The compact Nissan Qashqai SUV has been a major part of the brand's push into the crossover and SUV marketplace, in which it now has six distinct models ranging from the tiny Kicks through to the massive Armada. Occupying the second step up the ladder is the Qashqai, a vehicle that is among Nissan's least expensive offerings, but doesn't feel like it.
Based on the same underpinnings as the Rogue, the Qashqai is much smaller, losing the Rogue's third-row seat but benefiting from its larger sibling's class-above refinement.
For 2019, all Qashqai trims now come standard with automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert and a rear door alert system. Nissan has also added the Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone integration platforms, an extra USB port and a cargo organizer. Top-end SL trim gains a nine-speaker stereo and the ProPilot driver assist system.
Qashqai carries over with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 141 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque, which comes matched with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive in the base S trim. Optional in S and standard elsewhere is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is an option in S and SV trim and is standard in the SL.
With the compact Qashqai SUV, Nissan goes up against some serious competition, including the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR and Ford Ecosport. Volkswagen technically doesn't have a crossover in this price range, but it does offer the Golf Sportwagen, whose AWD option turns it into a viable alternative, especially for shoppers who want SUV flexibility with the more agile feel of a car.
The Qashqai's mature feel, understated styling and attractive pricing combine to make this a very easy vehicle to like.
Qashqai's S trim includes 16-inch steel wheels with covers, LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors with power adjustments, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, air conditioning, tilt-and-telescopic steering, variable intermittent wipers, heated front seats with manual adjustments, a four-speaker stereo with USB inputs and streaming audio, automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert.
SV trim brings 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic on/off headlights, fog lights, sunroof, rear parking sonar, dual-zone automatic climate control, passive keyless entry, cruise control, leather-trimmed shift lever and heated steering wheel, a six-speaker stereo, rear intelligent braking, lane departure warning and lane intervention and an enhanced collision avoidance system with pedestrian detection.
Moving up to SL trim gets you 19-inch wheels, an electric parking brake, the ProPilot driver assist system, navigation with voice recognition, 360-degree exterior camera views, intelligent cruise control, leather seating with electric front seat adjustments and enhanced rear automatic braking with moving object detection.
Nissan's fuel consumption estimates for Qashqai models with the optional CVT and FWD are 8.6/7.2 L/100 km (city/highway), with AWD models rated at 9.1/7.6. A front-driver with the six-speed stick is rated at 10.1/8.1 L/100 km.