are much bigger on the inside. There’s more head- and legroom, especially for those sat in the back seats. The luggage space is still as practical as ever, with a partitioned floor that has a carpeted surface on one side and an easy-to-clean material on the other.
The controls are all well laid out, with Nissan resisting the urge to put too much into the touchscreen infotainment system, so you get plenty of buttons that are easy to use while driving. That infotainment system allows you to connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and it can use things like Alexa or Google Assistant too. It’s part of a number of tech features inside the Qashqai, including a wide digital instrumentation screen that you can personalise a bit, and USB ports for the kids to plug in to in the back.
You can even have a bit of upmarket luxury with the option of sumptuous quilted Nappa leather upholstery,
Nissan Qashqai Performance & Drive
The Qashqai is now an all-petrol affair, although its four-cylinder, turbocharged 1.3-litre engine is matched up with the slightest of electrification to create a mild hybrid. It uses a 12-volt lithium-ion battery system to provide an additional 6Nm of torque, power the stop-start system and provide a bit of assistance while cruising. If you want more electrification, then later on Nissan will add its new E-Power technology that uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine as a generator to create electricity for an electric motor that then turns the wheels.
The six-speed manual gearbox requires lots of gear-changing, so we think the new Xtronic CVT auto is actually the best option. It’s relatively quiet and smooth and if you want to feel like you are changing gears then there are paddles behind the steering wheel. Higher spec models have the best road manners courtesy of better rear suspension, but all drive reasonably well and will cope with the rigours of urban and long-distance driving with ease.
Nissan Qashqai Pricing
Prices start at €30,500 for the entry-level XE, excluding the usual on-the-road costs. The top of the range model will set you back €44,600, but you do get quite a lot for the money including the more preferable CVT gearbox.
Carzone Verdict: 4/5
The new Qashqai isn’t going to have an easy job of it, arriving at a time when there are dozens of crossovers to choose from, many of which have a higher degree of electrification, although the E-Power models will be along shortly. It still has all the qualities that made the Qashqai so popular in its day, together with the features we expect to find today such as connectivity and driver assist systems. It ticks all the boxes as a good crossover, but it no longer sets the standard in the way it once did.