Once known as Dualis, Nissan’s small SUV the Qashqai has grown in size and
stature over the years.
Sitting between the Juke and X-Trail in terms of size, the current, third generation
Qashqai was launched in 2021.
It’s 60kg lighter than before, stands taller, longer and wider, and has a longer
wheelbase — and of course costs more.
That means more room for luggage, and more knee and leg room for rear seat
passengers. What’s not to like?
The latest, third generation Qashqai comes in four grades: ST, ST+, ST-L and Ti,
priced from $33,890 to $47,390.
They are all powered by the same turbocharged petrol engine, but will soon be
joined by an e-Power hybrid model, priced from $51,590 — $4200 more than the Ti.
Premium paint adds $700, while five two-tone colour combinations options are also
Our test vehicle was the ST-L priced from $42,190.
Standard kit includes 19-inch wheels, combination cloth and artificial leather trim,
two-zone climate control with rear air vents and an eight-way power-adjust driver’s
seat with lumbar control.
The front seats are also heated and so is the steering wheel, but alas there’s cooling
for the seats. That goes for all grades (Hello, Aussies do not need heating).
Other equipment includes push-button start, electronic park brake with auto hold,
automatic lights and wipers, auto dimming mirror, auto folding door mirrors, front and
rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, auto-levelling adaptive LED headlights
plus LED tail and daytime running lights.
Qashqai is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty with roadside
assistance for the same period.
Service is due every 12 months or 15,000km.
Infotainment consists of a large (for a vehicle this size) 12.3-inch touchscreen that
supports Bluetooth, voice control, AM/FM and digital radio, satellite navigation, traffic
sign recognition, wired Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay plus standard six-
There’s wireless charging and USB A+C ports in the front and back (rear are charge
only) and 12-volt outlets in the front and luggage area.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The last time I drove Qashqai it was powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated
This time around our ST-L tester is powered by a 1.3 litre four-cylinder turbocharged
petrol engine that generates 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque, the latter from
Drive is to the front wheels through a CVT-style automatic.
Five-star safety includes seven airbags (front, side and curtain airbags, plus a centre
airbag in the front) and a surround view monitor with moving object detection for
Autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car, Vulnerable Road User, Junction Assist
and Backover) as well as a lane support system with lane keep assist (LKA), lane
departure warning (LDW) and emergency lane keeping (ELK), and an advanced
speed assistance system (SAS) are also standard.
The transmission incorporates auto engine stop-start, with Standard, Sport and Eco
drive modes plus steering wheel-mounted gear change paddles for accessing the
seven steps or simulated gears.
A stiffer chassis and more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension promises better
ride and handling.
Bonnet, doors and front guards are made of aluminium to save weight, while the
tailgate is made from composites and saves 2.3kg.
With a 55-litre tank, fuel consumption is a claimed 6.1L/100km and premium 95
unleaded is recommended.
The cabin feels more upmarket, is reasonably spacious and unexpectedly
comfortable, and caters to our preference for cloth rather than sticky leather under
There’s 15mm more headroom, 28mm more knee room in the rear than before which
helps to elevate the experience, with USB A + C charge ports provided for front and
The rear doors open almost 90 degrees, making it easier for parents to get kids in
and out of car seats.
Bottle holders in the front doors are large enough to accommodate larger drink
The rear tailgate has grown a pointy ridge which in part explains the larger luggage
capacity; 429 litres in this grade.
ST-L misses out on a full-blown digital instrument cluster, but the analogue dials are
large and easy to read, with a small digital info panel between them for detail.
The touchscreen is easy to operate and you don’t need to go digging for the aircon
controls, with real knobs at your fingertips.
The overall effect is snug and avoids the lit-up look of a Christmas tree that some
cars have and will appeal to easily intimidated mature buyers.
Performance is perky, even a little livelier than we remember thanks to a bit more
torque, but there’s an initial pause as the turbo spools up.
It’s a little disconcerting, especially when you’re trying to punch through a hole in the
traffic, but apart from that Qashqai gets along pretty well and doesn’t use very much
In manual mode, in sixth or seventh gear, you can hit the accelerator and absolutely
nothing happens. It just sits there.
The low-profile transmission lever is a snack to use as are the gear shift paddles.
For a CVT it’s surprisingly quiet and refined, avoiding the zoominess that plagued
Nissan’s earlier efforts.
Some people could find the ride a bit firm, but it depends largely on the roads you
Handling within the constraints of its target market is safe and predictable.
We were getting 7.2L/100km after close to 400km of mixed driving.
Qashqai is a solid offering that doesn’t want for much, especially in ST-L form.
Any shortcomings such as the turbo lag are not deal breakers, but can be irritating at
There will be many buyers looking to this car as a cheaper option than the X-Trail
which continues to grow in size and price.
AT A GLANCE
ST 1.3L CVT, $33,890
ST+ 1.3L CVT, $37,890
ST+ 2-Tone 1.3L CVT, $38,390
ST-L 1.3L, $42,190
ST-L 2-Tone 1.3L, $42,690
Ti 1.3L, $47,390
Ti 2-Tone 1.3L, $47,890
Ti e-POWER, $51,590
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact
your local Nissan dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Nissan Qashqai ST-L 1.3L 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol, CVT
automatic, FWD SUV)
Capacity: 1.3 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 110 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 250 Nm @ 1600-3750 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 95 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.1 L/100km
DRIVELINE: CVT automatic, front-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4425 mm
Wheelbase: 2665 mm
Width: 1835 mm
Height: 1625 mm
Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
Kerb Mass: 1482 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres