Nissan Qashqai

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 glove box feels pretty cheap, with some scratchy plastics low down, too. Still, overall refinement is good. 

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 featuers a 3D function to see the car from above when parking. A feature called “invisible hood view” allows drives to position the front wheels as if looking as 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 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, headroom 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.

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