08/11/2013 10:15 | By James Ruppert

Expert guide to buying a Nissan Qashqai

The new Qashqai's here - so a perfect time to snap up a secondhand Qashqai bargain


Nissan Qashqai (© Nissan)

The Nissan Qashqai in a nutshell?

Here is a genuinely innovative family hatchback which looks good and offers proper practicality all wrapped up in a reliable Nissan package. It's hard to think of a better buy for buyers who want style and a vehicle to do a difficult job - a fact backed up by numerous second-hand car of the year awards from What Car?

And now the new 2014 Nissan Qashqai  has been unveiled, it's a good time to scout out a used Qashqai bargain. Read on for our buying guide to snare a second-hand Qashqai fit for family duty.

Read a Nissan Qashqai review
Nissan Qashqai (2014) in pictures
Browse second-hand Qashqais on Auto Trader

What are the Nissan Qashqai's stats?

Performance:
Top Speed 119mph/0-60mph 10.1 seconds (2.0)
Slowest 108mph/0-60mph 12.6 seconds (1.5 dCi)

Economy:
Best 52.3 mpg (1.5 dCi)
Worst 34.4mpg (2.0)

Emissions:
Best 129g/km tax (1.5dCi Puredrive)
Worst 183g/km 26% (2.0 dCi)

Insurance group:
Lowest, Group 5 (1.6 Visia/Acenta 1.5 dCi Acenta)
Highest Group 10 (2.0/2.0 dCi Tenka All Mode)

NCAP Safety Rating:
Five stars

How much for a Nissan Qashqai?

£6,250 buys a 2007 2.0 Acenta 5 door with 100,000 miles
£9,000 buys a 2008 1.6 Acenta with 44,000 miles
£11,000 buys a 2009 1.5 dCi Acenta with 40,000 miles
£13,000 buys a 2009 2.0 +2 2.0 Visia 5 with 22,000 miles
£14,250 buys a 2008 2.0dCi Tenka All Mode with 40,000 miles

Nissan cleverly realised that car buyers loved the look of and the view out of a 4x4 but not everyone clearly needed the of road ability. As a result the Qashqai is effectively a high rise hatchback with bags of style. Unlike many 4x4s big and small the on-road behaviour isn't compromised. The high ride height may mean a bit of lean if you take a corner too fast, but it always holds on tight with plenty of grip and, most important of all, a comfy ride. Obviously this is a practical buy with plenty of room inside for a growing family plus a decent sized boot. Nissan also realised that some buyers really do like to have the added benefit of 4x4 hence the introduction of the All Mode. Clearly the Qashqai has all the potential buying bases covered.

What's the best spec Nissan Qashqai?

The specification has always been very good. The basic Visia come with air conditioning, alloy wheels, four electric windows and even a Bluetooth handsfree telephone kit. The next level is Acenta which means automatic air conditioning in the form of climate control, a CD autochanger, parking sensors, cruise control and automatic headlamps that will ping on when you need them. At the top of the kit tree is the Tekna that brings full leather upholstery and a full size panoramic sunroof. N-Tec models have the Nissan Connect satellite navigation systems.

Nissan Qashqai updates

2006: Launched
2007: All Mode 4x4 model with 2.0 litre engine
2008: +2 seven-seat model
2009: N-Tec model with Nissan sat-nav
2010: Revised models with revised front end styling and LED lights at the rear. Technical improvements to the suspension. Low emission Puredrive model added to the line up
2014: The new Nissan Qashqai goes on sale in January 2014

What should I look for on a used Nissan Qashqai?

Lights

If the indicators or fog lamps need changing this is a dealer job! Get the seller to change it before you buy or get £100 knocked off the price.

Key fob

Make sure it opens the door properly. If the owner uses the key be suspicious as this could indicate that the door motor has failed and it will cost around £300 to fix.

Diesel engines

Turbo: Blue/black smoke when warm and if they seem sluggish on the test drive is there a whistling or crunching sound from the engine? That could be a blown turbo. Also, check the Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve. Don't bother with the car if this is faulty as it is a £1,000 fix, so it must be reflected in the price and diagnosed and repaired by a main dealer.

DPF

When you start the engine look for the Diesel Particulate filter warning light, which must go out when the engine starts. If not and the car is sluggish, then it will need replacing and costs around £300. There was also a recall as a connector in the diesel particulate filter fuel system may not be correctly attached. If this is ignored, fuel may leak from the connector during a particulate filter regeneration cycle. Cars affected range from 04/01/2008 - 28/10/2008

ECU

If the engine seems to surge, or rev a lot when the accelerator is touched lightly, then there may be an ECU fault. It may only need a software upgrade, which involves a visit to a dealer. Insist that this is rectified before you buy. It could just cost £100, but could also be more serious.

Service intervals

Every 12 months or 12,000 miles. The first service will cost £180 at a main dealer. The second (24,000 mile) service is £255 and the third service (36,000 mile) will cost £325. If a service is due try to reduce the price by the relevant amount or, if the car is at a main dealer, have the service carried out as part of the deal. Check the paperwork to see if the cambelt has been changed on schedule. The cambelt service is due at 54,000 miles. It will cost around £400 at a main dealer.

Wheels/tyres

Optional 18-inch wheels seem to wear tyres quickly, especially on the four-wheel-drive All Mode. With 4x4 vehicles there can be no less than 2mm differences in tyre tread between tyres. Replacing each one is up to £200 each so make sure you check them.

Suspension

Rattles especially at the rear and skittish road behaviour could mean worn shock absorbers. If they have been replaced by Nissan there are usually red dots on them to indicate this. There was a recall affecting front suspension lower ball joints have not been fully seated into the hub. This has resulted in the securing bolt not fitting into the groove in the ball joint shank. If the situation goes uncorrected the ball joint could detach, which could result in loss of vehicle control. Cars affected were built: 12/02/2007 - 05/03/2007

Air conditioning

Always worth checking to make sure that it works properly. Don't buy or get the problem professionally diagnosed so that you know the rectification costs. There was also a recall affecting the air conditioning compressor, which may seize causing unexpected engine stall. Cars affected: 06/11/2006 - 05/01/2007

Nissan Qashqai (© Nissan)

What's the marketplace like for the Nissan Qashqai?

Everyone wants a Qashqai. Nissan's clever packaging has been hugely appealing to so many buyers so the used demand remains extremely strong. Sales are biased towards the diesels, which means that there can be some bargains on the petrols. So a 2.0 litre would make a lot of sense for families who don't cover a lot of miles.

Which model should I buy?

Even the basic specification is very good, so unless you really need Bluetooth or leather, the Visia will be fine. Nissan admit that the Qashqai isn't a full on 4x4, not least because of limited ground clearance. However, the All Mode electronic system automatically engages four-wheel drive the moment a loss of traction is detected. So it is a soft roader, fine for anyone who worries about getting caught out by snow and ice rather than planning to cross a muddy field. When it comes to extra accommodation the Qashqai was crying out for some people-carrier flexibility, which the Qashqai+2 seven-seater variant provides.

Where do I shop for a Nissan Qashqai?

Being such a popular car, they are everywhere, from car supermarkets who probably offer the best value, through to private buyers who may not have the cheapest, but probably the best kept examples. As a mass market car we would recommend dealer buys and supermarket buys provided that there is a decent warranty as part of the package. With lots to choose from you should not be rushed and be able to find something that suits your budget and lifestyle. At a Nissan dealer you can also benefit from their 4-Cared scheme, which means at least a year's warranty and a thoroughly checked vehicle.

Any alternatives to the Nissan Qashqai?

Skoda Yeti

Here's a vehicle which is all about style and has absolutely bags of room too. Not only that, the amusingly named Yeti also has off road ability if you go for that option. Well priced too against the Qashqai.

Read a Skoda Yeti review

Kia Sportage

Who needs an Evoque when there's this really stylish Kia. Good value too, but not as nice to drive as the Nissan.

Read a Kia Sportage review

MINI Countryman

And then there is the four-door MINI which has attention grabbing looks, but is certainly not pretty. Neither is it cheap. Also not that spacious. Qashqai wins.

Read a MINI Countryman review

Read a Nissan Qashqai review

6Comments
26/11/2013 17:00
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Just to balance the comments out a bit.........I am now on  my third Qashqai, all. from new, first two did over 30k miles with no issues, no replacement 18" tyres on a 4WD.

Great car and a great owners club www.qashqaiclub.co.uk with over 4000 members worldwide.  Surely that many owners can't all be driving 'terrible' cars LOL


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We had one of these cars. It was terrible, the ride rubbish, it feels like the springs and shokc absorbers were work out after a year or more they were terrible. They had to replace all 4 corners, there just cheap shocks and springs. They springs on the car for the suspention can be compressed by my hand very easy, for high riging car that is a no no. Going round high speed country bends, man does this car dip badly. You feel all the bumps, its like a big over wieght sheep but its not soing its job. The other thing which is a common fault the steering joints underneath have a prob they seperate over time, giving a feeling of steering that is not connected when turning or none accurate steering they also had to be replaced. Remember folks this is over £22,500 worth of brand new car. This should not happen, my run around focus feels more planted, its does,nt lean in th corners and is over 6 and half years old. Go figure, sorry but the suspention is crap on these cars, everything feels loose. Its just over rated. i tried other like a volkswage and a volvo much much much much better cars by miles. I dont rate this car at all, also its very very under powered. We regular fill our seats in the car, and its just revs away but does not go any where, thats just embarresing for that kind money, we sold it, don,t get me wrong we tried to live with it but its just not a good car. Its just fancy pants polished diamond, nothing more.

Nope don,t like this car, i don,t care. I think people are buying them and trying very hard to convince them selves its a good car, its not. I know the suspention is cheaply made for these cars, its far to weak, you go over bumps and the car seems to skip across the road, this only happens when the springs an shocks you are using are under par and weak for the car they are on. there was many times i felt that if i go faster i might end up across the road, i should,nt have to be that concerned.

Don,t buy one, you will regreat im trying to offer good advice. Its all good when brand new, but after a few months the car wears very badly.

Towards the end of it, i just put it in the garage as i did,nt enjoy it anymore and went back to my focus. We sold it on and got a volkswagen again much better.

don,t like them at all.

16/06/2012 15:38
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I have a 2012 qashqai acenta 1.6 petrol (company car) that i got new in april because of all the good reviews.

Big let down   it's only gets about 30mpg avg and not 47mph as nissan states. Even on a 60mph motorway run i only get about 44mpg and not the 54mpg as nissan says

it feels very cheap inside and out.

Really boring to drive.

The only good thing is the usb dock for phones or ipod....

more bad news is that have to keep it for 3 years or 100000 miles..Never again.

i have not even cleaned it in 3 months i dislike it that much

18/06/2013 12:38
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I recently rented one of these for a weekend.  Terrible car, poor acceleration, heavy fuel consumption, badly designed interior.  Very bad.
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so crap Japanese cars built bye union members who bow to there union boss every morning
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