Nissan Qashqai Ti petrol 2017 review: family test

The Nissan Qashqai looks great, is nifty while driving around the city, and is actually one of the more roomy in its class.

Nedahl Stelio

12 Jan 2018 • 14 min read

Size versus swiftness. What would you choose? The swift factor is strong in the Nissan Qashqai Ti. It's a zippy little thing, classified as a small SUV but I found it big enough for my family of four.

Sure, any more kids and you'll probably be squished, but it's the perfect size if you're pregnant with your first child on the way, and things like easily fitting into tiny parking spots is important to you.

The Nissan Qashqai looks great, is nifty while driving around the city, and is actually one of the more roomy in its class. I lived with it for a week and took it everywhere: school drop-offs, ballet practice and planning my upcoming '70s dinner party for that weekend. Here's how it fared.

How does it feel to drive?

Like I said, it's zippy. It takes off quickly from a starting position, there's no lag or heaviness, and it weaves in and out of traffic. It has no trouble getting up the hill near my house, where I test all cars, and is an all-round smooth drive.

It's a small SUV, so it's not massive and you don't feel like you're taking up a lot of space driving it, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about car size. The Qashqai is quiet on the road and glides along without effort, almost automatically. There's no heavy lifting here.

One of the Qashqai's strengths is how it can fit into a car park. While costume shopping for my '70s party, I squeezed into a tiny park on a very narrow backstreet in the city (in front of people too, no pressure!) But the steering was easy to wrangle and the reverse parking camera did its job.

You won't be gasping at all the snazzy things you find, but you'll be happy with what you've got. You won't be gasping at all the snazzy things you find, but you'll be happy with what you've got.

Double bonus with the Qashqai: it has 'Intelligent Park Assist' (IPA), which means you press a button and the car parks itself. All you do is take your hands off the steering wheel and accelerate/brake when necessary. This was the first time I have used it and yes, it totally freaked me out, but it's so easy. Just hit the touchscreen and let it do its thing.

Note: The tiny car park mentioned above was so small the IPA didn't even acknowledge it was a park, so wouldn't work and I had to park it myself. See, humans can do things machines can't. IPA is a very handy feature that doesn't come in the Qashqai's competitors, the Mazda CX-3 or the Honda HRV.

How safe is it?

It's got all your usual safety concerns covered, with front and side first row airbags and side curtain airbags extending to the second row. It has two ISOFIX points and three top tether points, plus blind spot warning and forward and rear collision warning, along with the reverse parking camera. What it's missing is Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) which comes standard in a Mazda CX-3.

How spacious is it?

One of my biggest concerns with a family is obviously space. The more space we have, the less arguments between the children, and the more stuff we can cart around (what is it with kids and suddenly needing to bring everything including the kitchen sink along?).

The Qashqai accommodated my two girls who are four and six with no trouble. They didn't even complain when they had to sit behind my 185cm husband. Sure, there wasn't an enormous amount of extra space, but we did fit comfortably. If the kids were older and bigger or if we had another one on the way, I'd be thinking about moving up a size class. But for now, this small SUV suited us just fine.

The Qashqai accommodated my two girls who are four and six with no trouble. The Qashqai accommodated my two girls who are four and six with no trouble.

The boot space was also surprisingly good. I loaded a full grocery shop for the dinner party in there with no problem and it held the CarsGuide pram with room to spare.

It's a bigger boot than the CX-3 and falls just short of the HRV's boot size. There was also a large amount of underfloor storage which is great to throw handbags or iPads in when shopping around town for things like fondue sets (we did chocolate fondue for the '70s party, naturally, nobody really wants cheese fondue do they?).

I loaded a full grocery shop for the dinner party in the boot with no problem and it held the 'CarsGuide' pram with room to spare. I loaded a full grocery shop for the dinner party in the boot with no problem and it held the 'CarsGuide' pram with room to spare.

How easy is it for everyday?

The Qashqai is reasonably practical. You won't be gasping at all the snazzy things you find, but you'll be happy with what you've got. Storage wise, there are two cupholders in the front, two in the back, and a bottle holder in each door. There's also a really deep storage bin in the front centre console which would fit an extra large water bottle quite comfortably. It has an envelope on the back of the front seats which is great for kids books and other stuff they like to sneak into the car with them.

It's not particularly high off the ground, so young children will be able to climb in easily, and the boot isn't too high either so it doesn't feel like you need to hoist grocery bags up over your head to get them in.

There's dual zone climate control in the front, but no rear air vents for the back and I do find this a bit of an issue - I can just picture a hot day with the kids complaining they need more air.

How does it look?

The Qashqai is one of my favourite looking cars and oozes exterior style. There's something about the curved lines and complete non-boxiness that appeals from every angle. It's like popping a celebrity on that ridiculous turning circle on the red carpet on E! - it honestly doesn't have a bad side.

Inside, it's pretty good, but not the swankiest car I've sat in. There's a shiny console around the multimedia screen and around the gear stick, there are leather accented seats which are also heated in the front, and a leather steering wheel that feels really, really fab. I think this is one of the most important things because you get in the car everyday and if that steering wheel feels great, it makes a big difference to drive.

Inside, it's pretty good, but not the swankiest car I've sat in. Inside, it's pretty good, but not the swankiest car I've sat in.

I'm not a fan, however, of the bubble finish on the dash and the centre console, it's the only thing that brings the look down.

There's also a great big sunroof to bring natural light into the backseat, helping to open up the space, which always makes me feel a bit more special driving around with glorious sunlight flooding in.

The leather steering wheel feels really, really fab. The leather steering wheel feels really, really fab.

What about technology?

With all the whiz bang technology around these days, sometimes it's hard to find something easy to use, but the Nissan system works well. The 7.0-inch multimedia screen synced with my iPhone super quickly and I was able to play my Spotify playlists through it (very important for alone time in the car!).

The graphics on the sat nav are noticeably refined, though it didn't have the most up-to-date information on road closures in the city while I was hunting around for '70s decorations.

How much fuel does it use? How much does it cost to run?

The Qashqai Ti comes in at $36,990. Nissan claims a 6.9L/100km combined fuel efficiency but with my driving around the city I got an 11.8L/100km reading, which is quite high for a car this size.

Nissan offers a three year/100,000km warranty, you can also choose from one of two extended warranty options, but going over 100,000km will void that extension. Servicing on petrol models is scheduled for every 12 months/10,000km, and costs from $224 to $532 over 12 services. Added together it comes to $3684 or $307 per service. Every other service costs $224.


The Wrap

Qashqai is a logical next step up from a hatchback. If you're used to a small car zipping about town but need something slightly bigger, this car will work well for you. There's a much better amount of interior space without losing the ability to fit into small parks. I thought it was a great drive and gave it a family rating of 7.5 stars out of 10. My children were a bit indifferent in this car, there was nothing spectacular for them to comment on but they were certainly comfortable enough. They gave it 7 bouncy balls out of 10.

Is the Nissan Qashqai your kind of young family SUV? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Likes

Big interior space
The zippy drive
Great boot space for a small SUV

Dislikes

Interiors could be better
Higher than expected fuel efficiency
No rear air vents

Scores

Nedahl:

7.5

The Kids:

7

$29,886 - $40,007

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