Practical experience Nissan Qashqai: still distinctive?

‘King Couple is always ready on call’

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Kas-watte? Yes, even in 2023, spelling the name Qashqai remains a challenge. Difficult name or not, it was one of the first crossovers in the C-segment and therefore a bull’s-eye. The model was so popular that it sometimes seemed as if the car was not sold, but simply handed out. Although those days are behind us, the current, third generation is also a strong performer in the Nissan showrooms. How does that happen? In this article we summarize the opinions of owners and users.

You can order the Nissan Qashqai with traditional petrol engines, but there is no fully electric variant and you will also look in vain for a plug-in hybrid. No, Nissan plays the game slightly differently. The Qashqai is also available with the striking E-Power powertrain. It drives like a fully electric car, but a 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine generates the energy. Based on our reviews, this is not the most popular version, but it is discussed in this article. Would you like to know more about user experiences with the previous generation of Qashqai (2014-2021)? You can read it in this article.

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai: practicality

Part of the success was usability. Is this still the case with the current generation? It is somewhat noticeable that few drivers pay attention to the space in the interior and that is often a good sign. They do praise the flexibility, especially that of the trunk. “The car is nice and spacious and in the back you can remove half of the trunk floor and put it back vertically,” explains the driver of a Qashqai Tekna+. “This way you can also put things in there without them shifting much while driving. A trick that I use a lot,” he emphasizes.

The driver of a Qashqai e-Power also leaves an extensive description. “The tailgate extends nicely to the bottom, making loading large items particularly easy,” is his finding. “Although you lose 35 liters of space because of a small battery under the floor, a very usable space remains. Folding down the bench produces a beautiful rectangular cavern with a completely flat loading floor. Very nice for transporting large items.” The flexibility of the trunk is also striking here. “There is an extra space under the loading space that can be used very functionally. You can place the trunk floor vertically, so that bottles of beer and wine do not roll through the entire trunk.” This does not yet include convenience. “And if you have dirty things to transport, you can turn the plates upside down, creating an easy-to-clean platform covering the trunk.”

The same applies to the seating furniture as to the space, but the few words that riders spend on it are positive. For example, the driver of a 2021 Qashqai Tekna+ reports: “The seats are very comfortable and can be adjusted completely electrically to your wishes with millimeter accuracy.” He casually mentions a comfortable option. “Chair massage works very well, although it remains a gimmick.”

Nissan Qashqai

Infotainment and controls

The owner of a 2022 Qashqai Business Executive is very pleased with the operation of functions. “It’s nice that you can operate the entire heater/air conditioning control with regular buttons,” he says. “Things such as seat heating, steering wheel heating and windscreen heating (both very nice) are also operated with normal buttons.” I also like the software. “I usually use Google Maps via Android Auto, which unfortunately has to be done with a wire. Works fine. The built-in navigation works fine, notifications are also shown in the head-up display.”

The driver of a 2021 Qashqai Tekna+ is equally pleased with the system. “The infotainment is very good, with one drawback,” he writes, “and the Bose sound system sounds very nice if you adjust a lot of extra bass. Connection with Nissan Connect app and phone is smooth. Live traffic information (TomTom) is very good.” Now the downside. “The navigation system indicates how long you have to follow this road and then gives you instructions shortly in advance where you have to get off. I’m used to the indication ‘after x kilometers off or straight on’.”

Nissan Qashqai

On the road with the Qashqai

Owners are completely enthusiastic about driving. “As I expected, the QQ turns out to be a wonderful travel companion,” says the owner of a Qashqai Access Edition. “Even on poor road surfaces, the car continues to work comfortably and quietly. I used the DS mode a lot in the mountains; the car then pulls a little longer through the gears and also uses the engine braking more on descents. Sort of a sport/mountain move.”

The Tekna+ driver is also very satisfied. “The car drives like on rails. Thanks to the multi-link rear suspension, there are no transverse shocks through the car. That is only with the Tekna+ because it has 20-inch wheels. The fear that this would lead to a loss of comfort has proven to be unfounded, the chassis offers a good mix of comfort and sportiness.” This technical claim is correct, but we must add that four-wheel drive Qashqais also have such a suspension.

Engines and drivetrains

As mentioned, the Nissan Qashqai is available with a variety of powertrains. We start with the special hybrid e-Power, about which the owner writes: “What puts the biggest grin on my face every day is the unbridled elastic power of the Nissan’s electric drive. The front wheels are never driven by a wimpy eco-based moped engine. King Couple is always there on call to drag you forward with a gigantic kick in the ass.” However, engine noise is occasionally audible. “The noise canceling makes it exceptionally quiet in the car. The striking silence makes it even more noticeable when the Nissan, due to a lack of power supply, briefly runs the fuel engine at increased speed to quickly charge the battery. Very briefly you hear a somewhat raw sound that lasts for a long time because it is not a pleasant sound.”

Nissan Qashqai

Drivers of a Qashqai with a more common drivetrain seem slightly less satisfied. This mainly concerns drivers of a version with continuously variable transmission. “Operation of the CVT automatic transmission is sometimes a bit jerky when driving away, it engages quite abruptly. This makes the drivetrain feel a bit restless,” writes the driver of a 2022 Qashqai Dig-T 158. After a few software updates, the experience is adjusted to ‘enjoyable’. Several riders indicate that the experience improves if the stop/start system is turned off. “The 158-hp engine in combination with the X-Tronic automatic transmission works very well and feels very fast,” reports another rider. “I recognize the often-mentioned aggressive auto stop, if it bothers me I simply turn it off.”

Nissan Qashqai teaser

Maintenance, malfunctions, annoyances

We have already discussed the most important annoyances under the previous heading, and that is pretty much it. The Qashqai seems to be a reliable companion for the time being. A minor annoyance of the e-Power driver: “Nissan would do well to examine the drainage at the front doors during a facelift. When I open the door after a rain shower, a splash of water always falls on the side of the front seat. The result is a chair full of circles and I hate that intensely.”

In summary, the current generation Nissan Qashqai does a lot right. The flexible trunk space is particularly striking, although many users emphasize how quiet and comfortable their car is. On the other hand, the CVT automatic transmission of conventional engines provides a less jerk-free experience than you might expect. The striking hybrid drivetrain seems to be the way to experience maximum comfort.

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