Nissan’s UK-built small SUV bridges the gap between the smaller Juke crossover and larger X-Trail, and is well equipped with a neatly presented interior.
The Qashqai (pronounced Cash-kye) comes with a choice of engines – a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 106kW/200Nm, and a 96kW/320Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four. The petrol engines come with a transmission choice of manual or CVT auto, while the diesel is a CVT-only affair. All Qashqai’s are front-wheel-drive.
The Qashqai comes in four main equipment levels; ST, TS, Ti and TL. The TS starts at $25,990 for the petrol engine with a manual gearbox, with the CVT attracting a $2500 premium.
The Qashqai ST comes equipped with cruise control, 5.0-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, leather wrapped steering wheels, LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels.
There’s also an ST N-Sport variant, which adds 18-inch alloys, side door sills and a front and rear styling pack. It comes with a CVT and costs just $200 more than the standard ST with CVT.
The Qashqai TS is essentially the diesel version of the ST but has a few extras to help justify paying an extra $4500 for the diesel engine including smart keyless entry, dusk sensing headlights, auto folding door mirrors and dual zone air-conditioning.
The Qashqai Ti is the top-spec petrol variant and comes with the option of a manual or CVT. Additional equipment over the TS includes automatic parking assistance (which automatically parallel parks the vehicle), a sunroof, heated front seats, power adjusted driver’s seat, 8.0-inch touchscreen, inbuilt satellite navigation and rain sensing windscreen wipers.
The Ti also has active safety features that include lane departure warning, blind spot alert and bigger 19-inch wheels fitted with wider, lower-profile tyres.
The diesel-powered Qashqai TL has the same equipment as the Ti.
- Nissan Qashqai ST, manual - $25,990
- Nissan Qashqai ST, auto - $28,490
- Nissan Qashqai ST N-Sport, auto - $28,690
- Nissan Qashqai TS, auto - $33,990
- Nissan Qashqai Ti, manual - $32,890
- Nissan Qashqai Ti, auto - $34,490
- Nissan Qashqai TL, auto - $39,990
The entry-level ST manual is actually a fun car to drive, but we reckon the Qashqai Ti with auto gearbox is the best of the bunch.
The petrol engine makes more sense in most situations and is a few thousand dollars cheaper, and while there’s nothing wrong with the manual, the CVT auto is the go because it uses less fuel than the manual and should hold its value better.
The Ti also has a lot more useful equipment than the ST, including the active safety gear.