Nissan Qashqai Tekna+ DIG-T 158 - long-term review
Tekna+ 1.3 DIG-T Xtronic
Goodbye Nissan Qashqai: is it Britain's best crossover?
As our time with the Qashqai comes to a close, time for one final test. Nissan carved out a whole new niche when it launched the first generation QQ back in 2007, and ever since, the market has been flooded with competitors after a slice of the pie. Take the Vauxhall Grandland sitting pretty in blue above, for example.
You might remember it as the Grandland X, as it was called upon launch in 2018 and went by until last year. Having recently received a mid-life facelift, it now wears the smart ‘Vizor’ front end as worn by its Mokka crossover sibling. Size wise it’s slightly bigger than the Qashqai, measuring 52mm longer and 14mm wider, but whisper it, we reckon it’s the slightly better looking of the two.
Up front, the Qashqai gets a 1.3-litre petrol engine with mild hybrid assistance and either 138 or 156bhp, while the Grandland is available with one petrol (a 1.2-litre turbo, producing 128bhp), one diesel (1.5-litre turbo producing 148bhp), and a plug-in hybrid, consisting of a 1.6-litre petrol engine and 13.2kWh battery pack for a combined 222bhp.
Here, we’ve got the higher-powered Qashqai with 156bhp and auto ‘box, and the petrol-powered Grandland with 128bhp and six-speed manual. Both are very quiet (the Qashqai particularly so), refined and economical, averaging around the 40mpg mark. Zero to 62mph takes 9.2secs in the Qashqai, aided by the mild hybrid tech, and 10.4secs in the Grandland – not that, y’know, that figure really matters in a family runaround.
Of more importance is passenger comfort, and this is arguably where the Qashqai comes out on top. It steers smoothly and suppresses all but the harshest bumps and ruts in the road even on the 20-inch alloys as fitted here, with little roll around corners. The Grandland, by comparison and on 19-inch alloys, fares slightly worse, with potholes and suchlike felt a little more than we’d like in the cabin and a fair amount of roll around bends. It’s by no means terrible, just a little less refined than the Qashqai.
Inside both is a pleasant enough affair, with well thought-out cabins and plenty of nice finishing touches. Both get a digital instrument cluster (12.3-inch in the Qashqai, 12-inch in the Grandland), infotainment screen (9-inch and 10-inch respectively), physical shortcut buttons and – best of all – proper climate control buttons. It’s again a close-run thing, but we reckon the Grandland is the slightly sleeker of the two.
Price? Your entry point is £25,505 for the Nissan and £26,720 for the Vauxhall. Specced as here, the Qashqai, in top-spec Tekna+ trim, and costing £37,270, gets heated and massaging seats, while the Grandland, also in top-spec Ultimate trim and costing £32,270, gets ‘active sports-style’ seats approved by the AGR (Aktion Gesunder Rückenor or ‘Campaign for Healthier Backs’). So, sit in these and you'll officially have less backache, apparently.
Both are plenty comfortable, and roomy enough in the rear for grownups too. The Grandland just edges bootspace, with 514/1,642 litres seats up/down versus 504/1,447 litres in the Qashqai, but you won’t notice on the weekly supermarket run. Unless you exclusively buy one-litre bottles of water.
There’s no denying the Grandland is a huge leap over its predecessor – it’s arguably the better looking of the duo and drives as well as you’d need a crossover to. But during our time with the Qashqai it’s handled everything we’ve thrown at it with ease, be it commute, staycation, or supermarket run. A car this well suited to family life is perhaps easy to forget, but when you need something that quietly suits your needs, it's hard to ignore.
Photography: Katie Potts