From £27,1358

Is the UK's second-most-popular car still the brand's shining beacon? Let's find out

Find Nissan Qashqai deals
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
New car deals
From £27,135
Nearly-new car deals
From £19,999
Sell your car
In partnership with
Powered by

You will struggle to find a bigger British automotive success story than the Nissan Qashqai.

It was Britain’s best-selling car in 2022, coming a close second to the Ford Puma the following year – in fact, Nissan claims that its sales success in the UK means you’re always within 500 metres of a Qashqai. 

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

The Japanese crossover was a game-changer when it arrived back in 2006, and is credited with almost single-handedly saving Nissan’s European operations. It's a prime example of the idea that you can have something that looks like an off-roader without needing all the heavy, inefficient hardware to make it capable in the mud – and people responded in numbers.

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 Honda Civic in Swindon a few years ago, for example – it is heartening that the Qashqai continues to be made here.

And now, in 2024, there is a new version that brings with it a host of exterior and interior upgrades, and brings it closer into line with the Nissan Ariya

On first glance, you might think that the Qashqai’s latest update is merely superficial, but Nissan is clear that the modest changes made to the car’s design and cabin will “reinforce its position as the segment leader”.

Back to top

The Nissan Qashqai range at a glance

NIssan has retained its mix of four-cylinder mild-hybrid and three-cylinder full-hybrid powertrains for 2024.

The range opens with the DiG-T 140 mild hybrid, with 138bhp and a 0-62mph time of 10.2sec. The DiG-T 158 mild hybrid offers 155bhp and a 0-62mph time of 9.5sec. Full-hybrid e-Power models increase power to 187bhp and hit 0-62mph in 7.9sec.

DiG-T 140 MILD HYBRID138bhp
DiG-T 155 MILD HYBRID155bhp
190 E-POWER187bhp


nissan qashqai review 2024 03 action

The Qashqai’s look has changed significantly compared with its predecessor, with the new version adopting a more aggressive and sharper appearance thanks to a new front grille design. It was inspired by Japanese samurai helmets, says Nissan. 

The headlights have also been redesigned to bring greater presence, while the daytime-running lights represent horns – another reference to the samurai helmets. 

Despite the overhauled exterior, the new Qashqai maintains the same dimensions as its predecessor, riding on the same updated version of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF-C platform. 

Most versions get a torsion beam axle for rear suspension, but all-wheel-drive models (as well as those on 20in alloy wheels) have a multi-link rear axle instead. 

While the exterior has been given a refresh, the line-up for the engines has been carried over for a completely electrified range of powertrains. 

There’s a choice of two 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines, at 138bhp and 155bhp, both of which get mild-hybrid assistance.

Both versions come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, with a CVT being optional on the higher-power version. The 155bhp engine can also be had with all-wheel drive.

The mild-hybrid system is only a 12V set-up rather than a 48V one, and it can contribute only just over 4lb ft of torque for the car when accelerating, so its value lies more in smoothing out stop/start and powering accessories when the engine is off than in supplying any meaningful torque fill.

Topping the engine line-up is Nissan’s e-Power full hybrid, which joined the range in 2023 and allows Nissan to plug the gap as more and more manufacturers start to offer their own full-hybrid models. That means a rich variety of powertrain configurations is emerging. 

It's an unusual system that only uses the 1.5-litre engine to charge a battery, while the wheels are exclusively driven by a 187bhp electric motor, which should bring some EV-like driving sensations to a car that is still dependably petrol-powered.


nissan qashqai review 2024 14 dash

Our N-Design test car felt well screwed together inside, and the Alcantara-upholstered dashboard, door cappings, centre console storage lid and seat bolsters deliver a more upmarket feel. 

Sure, some materials feel less premium, such as the synthetic leather on the seats; the new patterned trim between the dashboard and glovebox feels pretty cheap; and there's some scratchy plastics low down, too. Still, overall refinement is good. 

Blocky heater unit is a model of easy usability. Infotainment screen above is also good on that score, but graphics already look a bit antiquated.

While Nissan has tweaked the materials inside, a major focus for the updated Qashqai has been on technology, with the software that underpins the car’s digital interfaces gaining significant upgrades to improve graphics and response times. 

Nissan’s new infotainment system comes with Google built in, which means the updated Qashqai comes as standard with Google Maps and Google Assistant, a voice-controlled hands-free system activated when drivers say “Hey Google”.

The infotainment screen is impressively responsive, with no latency issues – adjusting the view by zooming in and out on Google Maps was quick and easy. The screen is also well laid out so finding certain functions is straightforward.

Pleasingly, Nissan has retained conventional buttons and rotary dials for the climate controls, which means adjusting the temperature or fan speed is a seamless process. 

Parking is made easier by the Qashqai’s upgraded Around View Monitor, which features a 3D function to see the car from above when parking. A feature called Invisible Hood View allows drivers to position the front wheels as if looking at them from behind, allowing you to see directly underneath the car when maneouvering in tight car parks, for example. 

The new Qashqai now complies with EU GSR2 safety regulations, which requires speed limit recognition and driver monitoring systems. The speed limit monitoring can be a little overzealous at times; thankfully, it’s easy to deactivate. Once you’ve customised your preferences for the overspeed warning, lane keep assist and others in a menu the first time you drive the car, you can simply load that configuration with two clicks of a steering wheel button.

There’s a theme of common sense to the cabin, and this is shown by the number of sockets and charging ports dotted around the front of the interior. There’s a handy wireless charger underneath the climate controls, and multiple USB-C ports hidden out of the way in the central storage compartment. 

Rear space is best described as adequate rather than abundant. Leg room is average for the class, but to the Qashqai’s credit head room is more generous. 

Boot capacity has dropped for the latest version to 479 litres, down from 504 litres for the previous model. It is beaten quite soundly by the Kia Sportage's 587 litres, though that is a bigger car.


nissan qashqai review 2024 30 engine

If it weren’t for the faint thrum of the e-Power Hybrid's three-cylinder engine emanating from the front end under load, it would make a good impression of a pure-electric system much of the time. 

Take-up of power is smooth and brisk and acceleration pleasingly linear. Because all the driving is done by a big electric motor, the e-Power has strong regenerative braking too – perhaps too strong if you turn e-Pedal mode on.

Adaptive cruise control can easily frustrate as it doesn’t anticipate like a good driver would, but the Nissan’s is well calibrated and cleverly handles changing speed limits. I still wish for a way to switch it to regular cruise control, though.

The engine only really makes its presence known under greater load, when it often spins a little vociferously into life and can rev a bit disconcertingly in no particular relation to the demands made by your right foot.

Overall, though, the e-Power set-up feels like the best resolved and least compromised powertrain you can have in the Qashqai. 

All other variants of Qashqai are let down by a choice of disappointing gearboxes. The six-speed manual feels spongy, with a high bite point. 

To make matters worse, engine revs drop very slowly when the clutch is disengaged, which makes it more difficult than it needs to be to change gear quickly and smoothly. The action of the gearchange could be better defined, too. It’s light, with a mildly notchy but longish throw.

The X-tronic CVT, meanwhile, masks the engine’s off-boost torpor but suffers from an irritating surge in acceleration at more than a quarter throttle that’s disproportionate with your inputs. It also feels poorly integrated with the start/stop system, sending a judder through the driveline each time the engine cuts in and out. 

While Nissan claims to have tuned the variable-compression petrol engine to better match vehicle speed – a response to criticism of the jarring ‘rubber band’ effect of a CVT gearbox – it still produces a fairly monotonous and uninspiring melody. The best course is to be light with the right foot and let it tick away quietly.

Consequently, the Qashqai feels like a car that might be better suited to an automatic gearbox, which could camouflage some of the flat spots in the power delivery.


nissan qashqai review 2024 31 tracking urban

Even in a segment where an engaging driving experience is hard to find, the Qashqai has never been the most dynamic car to drive – and things haven’t changed much in this regard. Nissan has done a decent job prioritising ride comfort, though.

A car in this class is unlikely to benefit from the most sophisticated suspension, but potholes tend not to be too intrusive in the Qashqai and the body is kept under control pretty well on longer-wave undulations.

The steering weights up in fast corners, but not in a natural, predictable way. Under continuous hard cornering, the system does settle on one weight, but it varies with speed. More consistency would be better.

At town speeds, you do get jostled around a little bit, with the dampers sometimes struggling to deal with small imperfections in one go, but overall this is a very comfortable car. Even on larger 20in wheels, it ironed out lumps and bumps with confidence, with only sharper edges unsettling the ride. We were driving on smooth roads in Portugal, mind. 

The steering is very light at smaller angles and weights up only marginally when you turn into a corner. Overall, it feels somewhat artificial and inconsistent, which generally discourages any enthusiam at the wheel. 

Exercise more restraint and the Qashqai is easy to point down a road. And the upside to the light steering is that manoeuvering the car is hassle-free, with a turning circle of 11.1m. 

The tall driving position and long, flat bonnet mean that it’s also easy to see the edges and place the car in town.

Comfort and isolation

While Nissan has brought a number of changes to the exterior and interior, reducing wind and road noise was another priority for Nissan’s engineers. 

Rolling refinement has improved over the last version, with Nissan introducing thickened glass for the windows, and the new Qashqai is claimed to further reduce wind noise at speed. 

The Qashqai is hushed in most conditions, with a bit of wind whistle when up to motorway speeds. And even with 20in wheels fitted, road roar is kept to a minimum. 

The seats might not look particularly special, but they have good lumbar and lateral support, and offer a wide range of adjustment. A relatively long cushion means they are well suited to taller drivers.

The car’s ProPilot intelligent cruise control works quite well. It’s smooth when slowing down and tends to do so far enough in advance of traffic slowing ahead, although it can get confused by cars in an adjacent lane. 

A welcome feature is that it will recognise changing speed limits but wait for the driver to confirm before changing the vehicle’s set speed. You can change gear without disabling the cruise control, too. On higher trims, it will steer for you to keep the car in lane if desired, and it does so pretty competently without encouraging you to mentally switch off.


nissan qashqai review 2024 01 front cornering

The Qashqai range starts from around £30,000 and it’s offered with five specification levels: Acenta Premium, N-Connecta, Tekna, N-Design and Tekna+. 

Entry-level Visia trim was dropped with the facelift in favour of the new upper-mid-level N-Design trim, which sits alongside Tekna but gets bespoke 20in wheels, body-coloured wheel arches and Alcantara elements inside for a more sporty feel. 

Tekna trim starts out quite expensive and loses its value marginally quicker than the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Kuga do

N-Connecta trim gets you all the essentials, such as parking sensors and the nicer LED headlights; Tekna adds all the indulgences you might want, such as heated seats and a head-up display; and Tekna+ goes mad with massage seats and 20in wheels.

Buyers might want to bear in mind that Nissan cars in general, and Qashqais in particular, have sometimes fared quite poorly in UK reliability surveys, even if they are affected mostly by minor issues.

With the manual gearbox, the 156bhp Qashqai has a claimed economy of 44mpg. During our time with the car, an MPG in the low 40s proved to be quite a realistic figure during mixed use.


nissan qashqai review 2024 34 static front

The 2024 facelift tweaks are welcome and appear to have moved the Qashqai forward, building on a strong base with revised technology, modern styling and inoffensive driving dynamics. 

The Qashqai steps things up a notch with an interior that is of good quality and comfort, and keeps things simple as regards the usability of its cabin technology. A suite of mature, well-calibrated assisted driving features finishes the package.

Spec advice? Avoid the bottom and top trims, and go for the e-Power hybrid, which is more convincing than the mild hybrids.

It’s not quite as practical as a Skoda Karoq, but the new Qashqai remains true to the safe, predictable and rational formula of the models released before it – and it comfortably sits beside more premium rivals such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V and Audi Q3. 

Broadly speaking, it’s comfortable, quiet, manoeuvrable and easy to drive. It looks good, too, and it’s well equipped. Its latest update should appeal to families looking for a well-priced crossover. 

Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips
Title: Staff Writer

Sam has been part of the Autocar team since 2021 and is often tasked with writing new car stories and more recently conducting first drive reviews.

Most of his time is spent leading sister-title Move Electric, which covers the entire spectrum of electric vehicles, from cars to boats – and even trucks. He is an expert in electric cars, new car news, microbility and classic cars. 

Sam graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2021 with a BA in Journalism. In his final year he produced an in-depth feature on the automotive industry’s transition to electric cars and interviewed a number of leading experts to assess our readiness for the impending ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars.

Illya Verpraet

Illya Verpraet Road Tester Autocar
Title: Road Tester

As part of Autocar’s road test team, Illya drives everything from superminis to supercars, and writes reviews, comparison tests, as well as the odd feature and news story. 

Much of his time is spent wrangling the data logger and wielding the tape measure to gather the data for Autocar’s eight-page road tests, which are the most rigorous in the business thanks to independent performance, fuel consumption and noise figures.

Nissan Qashqai First drives