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Expert Review

Nissan Qashqai SUV (2017 - 2021) review

The Nissan Qashqai is one of the best-selling SUVs. Read our expert review to find out whether its popularity is well-deserved.

Phill Tromans

Words by: Phill Tromans

Auto Trader

Additional words by: Auto Trader

Last updated on 16 January 2020 | 0 min read

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


The Nissan Qashqai is one of the most popular SUVs, and it remains one of the best. While some rivals are a bit sportier or a touch more practical, the Qashqai scores well every area. It’s a great all-rounder.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickComfortable cabin
  • tickMost versions are well equipped
  • tickEconomical engines

At a glance:

Running costs for a Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai’s purchase prices are broadly in line with much of the competition, although its residual values aren’t as good as some. Its engines are very efficient, however, which means fuel and company car tax bills are among the lowest in the class. The Qashqai’s 1.5-litre diesel engine is especially impressive for its fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Unlike rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, there’s no hybrid model in the range.

Expert rating: 4/5

Nissan Qashqai

Reliability of a Nissan Qashqai

Nissan has a good reliability record as a brand, and consistently finishes near the top of various reliability and owner satisfaction surveys. Owners of the current Qashqai that have posted reviews on Auto Trader are generally happy with their car, too. Warranty cover is three years or 60,000 miles. While that’s the industry norm, rival SUVs from Kia and Hyundai give you longer cover.

Expert rating: 4/5

Nissan Qashqai

Safety for a Nissan Qashqai

Even though it’s been around for a few years, the current Qashqai is available with a range of cutting-edge safety features. Every version has a full complement of airbags, Isofix mountings and electronic driver aids, and all but the cheapest versions come with Nissan’s Smart Vision Pack, which includes a traffic sign recognition system, automatic emergency braking and a lane departure warning system. Higher-spec cars have a blind-spot warning system, while those at the top of the range feature intelligent cruise control and a system that uses the brakes to guide you back on track if you start to veer out of your lane on the motorway. The Qashqai received a five-star rating when tested by Euro NCAP in 2014; it remains a safe way for you and your family to travel.

Expert rating: 4/5

Nissan Qashqai

How comfortable is the Nissan Qashqai

While some SUVs have a sportier character, the Qashqai is unashamedly family and comfort-oriented, and that’s no bad thing. As well as the raised seating position that SUV fans love, the Qashqai has supportive seats front and back and there’s sufficient adjustment that just about anyone can get comfortable behind the wheel. Although it’s not the most practical car in its class, the Qashqai offers plenty of headroom and legroom for four adults, and five can fit at a push. The boot is large and well-shaped, and it has clever features such as a movable floor that gives you a perfectly flat load area when the rear seat back seats are folded. These are standard on all trims except the entry-level model. Rivals such as the Peugeot 3008 and Seat Ateca provide more outright space, but no-one’s likely to feel short-changed by the amount you get in the Qashqai. The interior looks and feels good too, even if newer rivals have a more of-the-moment appearance. The dashboard is pleasantly simple and the touch-screen that features on most models is easy enough to use, if not as large or responsive as the best-in-class. Ride comfort is a strength for all models, with suspension that smooths out most bumps well. Again, some SUVs are sportier and more fun, but the Qashqai feels reassuringly solid and assured on the road.

Expert rating: 4/5

Nissan Qashqai

Features of the Nissan Qashqai

Most versions of the Qashqai are very well equipped. The exception is the cheapest trim level which includes DAB radio, cruise control and manual air conditioning, but not alloy wheels. Move up at least a trim level (as the vast majority of buyers do) and you get a huge array of luxury and convenience features for your money. Just one step up from the basic trim and the list of extra kit is lengthy. As well as those desirable alloy wheels, it includes more advanced safety features, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a touch-screen navigation and entertainment system, automatic headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control and much more. Move up just one more grade (meaning that this is still only a mid-spec car) and additional equipment includes a 360-degree camera that helps when parking, as well as even more sophisticated safety kit. The top-spec models are lavishly equipped, with features such as leather or part-leather trim, a Bose sound system, LED headlights, electric driver’s seat adjustment and a panoramic roof.

Expert rating: 4/5

Nissan Qashqai

Power for a Nissan Qashqai

There are four engines to choose from in the Qashqai range – two petrol and two diesel. All of them are up to the job, so it just depends whether you prefer a bit more oomph. The more powerful version of the 1.3-litre petrol gives you the option of an automatic gearbox (rather than a six-speed manual) as well as stronger responses. The 1.5 and 1.7-litre diesel engines are both available with manual or automatic transmissions. The larger engine has significantly more power, and if you want four-wheel drive this is the only engine that it’s available for (as an option with a manual gearbox, or as standard with the automatic).

Expert rating: 3/5

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