2018 Nissan Qashqai SL AWD (Rogue Sport) Review

With the sudden popularity of the SUVs and the success of its bigger brother, the Nissan Rogue, the Qashqai which is called the Rogue Sport in the United States is Nissan's newest effort to capitalize the red hot subcompact SUV market. Thanks to Nissan Canada, I was given the chance to see how the 2018 Qashqai with the AWD SL trim option stacks up against the likes of Mazda CX-3.

The 2018 Nissan Qashqai shares many of its exterior design features with the Rogue. The front fascia is dominated by the signature wing shaped front grille, which transitions seamlessly into the boomerang-shaped LED Daytime Daytime Running Lights and the LED headlights.

The side profile of the Qashqai maintains a smooth silhouette with a sharp character line running across the door handles. Thick black cladding of the rocker panels keeps the side profile light, and gives the illusion of a higher ground clearance. The optional 19" alloy wheels don't exactly stand out in my opinion though.

The rear of the Qashqai looks wide and tall because of the thick black bumper and the slim boomerang-shaped taillights.

Over all, the exterior of the Nissan Qashqai is modern, classy, and somewhat conservative. It isn't as eye-catching as some of its competitors, but should appeal to a wider audience.

I find the interior of the Qashqai to be modern, comfortable, and ergonomically friendly. The standard heated front seats offers great support and a commanding ride height.

The wing shaped dashboard design is simple, and visually pleasing. All control buttons look modern and are thoughtfully laid out. Something some other Nissan vehicles should adapt to. There are plenty of hard plastics in the cabin, but they are textured to be visually pleasing. I am not a fan of the piano black trims of the center console, they attract fingerprints easily, and are prone to scratches.

The view from the driver seat is excellent, and there is plenty of legroom in the front. The legroom of the rear is also above average for a subcompact SUV. There is a dedicated rear air vent behind the front center armrest, but no USB charging ports or power sockets in the rear.

The Qashqai does a good job of keeping road and engine noise at bay. Overall, I like where Nissan is going with this trend of interior design.

The Infotainment of the SL features a 7.0-inch touchscreen that is fast and responsive. Two columns of dedicated buttons beside the touchscreen provide instant access to the sub-menus. It takes some getting used to, but once you are familiar with their positions, entering a sub-menu while driving becomes much easier.

The LCD information screen in between the dials in the instrument cluster provides useful information to the driver. It is controlled by the nicely laid out buttons on the steering wheel.

Safety and Driver Assistance
The Qashqai comes standard with some of the most important safety features:

  • Intelligent Emergency Braking
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Rear view camera

The SL trim also gets

  • Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane-Keep Assist System (LAS)
  • Automatic High-beam
  • Rear Intelligent Braking

It earns a 4 star safety rating from NHTSA.

The Qashqai sports a 2.0L 4-Cylinder Engine that produces 141 hp of power and 147 lb-ft of torque. It is not the most powerful engine, but is class appropriate.

The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) of the Qashqai does a good job of providing great fuel economy while not being overly bland. It is rated with a combined city/highway drive economy rating of 8.4L/100km. The simulated gear change of the transmission helps to break up the usual long, monotone engine noise of the CVT. It is certainly appreciated by me. Our tester is also equipped with an AWD system that has a dedicated AWD lock switch for offload driving.

The steering is light and the cornering performance is confidence inspiring. The suspension also does an excellent good job of providing a buttery smooth around town. This isn't the most exciting car to drive, but it is easy to maneuver, and should appeal to customers looking for a car that is competent and comfortable to drive.

Cargo Space & Storage
The Nissan Qashqai offers an above average cargo space comparing to it rivals. Behind the 2nd row seat is up to 648L of cargo space. There is up to 1,730L of cargo space with the 2nd row seat folded down. It would certainly meets the need of most households.

Like the Rogue, the new Qashqai also offers the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Cargo System (SV and SL grades).  It allows you to fold up part of the cargo floor as a divider.

In cabin storage options are standard, but I do wish the cup holders have some kind of retaining mechanism to keep the beverages from sliding or tipping.

The Nissan Qashqai is a car for the masses. It is a solid offering by Nissan in this increasingly competitive segment. Nissan cleverly combines utility, fuel economy, and a modern interior design at a very reasonable price. Many of the useful safety features come standard in all trim levels. If it is practicality you are looking for, it is hard to beat the Qashqai at this price point. If it is driving performance you are seeking, I would choose the CX-3.

Test Vehicle
2018 Qashqai SL AWD (Platinum Package)
32,498 without Destination
Pearl White


Popular Posts