The Nissan Qashqai was one of the leading crossover SUVs when it first came out.
Its popularity has lasted, and even though competitors have moved ahead, it’s still more than capable of holding its own.
While lower trims tend to be a bit short on kit, top-of-the-range, the Tekna+ offers much more, including 20-inch alloys, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, SatNav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and LED lights. It also gets a digital instrument display, i-Key, 10.8-inch head-up display, glass roof, powered tailgate, wireless charging pad, quilted premium leather massage seats and a Bose sound system.
There are two powertrains – a 1.3-litre DIG-T petrol with 158PS, and the e-Power, a 1.5-litre petrol acting as a generator to power an electric motor, producing 190PS.
The former has a choice of two-wheel drive with a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic or four-wheel drive with the CVT. The e-Power has no gearbox, as the electric motor drives the wheels.
The CVT Xtronic responds reasonably, but you need to thrash the Qashqai to get decent performance, especially at lower revs. The e-Power, though, feels pacier and more responsive to inputs.
On my car’s 20-inch alloys, the ride isn’t jarring but is noticeably less absorbing than the rest of the range. It is somewhat offset by a different suspension setup on the Tekna+, though, and you’ll get the same if you choose any four-wheel drive version. In addition, you can downgrade to smaller rims without charge.
The handling isn’t bad but falls short of challengers such as the Seat Ateca. The steering barely weights up, and there’s not much feedback through the wheel. Nevertheless, it controls body roll reasonably well in the corners and has plenty of grip, but you don’t need to push it far to find its limits.
Inside, the seats are comfortable, and the driving position is quite high. Plus, all models apart from the entry-level Visia get adjustable lumbar support, with the Tekna+ getting electric memory seats.
The 12.3-inch infotainment system is an improvement over the old eight-inch one, but you’ll get the old system in the bottom two grades.
Overall, the cabin looks smart, and there’s plenty of room in the front and rear. Boot space is 436 litres with the Tekna+, 455 litres if you choose the same trim with the e-Power, expanding to 1,379 litres in both if you fold the 60:40-split rear seats. Other grades get up to 504 litres.
Nissan’s reliability record is okay, but the automaker only offers a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty.
On the plus side, the latest Qashqai earned a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and comes with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and lane-keep assist. It also gets driver attention alert and, in the top two trims, ProPilot, which adds lane centring, while parking sensors and a rear-view camera are included, too.
Overall, the Tekna+ trim is well-equipped, but it isn’t easy to justify the price, so I’d probably go with a mid-range N-Connecta instead.
The Qashqai is a worthy competitor with a nice enough interior and lots of driving assistance, but some rivals offer slightly better value for money.
Fast Facts – Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ as tested:
- Max speed: 124 mph
- 0-62 mph: 9.2 secs
- Fuel economy: 45.9 mpg
- Engine layout: 1.3-litre four-cylinder
- Max. power (PS): 158PS
- CO2: 146 g/km
- Price: £36,125