Nissan Qashqai Review

Is the Nissan Qashqai the best family SUV available? 

Nissan announced in Feb 2021 that a brand-new Qashqai is to be expected later in the year. Until that arrives, we’re taking out the current model, which has proved to be one of the most sought-after SUVs of recent years.

The Qashqai is one of the most affordable and practical family SUV lease deals available. It is what we’re calling an ‘auto all-rounder’, showcasing impressive cabin space, good looks, enjoyable drive, and decent equipment list as standard – and all for affordable monthly payments.

Let's find out more about this current generation of Qashqai. 

Nissan Qashqai Review

Model Lines and Prices 

The model line-up is actually quite a simple one, with just three different options. Significantly, the entry-level Acenta Premium models are very well specified, while the N-Connecta and N-Motion variants add some extra home comforts and premium equipment.

All prices and specifications are correct as of April 2021.

Acenta Premium - From £23,550

  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Nissan Connect system – with sat-nav, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay
  • 17-inch alloys
  • Auto Dual-zone climate control
  • Rearview camera
  • Smart Vision Pack - including High Beam Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Anti Dazzle Rear View Mirror, Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • LED Daytime Running Lights and Signature Rear Lights
  • Front fog lights
  • front and rear electric windows
  • Front centre console and armrest
  • Driver seat with manual lumbar support
  • Idle Stop/Start System
  • Electrically adjustable, heated, auto-folding door mirrors
  • Rear seat armrest with 2 cupholders

N-Connecta (In addition/replacement to Acenta Premium) – From £24,425

  • 18-inch two-tone alloys
  • ‘start’ push button and intelligent key
  • 360-degree camera
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Roof rails
  • Rear USB port (1 in front as standard)
  • Matte Silver Roof Rails
  • Panoramic Glass roof

N-MOTION (In addition/replacement to N-Connecta) – From £27,470

  • 19-inch diamond-cut alloys
  • Black Nappa leather upholstery with quilting
  • Heated front seats
  • Digital Amplifier
  • LED headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System
  • LED Signature Daytime Running Lights with Directional indicator
  • Auto Levelling System

With on the road prices starting at just over £23,000, the Qashqai is competitively affordable. At entry-level it is cheaper than VW Tiguan and similarly priced to the Skoda Karoq or Kia Sportage. Check out our latest Nissan Qashqai lease deals to find out how much it costs to lease a Nissan Qashqai from Carparison.

Nissan Qashqai SUV

Engines and Drive 

As with the model choices, the engine options available make for a nice and easy decision. Is there a diesel Qashqai? No, just petrol. A 1.3 litre petrol to be exact with two possible outputs. The first being a 6-speed manual with 140 PS and the second, a DCT-Automatic with 160 PS.

Nissan Qashqai parked in the woods

We drove the latter of the two, with the slightly punchier 160PS. There is a reason why the Qashqai is so popular, well several really, but one of those is that the Qashqai is so incredibly easy to drive. Responsive, well-powered, and smooth; the Qashqai is a good all-rounder for those who like a simplistic, hassle-free drive without the premium price tag associated with something like an Audi Q3 or Mercedes-Benz GLC lease.

Nissan Qashqai rear view


Over the years, the design has always been something that separated the Qashqai from some of its rivals (and not always for the right reasons). Historically, the Qashqai has always been a little quirky, with bold front headlights and not an awful lot of character compared to other similarly-sized SUVs.

However, Nissan has made great strides in revamping the Qashqai to fit the modern market. The model we were testing looked smart and the refined headlights are more in keeping with what you see from its rivals.

Angular creases on the front bumper give the Qashqai a sportier feeling and that character that previous iterations were lacking. Third-generation models that will be released later this year will continue that trend with Nissan transforming the Qashqai into a good-looking and smart SUV. 

Nissan Qashqai cabin

The interior on offer in the Qashqai looks as good as the exterior design. The leather seats are very comfy and there are sufficient leg and lumbar support for driver and passenger. 

The Qashqai has good storage opportunities dotted throughout the cabin, with a decent glovebox too. As a whole, the Qashqai is a really nice place to be. There is a premium, though slightly dated, feeling running through the dash.

Thanks to the ambient lighting that runs through the cabin, soft-touch finishes, and the panoramic sunroof, Nissan has created a very welcoming environment. 

Wheels and sunroof

Space and Practicality

The interior is equally rewarding thanks to the large sunroof that lights up the cabin. While it does affect headroom slightly, we think it's worth it. Comfort levels are competitive for the class and those in the back won't be left feeling snug. 

Taller passengers may feel the effects of the sunroof on longer journeys, but we think six-footers will get by just fine for your everyday drives. 

Nissan Qashqai rear seats and space

The boot space is another area where Nissan has tried to be innovative, with a boot lid that can be moved and adjusted to create various configurations. 

As you see below, you can create your own dividers or lay them completely flat. To some, this might be revolutionary, for others, it could quickly become redundant, either way, you have the option. 

Nissan Qashqai boot space

The official capacity is just over 400L and while it falls short of rivals like the Ford Puma and the Volkswagen T-Cross, it does the job well enough without being the best in class.

If boot space is a must for you, hold out for the third generation Qashqai. It will have over 500L of boot space and an electric tailgate - a huge improvement from its predecessor.

Nissan Qashqai screens

Technology and Equipment 

The tech on offer throughout the Qashqai is by no means class-leading, but it is simple to use and pretty responsive. For easy use on the go, there are plenty of hard shortcut buttons for those who don't want to fiddle with a touchscreen while driving. 

The seven-inch touchscreen itself could be bigger, but it more than does the job in the Qashqai. It resembles the kind of system that you might see from Jaguar Land Rover, in the way the screen is integrated into the dash, with buttons sitting below and around it.

We won't beat around the bush here, it's fine without necessarily being particularly great. The Qashqai's tech is well laid out throughout the dash and it is easy to use. It'll do everything you need it to easily enough, but rivals like the Skoda Karoq have slightly more advanced systems.

Nissan Qashqai side view

Final Verdict

A Nissan Qashqai lease provides drivers the opportunity to tick off lots of motor needs in one. It’s practical, comfortable, well-designed, affordable, and easy to drive. The technology is certainly not class-leading, but relatively intuitive and hassle-free. With the New Qashqai coming out later in the year, Nissan has the potential to create an even better car, though initially, this might be a lot more expensive to lease. Until then, we’ll be more than happy to drive off in this version.

If you’d like to find out more about a personal or business lease deal on a Nissan Qashqai, just search our latest Nissan lease deals or get in touch with a one of our leasing experts.