9 February 2021

Used Car Review: Nissan Qashqai (2016)

The Qashqai was a model initially produced by Nissan to help boost sales in the European market. It turns out that it did just that – the SUV was a success across the continent, particularly in the UK, and was awarded the What Car? Car of the Year award back in 2014.

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Nissan Qashqai (2016)
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Nissan Qashqai (2016)
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Nissan Qashqai (2016)
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Nissan Qashqai (2016)
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Nissan Qashqai (2016)

The current model Qashqai was the ninth most popular new passenger car sold in 2020 in New Zealand, sitting just ahead of the Hyundai Tucson.

In terms of SUVs, the Nissan Qashqai is rather handsome and far less polarising than the more standout Nissan Juke, which has always held a ‘love it or loath it’ appearance.

The Qashqai originally came to the market with a good handful of variants, but the model we tested was the entry model from 2016 and held an attractive price point at that time of $35,990 (+ORC), making it appealing to business and fleet operators. We’re now starting to see an abundance of these on the used car market.

Beautifully Proportioned

The Qashqai came with 17-inch alloy wheels and a wide appearance when viewing it from the rear, thanks to the car’s pronounced haunches. It features a lower black plastic bumper portion in the rear, which looks to be quite durable when compared to the painted bumpers seen on a more premium model. The same plastic panelling makes its way around the arches, on the lower sections of the doors and also onto the chin of the front bumper. These protective accents give this SUV a more rugged appearance, however, the rest of the body panels and lines are otherwise smooth and streamlined.

The model also had regular halogen headlights which could be adjusted electronically, and standard fitment of daytime running lights which helped add increased curb appeal and safety.


The interior of the Qashqai is not bad for a car of this category, although by more modern standards the stereo screen felt a little on the small side at just five inches. That said, everything functioned well and it was nice to see the inclusion of a reverse camera to aid parking. The centre stack was easy to use, and being a NZ-new model, everything was clearly labelled in English, making it easy for us to navigate around.

From the steering wheel controls, you’re able to adjust your stereo, cruise control, as well as answer or decline calls. The cabin still felt relatively modern with its glossy black accents and grey trim accent panelling, and there was even an electric handbrake mounted just in front of the gear selector.

The seats were finished in a durable black cloth fabric, and the front seats are broad, ideal if you prefer that extra seat space. From the front seats you also get two sizable bottle holders and two centre cup holders and a 12V outlet. The centre console bin is a real goodie bag offering a USB port, an auxiliary audio input and a 12V socket.

Survivor Rear Seat Island

There was a reasonable amount of room for the rear passengers, but they aren’t as spoilt for space and other luxuries as the front seat passenger’s experience. The seating was comfortable and both entering and exiting the car should be an easy task for most.

Loading capacity behind the back seats is 430 litres of luggage room, which is ample for most drivers, and this edges over the Skoda Yeti which is a fairly impressive feat. Dropping the rear seats down also opens up more options for transporting bulkier goods.

Smooth Moves Qashqai

The Qashqai we tested had a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 106 kW and 200Nm of torque. It’s mated to the Xtronic CVT, and when compared to the Nissan X-trail, the Qashqai provides a much more comfortable and smoother ride. Another useful function is ‘Hill Hold’, which makes life much easier on steep inclines.

In spite of the smooth ride, cornering dynamics are impressive and the electro mechanical steering makes manoeuvring this SUV easy in inner city carparks. With a claimed consumption of 6.9L/100km, the Qashqai is fairly frugal, however during our testing we managed about 8.0L/100km on regular 91 octane.

The Nissan Qashqai is practical in terms of pulling power with 729kg un-braked and 1,200kg braked.


From new it was an appealing SUV and as the years have rolled by there’s still a flame that burns for this difficult to pronounce model - we still receive calls from AA Members asking for our advice on what the Nissan ‘Squashi’ is like.

The Nissan Qashqai had the recipe pretty much sorted back in 2016 for a comfortable, affordable family-friendly SUV. Mazda and Honda did too with the CX-5 and CRV models respectively. It is, however, quite difficult to match the buttery smooth ride of the Qashqai.

At a glance

Model and year

Nissan Qashqai (2016)



Date Tested



$20,285 (+ORC)




Xtronic CVT

Fuel economy


Towing capacity

729kg (unbraked), 1,200kg (braked)



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

430 litres (all seats up)

Safety features include:

  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Airbags
  • ESC
  • EBD
  • Daytime running lights
  • Engine Immobiliser
  • Traction control
  • Rear Vision Camera

For more information on safety ratings visit rightcar.govt.nz

Choosing your next used car?

A good start is to find a used vehicle that has had an AA Appraisal. Cars that have had an AA Appraisal have received a 43-point mechanical check by the AA, which focuses on the mechanical and safety aspects of the car and gives an overall evaluation of the vehicle.

Click here to learn more about AA Appraisals.

Get total peace of mind with an AA Pre Purchase Inspection

When you buy a used car, you may have a number of questions about its condition and safety. An independent AA Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection will give you complete peace of mind with a comprehensive 100+ point vehicle check by an experienced mechanic.

Click here for more information on AA Pre Purchase Inspections.

Thank you to City Motor Group for supplying us with the 2016 Nissan Qashqai for review. For similar listings, click here.

CityMotorGroupFind out more on how the AA can help you when buying a car

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