The Nissan Qashqai is a comfy, easy-to-drive family SUV with space for four adults – but alternatives have more modern interiors and bigger boots
If you want an easy-to-drive family car that gives you a good view out over other cars and comfortable suspension that’ll lull the kids to sleep, then it’s worth considering the Nissan Qashqai.
This version of the Nissan Qashqai was introduced in 2017 and updated in 2018 with some brand-new engines, semi-autonomous driving assistant and an updated version of the infotainment system.
Despite these improvements, the Qashqai’s interior isn’t cutting edge and doesn’t have anywhere near as much style as the Peugeot 3008‘s cabin – the Nissan’s infotainment system in particular, despite a 2018 update, doesn’t look terribly modern. But, at least it’s pretty responsive.
The Nissan Qashqai also lags slightly behind newer alternatives such as the Kia Sportage in terms of practicality. The Qashqai’s boot is smaller than the Sportage’s, for example, although the Nissan can still carry a family’s weekend luggage.
Space in the back is OK, but average versus alternatives – three kids will fit in the back just fine, but if you want a bit more rear-seat width as your brood grows up then the Kia Sportage will be a slightly better choice.
Qashqai might be difficult to spell, but everything else about it makes life easier – it’s easy to drive, cheap to run and very comfy
The Nissan Qashqai is better than the Sportage once you’re on the move – it’s quieter with less wind and road noise than the Kia, though a Tiguan is quieter still, and the clever suspension system fitted to all cars keeps the Qashqai’s body level over bumps – helpful if your kids are prone to car sickness.
Don’t fret if the Qashqai’s going to be your first SUV – although it’s tall and gives a better view over cars than something like a Volkswagen Golf, it’s just as easy to drive. The steering’s light, and N-Connecta cars get a fantastic 360-degree camera for a top-down view of the Qashqai that makes it easy to squeeze into parking spaces. You can even spec up a semi-autonomous driving assistant called ProPilot that takes the stress away from motorway journeys.
In fact, the only thing more straightforward than the Qashqai’s driving experience is its choice of engines. The smooth and quiet 1.3-litre petrol, available in two power outputs, should be the default choice, but if you do huge motorway miles the better fuel economy of the 1.5-litre diesel will make sense in the long run.
In terms of safety, the Nissan Qashqai got a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test score in 2014, and, despite that fairly outdated result, you can add a fair bit of optional safety tech such as auto emergency braking to keep the Qashqai up to date.