Review: Nissan Qashqai (2014)
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Improved interior over previous Qashqai. Very smooth and quiet ride. High torque 1.3-litre petrol engines from 2019 a vast improvement.
No longer the market leading crossover Leg room in the back should be better. Small boot. 1.2 DIG-T has common problems with stop/start and losing power.
Nissan Qashqai (2014): At A Glance
- New prices start from £21,595, brokers can source from £14,974
- Contract hire deals from £193.98 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 13–20
- On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure
The Nissan Qashqai is the UK’s best-selling crossover and it isn’t difficult to understand the mass appeal, with its frugal engines and smooth ride quality making it an agreeable choice for those in need of a comfortable and refined family car.
On paper the big selling Qashqai is a market leader, but in the metal it is quickly becomes clear that Nissan's fallen behind the SEAT Ateca and Kia Sportage when it comes to practicality and in-car tech. That said, the Qashqai gets the basics right and can be something of a bargain for those willing to hunt out a pre-reg deal.
From launch, the Qashqai has three engines to choose from, with the 110PS 1.5 dCi diesel being the most efficient with advertised economy peaking at 74mpg and 99g/km of CO2. The 130PS 1.6 dCi packs more power and gets the option of a CVT automatic transmission and four-wheel drive, while the 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol with 115PS provides the sole petrol option.
Over the years the Qashqai's powertrains have been extensively revised with a 163PS 1.6 DIG-T petrol being added to the range in 2015. In 2019 a 1.3-litre petrol, available in 140PS and 160PS replaced 1.2 and 1.6-litre engines, while its advertised 53mpg provides an affordable alternative to diesel.
Regardless of which set-up you choose, the Qashqai is seldom sharp or engaging to drive. The steering is numb and the pedals are decidedly lacking in feedback.
Few will ever buy a crossover for performance though and despite the woolly handling the Qashqai is easy to drive in town or the motorway. Only those who live in rural areas or tow caravans will need to sacrifice precious fuel economy for all-wheel drive.
While accomplished and attractive – especially when you factor in Nissan’s affordable range of PCP deals – the Qashqai does have a few blots on its report card with leg room and boot space being the chief areas of disappointment. As a result things can get somewhat cramped when the Qashqai is loaded with luggage and a family of four.
The cabin feels somewhat old compared to the Qashqai's newer rivals, while the infotainment looks distinctly aftermarket with blocky graphics, slow screen changes and a confusing menu layout. The low set of the infotainment screen also makes it difficult to read when on the move.
That said, all versions are well-equipped as standard, which means even a mid-spec Qashqai has pretty much everything an everyday driver will need.
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Nissan Qashqai (2014): What's It Like Inside?
The Qashqai's interior quality is one of the best, for its price point, with the cabin filled with soft touch plastics and leathers. However, while the build quality is first rate, with a solid and upmarket feel throughout, the design feels a little old compared to its newer rivals. It's also a little short on boot space and rear legroom.
The SEAT Ateca, for example, offers 510 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place, while the Kia Sportage - which gets a seven-year-warranty as standard - provides 491 - 503 litres. Both are considerably more than the 430 - 400 litres (depending on spec) the Nissan provides.
Unlike some of its rivals, the Qashqai has a wide boot opening that makes it easy to load bulky items, without catching the bodywork. The large opening benefits from an adaptable split level floor, which when in place leaves no loading lip. It's reversible too, so owners with muddy dogs need not worry about getting their boot carpet wet - one side of the false floor is trimmed, while the other side is finished with a tough plastic covering. The false floor can also hold more than 100kg, so you don't need to fret about breaking it either.
Other neat touches are the two floor panels of the false floor that can be used to divide the boot space and keep loose items in place. In the cabin there's the same multitude of storage areas, with more room for oddments in the centre console thanks to the loss of the old-style handbrake.
Up front there's plenty of room and great forward visibility. All of the switchgear and controls work well, with good switch feel, but the touchscreen is poor with blocky graphics, slow screen changes and a confusing menus. It is also slightly lower than we'd like and some of the safety system controls are buried too deeply in sub-menus, although the 2017 update does much to remedy this, with better menu layouts and faster screen changes. Apple Car Play and Android Auto were added to the standard and optional spec lists in 2019.
The Qashqai does come with plenty of equipment as standard, with DAB audio, steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth phone connectivity fitted to base models, along with cruise control, heated electric door mirrors and one touch opening for the electric windows. The only thing you have to pay extra for is a full size spare wheel.
Specifications (from July 2017)
Visia has 16-inch steel wheels, air con, stand still assist with auto hold, electric parking brake, ISOFIX childseat anchorage points, puncture repair kit, AM/FM/CD audio system with DAB, remote audio control, Bluetooth with audio streaming, five inch high definition full colour TFT, body coloured bumpers, handles and mirrors, rear roof spoiler, LED daytime running lights, LED signature rear lights, selectable steering (normal or sport), cruise control and speed limiter, electrically adjustable door mirrors, heated door mirror and 60:40 Split folding rear seat.
Acenta adds chassis control Xtronic: intelligent engine brake (Xtronic auto only), intelligent trace control and intelligent ride control, 17-inch Aero Alloy wheels, D-Shaped leather steering wheel, leather gear lever, interior ambient lighting, height adjustable passenger’s seat, rear seat armrest with 2 cupholders, luggage board system (16 combinations), auto-folding mirrors, driver seat with manual lumbar, auto-wipers, intelligent auto headlights, automatic dual zone climate control with pollen filter and front fog lights.
N-Connecta features high beam assist, traffic sign recognition, intelligent rear view mirror, intelligent emergency braking, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, 18-inch Two Tone Alloy wheels, silver rear styling plate, matte silver roof rails, sports seats, carbon effect dashboard trim, navigation, rear privacy glass, around view monitor (360° colour camera) and start push button.
Tekna adds blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent park assist, part leather/part cloth trim, electrically adjustable driver seat, 19-inch Diamond Cut Alloy wheels, LED headlights with adaptive front lighting system, LED signature daytime running lights with directional indicator, automatic headlight levelling system, front heated seats, ThermaClear heated windscreen and Bose audio system.
Tekna+ trim adds panoramic glass roof, electric one touch shade, gloss silver roof rails, gloss silver mirror caps, black Nappa leather trim, electrically adjustable driver seat with memory function, electrically adjustable 4-way lumbar support on driver seat, electrically adjustable passenger seat with manual lumbar support, door mirrors with memory function and dark headlining.
Child seats that fit a Nissan Qashqai (2014)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Nissan Qashqai (2014) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.2 DIG-T to 1.7 dCi Automatic 4WD
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 26–68 mpg
The 1.5 dCi is the most popular Qashqai engine choice and it's a good all round package. It's smooth and far less vocal than the equivalent model in the previous Qashqai, with a near-silent idle and smooth power delivery.
It's adequately quick off the mark too and although 110PS with this sized body means that you'll need to work hard to get it up to speed, the 260Nm of torque helps it hold speed on hills with little effort.
The gear change is nice, positive and light, while the dual mode steering (you can choose Standard or Sport) is light and accurate. The six-speed gear change is excellent too. The official fuel consumption is 74.3mpg and given its flexible, easy going nature, and excellent refinement at low revs, we can see that with gentle driving out of town, matching this figure might be possible for anyone not in a hurry.
If you want more punch with your diesel then a 130PS 1.6 dCi is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or Xtronic CVT automatic. The additional power is welcome for anyone who regularly drives on the motorway and it's certainly punchy, but like the 1.5 dCi is also refined, especially at low speeds and during constant cruising. Claimed economy for the 1.6 ranges from 60.1mpg (for two-wheel drive) to 57.6mpg for all-wheel drive versions, with both capable of towing 1800kg when linked to a manual transmission.
At launch, the petrol line-up was limited to a single 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol. However, with just 115PS, the four-cylinder petrol seldom feels at ease with the Qashqai's considerable size, with sluggish performance.
A 163PS 1.6 DIG-T petrol was added to the range in 2015; peak torque for this turbocharged petrol engine is 240Nm, which is a little lower than the top diesel, but on the road it performs well. It does need to be revved hard when accelerating compared to a diesel engine, but at a cruise it’s quiet and refined, plus it is surprisingly efficient, delivering 48.7mpg with emissions of 134g/km. The 1.6 will also tow up to 1500kg.
In 2019 Nissan introduced the impressive 1.3-litre petrol, while phasing out the 1.2 and 1.6 DIG-T engines. The turbocharged 1.3 is much better than the petrols it replaces and a genuine alternative to diesel, with 140PS or 160PS and an advertised 48-53mpg. The petrol can also be matched to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
In terms of handling, the Qashqai is a much more polished all-rounder than its predecessor, but lacking in any real driver engagement. It is well suited to our poorly surfaced, highly cambered roads. Around town, the ride is compliant and reasonably soft, even on 19-inch wheels, but thanks to excellent damping, at speed it feels planted and stable.
The Active Trace Control works well to keep the handling in check in high-speed corners, while the Nissan Safety Shield systems add some nice touches, such as lane guidance and blind-spot protection. The only system that disappoints is the Stand Still assist – added to the range in 2017. The system automatically engages the handbrake when the vehicle is at a standstill, but is slow to disengage which makes the Qashqai slow to respond at busy roundabouts and junctions.
Unlike many systems, Nissan’s Pro Pilot stiffens the steering feel so the driver can relax while the car assists. If it senses the driver’s hands slipping from the wheel, it issues a warning sound. It’s switched on or off by a button on the right hand side of the steering wheel, grouped with the cruise control buttons so everything is accessible in the same place. A TFT screen between the speedo and the rev counter tells the driver exactly what has been selected and what the system is doing.
The driver has to signal to overtake and, freed from the obstruction of the car in front, unlike other systems, Pro Pilot then accelerates hard to its pre-selected cruising speed. If the traffic in front comes to a standstill, Pro Pilot automatically brakes the car and, after three seconds, start/stop switches off the engine. If the car in front then starts moving, Pro Pilot starts its engine again and follows at the pre-selected distance.
Usually we find autonomous systems unpleasant, intrusive and sometimes downright frightening. But Pro Pilot seems to have overcome our misgivings. The stiff feel to the steering holds the car straight and keeps it precisely between the road markings on bends. The auto acceleration to overtake means it doesn’t bog down. And the ‘Traffic Jam Pilot’ works brilliantly to relieve stop-start stress.
If the traffic in front comes to a standstill, Pro Pilot automatically brakes the car and, after three seconds, stop-start switches off the engine. If the car in front then starts moving, Pro Pilot starts its engine again and follows at the pre-selected distance.
|1.2 DIG-T||49–50 mpg||10.6–11.3 s||129–133 g/km|
|1.2 DIG-T Automatic||49–50 mpg||12.9 s||129–133 g/km|
|1.3 DIG-T 140||49–53 mpg||10.9 s||121–130 g/km|
|1.3 DIG-T 160||49–53 mpg||8.9 s||121–130 g/km|
|1.3 DIG-T 160 DCT||49–52 mpg||9.9 s||122–131 g/km|
|1.5 dCi||50–74 mpg||11.3–11.9 s||99–103 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 110||71–74 mpg||11.9 s||99 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 115||67–74 mpg||12.3 s||100–110 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 115 DCT||-||-||106–112 g/km|
|1.6 dCi||61–64 mpg||9.9–10.5 s||115–120 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 130||61–64 mpg||9.9 s||116 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 130 4WD||55–58 mpg||10.5–10.9 s||129 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 130 Automatic||58–60 mpg||11.1 s||122 g/km|
|1.6 dCi 4WD||55–64 mpg||9.9–10.9 s||129–133 g/km|
|1.6 dCi Automatic||58–61 mpg||10.7–11.1 s||119–128 g/km|
|1.6 DIG-T||47–49 mpg||8.9–9.1 s||134–138 g/km|
|1.7 dCi||-||-||127 g/km|
|1.7 dCi 4WD||-||-||138 g/km|
|1.7 dCi Automatic 4WD||-||-||154 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Nissan Qashqai (2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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