Nissan Qashqai Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Wednesday 29th March


What is it like on the inside?

Nissan has done well to largely ignore the trend towards buttonless interiors that have made car interiors so frustrating to live with in recent years. Turns out that the company actually asked European buyers what they wanted and touchscreens everywhere all at once was not it. 

That said, the Qashqai set-up works well, Nissan hasn’t used a load of buttons to try and disguise a sub-par system (although we’ve only driven cars with the fancy 12.3-inch screen, it might be a different thing altogether to try and live with the 7in and 8in numbers in entry cars). 

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It all leaves room on the dash for a row of physical shortcuts, plus proper climate controls and a volume and zoom/tune knob. A steering wheel button can summon a quick menu for common driver assist and other frequent functions.

Is the instrument panel digital too? 

Yes, Nissan has done away with the instrument dials too – the display can get a bit cluttered, but it’s nicely customisable and once you’re used to it it’s quite easy to get along with. Top spec cars get a useful head-up display as well, so you don’t need to take your eyes away from the road as much. 

What are the seats like?

The front seats are decently supportive, making the Qashqai a reasonable companion for long-distance motorway driving, especially with the adaptive cruise control. There’s even a massage function available if you go for the top spec car. 

In the back, it's spacious enough for grown-ups, provided the driver raises the cushion to give a bit more rear foot space.

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What’s the interior quality like? 

The days are gone when Nissan used hard shiny plastics and relied for cabin quality on accurate manufacture and assembly. These days the Qashqai adds padded surfaces, visible stitching and metallic details. In other words Nissan and VW have swapped tactics.

In the cabin, endless plugs and store-holes look after your gadgets, food and drink. Because the Qashqai is developed here, it fits British and European car seats, drinks bottles and so on, rather than being sized and shaped for the stuff Americans or Japanese carry.

And the boot? 

The 479-litre boot is a decent size (and stays that size in the hybrid version of the car, you don’t lose out on a load of space for the batteries). A useful touch is the pair of floorboards that slot in various positions to stop your clutter slithering about. They also have a usefully mudproof reverse side if you flip them over. 

Upper specs have a powered tailgate operated by foot swipe under the bumper that may or may not work if you try and use it. But this is invariably the case for all cars that we’ve tried with the feature – makes you wonder why carmakers insist on fitting it. 

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