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Nissan Qashqai Ti 2018 review

There's good handling and I felt confident driving the Qashqai all week.

This week I cleaned out the garage and collected a bunch of baby stuff to give to my younger cousins who are having babies. Travel cots, car seats and a cute rocking sheep all got stacked in the car while I delivered them around Sydney. I was test driving the new Nissan Qashqai Ti model - it's the top of the range petrol and is a small SUV, in competition with the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Honda H-RV, even though it's bigger than those cars.

So how does the Qashqai perform compared to its counterparts, and did it fit all the baby stuff I needed to transport? Let's find out.

How does it drive?

I quite liked driving in the Qashqai. It's smooth enough and has enough power to get me from one end of Sydney to the other with little effort. There's a 2.0-litre engine with a good amount of power and it gets up hills comfortably. I found the steering a bit stiff when doing a lot of turning at the wheel, trying to get out of tight spots, but nothing major.

The Qashqai is quite high so you feel substantial on the road. The Qashqai is quite high so you feel substantial on the road.

There's good handling and I felt confident driving the Qashqai all week. I think that's partly to do with its height - it's not as low as some small SUVs, it's still quite high so you feel substantial on the road and as though it can handle what you throw at it.

Parking was relatively easy because of its size, and they've upgraded the reverse parking camera to include a 360 degree view which lets you know where you are in space. I find this feature extremely helpful when fitting into tight spots. This model also has park assist, so it will park itself if you think you need help.

I found the steering a bit stiff trying to get out of tight spots, but nothing major. I found the steering a bit stiff trying to get out of tight spots, but nothing major.

How spacious is it?

The Qashqai is one of the roomiest cars in this category in this price range. In the front seat there is a decent amount of space and you don't feel cramped or in close quarters with your front passenger at all, like you do in the Hyundai Kona.

My 185cm husband had enough room to comfortably spread out in his driving position without compromising on space with the kids behind him.

In the back seat, there's enough room for my two children aged four and six to sit in their booster seats and swing their little legs into the front seats which we all know kids love doing. Sure, they won't be climbing all over the car like they would in a larger SUV, but they don't need to either. I had enough room back there too, at 161cm I could easily fit with enough room between my knees and the seat in front.

  • In the front seat there is a decent amount of space and you don't feel cramped. In the front seat there is a decent amount of space and you don't feel cramped.
  •  At 161cm I could easily fit with enough room between my knees and the seat in front. At 161cm I could easily fit with enough room between my knees and the seat in front.
  • Fold the back seats down flat and the boot opens up quite dramatically to 1598 litres. Fold the back seats down flat and the boot opens up quite dramatically to 1598 litres.

And the boot is quite big for this class. At 430 litres, only the Honda HR-V beats it and the Qashqai's boot is bigger than the CX-3's, the Kona's and Toyota's C-HR. I was able to fit in a bulky travel cot and a children's car seat but the sheep had to ride in the back.

Fold the back seats down flat and the boot opens up quite dramatically to 1598 litres, so you'll be able to transport around bigger items when you need to.

What does it look like?

The exterior is sporty and sleek. The exterior is sporty and sleek.

The exterior is sporty and sleek, with a lot of style. It's higher than a regular small SUV so still looks quite substantial on the road, which I like. You feel like you're in almost a proper SUV in the Qashqai, and that you haven't compromised too much by opting for a small SUV.

Inside is stylish too, everything looks good from the moment you step in. In this top of the range Ti you'll get a few things that the lower end of the range doesn't - leather seats, and a sunroof come standard and lift the car to a higher level. There's also a new, sporty steering wheel with a flat bottom which I like, it's wrapped in leather and feels good under the hands.

Everything looks good from the moment you step in. Everything looks good from the moment you step in.

The centre console is nicely designed and everything is clearly set out - I didn't struggle to work out what buttons were for what which happens way more often than it should. There's a high gloss finish through the centre which always makes everything look good.

I felt like I matched up to other cars on the road in terms of looks and had no qualms driving the Qashqai this week.

How easy is it to use everyday?

My children could easily climb into the backseat on their own because the car is a good height off the ground, which just saves me from helping them every day (parent bonus). It's also a fine height to lean in and do seatbelts up for them, which is especially helpful if you have a baby and you're constantly popping the babyseat in.

There are two cupholders in the front and two cupholders in the back in the Ti model. There's also a spot in the front to throw your keys and phone and a decent sized centre storage bin.

The lack of adjustable air vents or charging outlets for rear seat passengers is disappointing.

There's a spot in the front to throw your keys and phone and a decent sized centre storage bin. There's a spot in the front to throw your keys and phone and a decent sized centre storage bin.

What's the tech like?

There's a 7.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity which means you can listen to your music and make (hands-free) calls in the car. It's got a built-in sat nav with current traffic updates, and a DAB radio.

Unfortunately it doesn't have Apple Carplay or Android Auto which is slowly being rolled out across the category. The Qashqai is not alone in lacking this, but there are some competitors like the Kona which already have it.

It's got a built-in sat nav with current traffic updates. It's got a built-in sat nav with current traffic updates.

How safe is it?

There are two ISOFIX points and three top tethers for children's car seats, plus six airbags, including side curtain airbags that extend to the back row. More advanced safety features come standard across the whole range like Auto Emergency Braking, collision warnings and lane departure alerts.

In the top spec Ti you'll also get blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts and park assist which will actually park the car for you if you find yourself in a super tight spot.

More advanced safety features come standard across the whole range. More advanced safety features come standard across the whole range.

How much does it cost to own?

The Nissan Qashqai Ti comes in at $37,990. Fuel consumption is a fairly average 6.9L/100km. You'll get a three-year/100,000km warranty from Nissan, with servicing needed every 12 months or 10000km.

The Nissan Qashqai Ti comes in at $37,990. The Nissan Qashqai Ti comes in at $37,990.


The Wrap

It was a fun week dropping baby goodies off to various family members in the Nissan Qashqai. It drives nicely and I think one of the best things about it is that it doesn't feel like a small SUV, even though it is. It's got all the safety features you'd be looking for in a family car and has the all-important boot space covered. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.5 out of 10, taking points off for no AWD option at this price. My children also gave it a 7.5, they liked the Qashqai's style. 

Does the Nissan Qashqai sound like your new family transport? Tell us in the comments below.

Likes

Design
Safety features
Interior and boot space

Dislikes

No AWD option

Scores

Nedahl:

3.8

The Kids:

3.8

$29,989 - $42,990

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