From £23,5558
Nissan refreshes its best-seller. Does this new-generation version regain the class lead?

The subject of this week’s road test has been dubbed the Cashcow by some in industry circles. That’s because the Nissan Qashqai crossover almost single-handedly saved Nissan in Europe when the first generation was launched in 2006.

It really popularised the idea that you can have something that looks like an off-roader without it actually needing all the heavy, inefficient hardware to make it capable in the mud – and people responded in numbers.

All cars get LED headlights. Aerodynamic ducts are real, and they’re big enough to make a Honda Civic Type R blush.

Although practically every other manufacturer followed suit and produced a competitor, Nissan’s original continues to top the UK crossover-class sales. With 52,532 registrations in 2019, it was the fifth-best-selling car in the UK, beating its Ford Kuga rival by more than 10,000. It even managed to maintain its position in the extraordinary year that was 2020.

As well as being a success story for Nissan, the Qashqai is also a shining beacon for UK car manufacturing, having been produced in Sunderland from the start. As car maker after car maker closes its UK manufacturing base – Honda made its last Civic in Swindon only a few weeks ago – it is heartening that the new, third-generation Qashqai continues to be made here.

The second-generation Qashqai had been around since 2013 so it’s remarkable that although it lagged somewhat behind the best of the competition, it remained on the pace in sales terms. It makes sense, therefore, for Nissan to tread carefully with the new one. Indeed, its strategy of making its pure- electric SUV, the Ariya, a completely separate model leaves room for the EV to be a bit bolder, while the Qashqai remains a crowd pleaser.

Back to top

Nissan Qashqai engine line-up and trim-levels

For the latest generation, Nissan has ditched all diesels in favour of a mix of mild-hybrid and full-hybrid powertrains, all using four-cylinder petrol engines. Pricing for the full hybrid has yet to be announced.

There are six trim levels, with the cheapest of those, Visia, available on the lower-powered engine only. It includes a 7in infotainment system, front and rear LED lights, adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors as standard.

The step-up Acenta Premium gains 17in alloy wheels, 8in infotainment with built-in satnav and wired smartphone mirroring, rear-view camera and dual-zone air conditioning.

N-Connecta models ride on 18in alloys, and includes privacy glass and front parking sensors as standard. The infotainment system also grows to 9in and gains wireless Apple CarPlay.

Teka models get Pro-Pilot navigation and a 10.8in digital instrument cluster as standard, along with adaptive LED headlights, a hands-free power tailgate, and wireless smartphone charging. It also sits on 19in alloys.

The most luxurious trim, Tekna+, is reserved for the more powerful engine. It sits on 20in alloy wheels, has quilted leather front seats with massage function, and gets an uprated Bose sound system, among other extras.

More on the Nissan Qashqai

New 2021 Nissan Qashqai: electrified SUV on sale from £23,535

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 video review: Britain's most important car?

Should the Nissan Qashqai be considered one of 'the greats'?

Nearly new buying guide: Nissan Qashqai

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - Nissan Qashqai