2021 All-New Nissan Qashqai Review

5/5

Overview

The Qashqai is one of Ireland’s best-selling cars and is the car that is arguably most to blame for the plethora of small SUVs on our roads these days. Who could have predicted when the Qashqai first arrived in Irish showrooms over ten years ago the impact it would have on the market. Whereas once the Qashqai dominated the market it now has some serious rivals from the likes of Mazda and Peugeot. Nissan have been canny enough to give the model updates to make sure it remained competitive and this is the latest version with new styling, a more plush interior and new petrol engines. 

Pros
  • Typical Nissan reliability and dealership network
  • Ergonomic interior design
  • Comprehensive list of safety equipment
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
Cons
  • Safe interior styling

Exterior

In terms of size and proportions there is not much to distinguish the new model from the old one. The C-shaped headlights that incorporate daytime running lights flank a chrome-tipped grille similar to what you would find on the Nissan Juke. There is improved visibility thanks to the new location of the mirrors from the A-pillar to the door. The high-mounted taillights are sleeker while the Qashqai badge is now centrally mounted. 

Interior

The interior remains quite sedate but is laid out nicely. The new ‘Nissan Connect’ infotainment system is based on the same formula as the last model with the one notable exception being the ability to skip Nissan’s layout completely if you wish to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, making for a much easier way of playing music or using sat nav. It is big, comfortable, easy to see out of and will tick most of the boxes for most of the people.

Performance

Nissan predict that over 50 percent of new Qashqai’s sold in Ireland will have their 1.3 litre petrol engine. It’s a punchy engine that makes light work of pulling an SUV while remaining refined, gently idling away in the background. With plenty of low down torque, the Qashqai’s acceleration is effortless, while never bordering in exhilarating. You will have a choice of either a 138bhp or 158bhp version with the latter variety offering an extra 200kg of carrying capacity. The 1.7 litre diesel will come with a CVT as an option as well as four-wheel-drive. 

Reliability

Nissan’s recent reliability record is excellent and all models come with a three year / 100,000 kilometre warranty. 

Running Costs

There is a slight increase in base price that is reasonable when you consider that the new 1.3 litre petrol engine is vastly superior to the old model. The petrol engine is quiet and flexible – well suited to most people’s needs. The diesel variant should not be discounted however as it returns 74.3mpg. The Qashqai’s second-hand values are expected to be steady and prospective buyers will no doubt have a huge variety to pick from. 

Handling

It handles surprisingly well for a big car. In fact, it almost borders on ‘fun’, with plenty of grip and a well-balanced chassis. While it might not be quite as enjoyable to drive as an Ateca or CX-5 it is still a pleasant place to spend some time. The ProPilot is a desirable option that offers a combination of lane-keep assist and active cruise control that enables the Qashqai to effectively drive itself on the motorway. 

Safety

The Nissan Qashqai comes with a wide range of standard safety equipment and was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. 

Summary

Exterior
80%
Interior
90%
Performance
80%
Reliability
90%
Running Costs
90%
Handling
90%
Safety
100%

The Qashqai is one of Ireland’s best-selling cars and is the car that is arguably most to blame for the plethora of small SUVs on our roads these days. Who could have predicted when the Qashqai first arrived in Irish showrooms over ten years ago the impact it would have on the market. Whereas once the Qashqai dominated the market it now has some serious rivals from the likes of Mazda and Peugeot. Nissan have been canny enough to give the model updates to make sure it remained competitive and this is the latest version with new styling, a more plush interior and new petrol engines.