The Qashqai feels fairly solid inside but alternatives have plusher materials and more modern infotainment systems
Besides a few subtle tweaks, the Nissan Qashqai’s interior looks almost identical to when this version was launched in 2014. The most noticeable changes are the sporty new steering wheel (that gives you a slightly better view of the instruments) and the larger infotainment screen fitted to mid-specification models and above.
Sadly, it is nowhere near as modern as the Peugeot 3008’s slick minimalist interior but at least the surfaces you’ll regularly touch feel soft and yielding. Every Nissan Qashqai comes with a 5.0-inch colour display nestled neatly between the analogue dials, too.
Pick an N-Connecta version or above and you’ll be treated to a 7.0-inch touchscreen display while Tekna cars get an upgraded Bose stereo system and heated front seats. Rather frustratingly, seats with electrical adjustment and memory functions (especially useful if you regularly lend your car to someone else) are reserved for range-topping Tekna+ models.
The Nissan Qashqai’s cabin was updated in 2017 but the differences are harder to spot than Where’s Wally in an American flag factory
Nissan Qashqai Visia and Acenta cars come with a CD player, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity as standard but, lack any kind of central infotainment screen or satellite navigation system.
Pay a little extra for an N-Connecta model or above and you’ll get a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with sat nav as standard, but it is nowhere near the best system on the market. Its blocky graphics look a little bit basic and dated compared to the slick screen in a Volkswagen Tiguan but it’s still colourful and clear enough to read in bright sunlight.
The system responds quickly when you touch the screen and it’s easy to punch in a postcode, the only downside is that calculating the route to your destination takes noticeably longer than in the Tiguan.
You can’t get voice recognition on any Nissan Qashqai but its physical shortcut buttons make it dead easy to access key features without taking your eyes off the road for too long. The system’s menus are logically laid out too, and inputting a postcode is easy. Following the sat-nav’s directions on the five-inch driver’s display is simple but not quite as simple as on the optional 12-inch digital driver’s display in a Tiguan.
The Nissan Qashqai does not come with the option of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring. As a result, you can’t use your phone’s satellite navigation or music streaming apps through the car’s built-in screen.
Visia cars have to make do with a fairly weedy four-speaker stereo system while Acenta and N-Connecta versions get a slightly improved six-speaker unit. More expensive Tekna and Tekna+ versions get a much better Bose stereo as standard with eight speakers and a bass-boosting subwoofer. Unfortunately, you can’t get it as an optional extra on cheaper models, and no Nissan Qashqai can play music via Bluetooth – if you want to do that, you’ll need an AUX lead.