Can’t wait for a Nissan Qashqai? Have you considered…

6 min read

The recently redesigned Nissan Qashqai occupies a sweet spot in the Japanese brand’s range.

It’s larger and more refined than the Juke, without being quite as large as the X-Trail. It’s technically a small SUV, but it’s on the larger end of the segment and yet it’s quite economical.

Its attributes clearly resonate with Australian buyers, and it’s aided by strong name recognition – even if not everybody knows how to spell or pronounce said name – on account of its popular predecessor.

That popularity does mean, however, it’s not as readily available as some rivals.

Our data says you could be looking at a 3-6 month wait for a new Qashqai.

It’s a good small crossover, but if you’re wanting to get into a new car sooner here are some other options.

Anthony Crawford: Honda HR-V

If you compare pricing for the top-spec petrol Nissan Qashqai ($47,390 before on-roads) against the top-spec Honda HR-V hybrid ($47,000 drive-away), the choice to go with the more premium Honda is a no-brainer, in my view.

While I’m a fan of Nissan’s most recent designs across the board, I still find the HR-V and ZR-V to be more resolved and overall more premium in terms of comfort, practicality and dynamics. These might be family SUVs but the Honda is actually fun to drive, and has excellent ride comfort on poor surfaces.

Mind, the affordable end of the small SUV segment has never had so many worthy choices for new car buyers but I rate the HR-V ahead of the game on a holistic level.

MORE: Buy a Honda HR-V

Scott Collie: Cupra Formentor

Why not have a bit of fun with your compact SUV? The Cupra Formentor isn’t appreciably smaller than a Qashqai inside, but it’s sportier to look at and more fun to drive.

If you’re pinching pennies, the cheapest Qashqai comfortably undercuts the Cupra… but at the top end of the range, the Qashqai is knocking on the door of the Formentor V’s price tag.

MORE: Buy a Cupra Formentor

Jade Credentino: Honda ZR-V

This new kid in the playground is great value for money, particularly the VTi L and VTi LX at $43,200 and $48,500 drive-away, respectively.

The safety tech in the Honda is great. As standard, you have all the bells and whistles including front and rear parking sensors, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and AEB.

You can fit three child seats in the second row and it has enough space for a stroller and day-to-day family activities.

Also worth mentioning, the servicing costs are much lower for the ZR-V than its rivals.

If you’re like me and have a raging fear of getting the car dirty with kids or moving things in and out, the VTi-LX has leather upholstery.

There are a few things you’d have to compromise on with ZR-V. It has slightly less torque than a Qashqai (240Nm vs 250Nm), and it’s less fuel-efficient with combined cycle consumption of 7.0L/100km (versus 6.1L/100km). That said, it’s a larger vehicle.

Finally, the boot space is compromised thanks to the ZR-V’s raked tailgate. You lose around 50L in comparison to the Qashqai.

Nonetheless, I enjoy the ZR-V and it’s a perfect size for singles, couples and growing families.

MORE: Buy a Honda ZR-V

Jack Quick: Volkswagen T-Roc

If you’re not willing to wait between three to six months for a Nissan Qashqai there is no shortage of other options in the small SUV segment in Australia.

Some notable mentions for me include the Mazda CX-30 and Subaru Crosstrek, however I’d argue your best pick would be the Volkswagen T-Roc.

I’m a huge fan of the entry-level T-Roc’s 110TSI 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that has seemingly been around forever, yet continues to outperform a number of its rivals. This does come a little underdone however with how the Aisin-sourced eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission shuffles between gears.

If you want more power the T-Roc also has the option of the 140TSI 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine on the Style which adds all-wheel drive. None of the local Nissan Qashqai range offers all-wheel drive.

Something to note however is the T-Roc doesn’t come with the option of a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain like the Qashqai e-Power. Despite this I’ve always been quite surprised with how efficient the core T-Roc’s engines are.

MORE: Buy a Volkswagen T-Roc

William Stopford: Hyundai Kona 1.6T

You’re absolutely spoilt for choice if you’re looking for a new SUV between $33,000 and $52,000 before on-roads, which is the price range of the Qashqai.

If you’re after a Qashqai, you probably find the idea of a large-ish small or small-ish medium SUV with an attractive interior and a flexible turbocharged or hybrid powertrain appealing.

My instinct was to say the Volkswagen T-Roc, now that they have largely fixed up its horrible interior, but Jack beat me to that. Particularly in 140TSI guise it’s a genuinely enjoyable small SUV to drive as it doesn’t really feel like an SUV, but rather a warm hatch.

The Hyundai Kona has also been improved of late, though instead of a mid-life update like the T-Roc it has been treated to a complete redesign.

I was never really a Kona fan, seeing it as being a rather awkward-looking thing that was less practical than an i30 hatch, but the new model is a much more appealing affair – that insufferable overspeed chime aside.

The new car is better packaged, and the dreadful dual-clutch automatic has been removed from the Kona 1.6T. There’s also a hybrid to rival the Qashqai e-Power.

I’ll admit the Kia Seltos is more my style, but having to pony up for the top-spec model just to get LED headlights is patently absurd.

For a more left-field choice, Ford has some leftover Escape stock. It’s one of the more nimble SUVs in its class and one of the most powerful, and you might be able to get a good deal on one.

MORE: Buy a Hyundai Kona

James Wong: Skoda Karoq

The oft-forgotten Czech crossover from the VW Group lines up nicely against Nissan’s Qashqai, straddling small and medium segments with great interior packaging and city-friendly external dimensions.

For me, the Qashqai ST-L and Ti are the main ones worth looking at, meaning a $40,000-$50,000 price bracket that allows you to get a nicely optioned Karoq Style for similar money.

Tick the Tech Pack ($5700) on the base Karoq Style (from $45,590 drive-away) and you’re looking at a smidgen over $50,000 in your driveway which is about the same money as a Qashqai Ti.

This pack adds niceties like Matrix LED headlights, a larger touchscreen with navigation on top of the standard wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, as well as surround-view cameras.

While the base 1.4 TSI looks a little meek on paper, its 110kW/250Nm outputs are an exact match for the Qashqai’s 1.3L turbo and the Skoda’s engine is very efficient in real-world driving.

Simply, clever!

MORE: Buy a Skoda Karoq

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