Nissan_Qashqai_frontWhen it was launched back in 2008 the Nissan Qashqai was one of the pioneers of the hatchback / SUV genre, one which has subsequently grown to become one of the largest Australian market segments with a choice of more than 40 vehicles across virtually every brand.

For the first part of its life the Qashqai was called Dualis before switching to its global moniker in 2014 with the release of the second generation model. Regardless of the name it has been a consistently high seller throughout.

Qashqai comes with a choice of four variants, ST, ST+, ST-L and Ti. All are powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 106 kW of power and 200 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm, mated to Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission. The entry-level ST is the only one offered with a six-speed manual option.

Previous diesel engine and seven seat options are no longer on offer.

Looks are sharp and neat with a nice balance between style and conservatism that should appeal to buyers across the age range. The gen-two Qashqai was given a facelift in 2017 that included the latest version of the Nissan V-motion grille, chrome surrounds to the radiator grille and LED daytime running lights.

Qashqai Ti has dusk-sensing LED adaptive headlights with high beam assist. The others make do with halogen lamps.

The top two spec variants ST-L and Ti have roof rails while the Ti also gets a panoramic sunroof. At the lower end of the Qashqai ST and ST+ models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, ST-L steps up to 18-inch with the Ti getting 19-inch.


The seat materials have a nice tactile feel with contrasting stitching on the centre armrest providing a hint of luxury.

Seats in the ST and ST+ have cloth trim, ST-L are part cloth and part leather while Ti gets premium quilted Nappa leather.

Despite its compact exterior dimensions Qashqai’s cabin takes five adults in relative comfort. There are numerous clever storage facilities including bottle holders in the front doors and a large centre bin.

Boot space is an impressive 430 litres expandable to 1598 litres with the rear 60:40 rear seat backs folded. The boot has an adjustable floor with a space-saver spare wheel underneath.

All Qashqai models get front, side and curtain airbags as well as autonomous emergency braking, forward collision, intelligent ride control, intelligent trace control, two Isofix child seat anchors, lane departure warning and reversing camera.


ST+ and ST-L add a 360 degree Intelligent Around-View monitor with moving object detection.

You’ll need to stretch your budget to the range-topping Ti if you want the latest advanced safety features including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent park assist, intelligent driver alert, intelligent lane intervention and intelligent cruise control.

There is no all-wheel drive option.

The display screen in the ST is small at 5.0 inches. The ST+, ST-L and Ti which are 7.0 inches which has the familiar smartphone design that is easy to understand, crisp, clear and which can even be customised.

Bluetooth phone and audio streaming are standard with DAB+ digital radio in models above ST as is satellite navigation with traffic monitoring.

Nissan is dragging the chain in terms of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto although we understand that they will be added with the next upgrade.

For a relatively small SUV entry is relatively easy and there is excellent headroom both front and rear. Visibility is excellent all round with large side mirrors and rear window.

On the road Qashqai is surprisingly sharp with the 2.0-litre engine and CVT combining to produce a smooth transition through the rev range although under hard acceleration there is still some of the jerkiness that is the downside to such transmissions.

Improved noise insulation and better sealing keep road noise well suppressed.

The suspension is on the firm side which we like especially as comfort isn’t compromised. Handling is safe and secure and steering is precise and responsive through corners. Certainly right up there with the best is the class.

Fuel consumption during our week behind the wheel of the Qashqai ST+ averaged 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres which was acceptably close to the listed 6.8 litres per 100 km.

Nissan Qashqai is a competent SUV / hatchback crossover with a long pedigree that manages its interior space well, is comfortable, drives well, and has a good range of safety and technical features. It doesn’t have an all-wheel drive option but that’s not unusual in its class.

Note that, at the same time as the ST+ was added to the Qashqai range in April 2019, Nissan Australia extended its standard warranty from three years / 100,000 km to five years with unlimited distance. The price of the manual ST went up by $1000, the ST CVT by $500, ST-L by $300 while there was no increase in the Ti.

If you have a preference for European cars Renault recently launched its Kadjar which is built on the same platform as the Qashqai but with a smaller turbo-petrol engine and a conventional seven-speed gearbox.


Nissan Qashqai ST: $27,490 (manual), $29,490 (CVT)
Nissan Qashqai ST+: $30,790 (CVT)
Nissan Qashqai ST-L: $33,290 (CVT)
Nissan Qashqai Ti: $37,990 (CVT)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Nissan dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Nissan Qashqai ST+ 2.0-litre petrol five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.997 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 106 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 91 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.9 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 159 g/km

DRIVELINE: Xtronic continuously variable transmission

Length: 4377 mm
Wheelbase: 2646 mm
Width: 1806 mm
Height: 1595 mm
Turning Circle: 11.17 metres
Tare weight: 1408 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited km

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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