The Nissan Qashqai was one of the first cars to popularise the ‘crossover’ genre. The genre, along with the Qashqai, has since become a huge success.
It wasn’t long before the Qashqai had rivals, and strong ones at that. One of its main competitors is the Kia Sportage, the car that put the South Korean brand back on the map. While the Sportage and the Qashqai have both stolen the hearts of many, including ours, there can only be one winner. And, for me, it’s the Qashqai.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why I think the Nissan Qashqai is better than the Kia Sportage.
1. Lower emissions
When I found out that the Qashqai had scored highly (or low) on its CO2 emissions, I knew we were onto a winner. The two-wheel-drive 1.5 litre diesel holds the lowest CO2 rating at just 99g/km. This means that it will cost you nothing in road tax (until the new car tax comes into play next year, you can read about that here). Even the model with the highest CO2 emissions is still pretty low. The 1.6 DiG-T Petrol produces 138 g/km and will, until the new car tax changes come into play, cost you £130 a year to tax.
This is pretty impressive compared to the Sportage where the engine with the lowest CO2 emissions still emits 119 g/km at a minimum. This comes in the form of the 1.7 litre CRDi front-wheel drive diesel. The model with the highest CO2 emissions is the 1.6 GDI Petrol which produces 177 g/km, costing you quite a hefty £230 to tax.
2. Better running costs
In terms of fuel consumption, the Nissan Qashqai takes the top spot compared to the Sportage. Both the 1.2-litre DIG-T and the 1.6-litre DIG-T petrol engines claim an average of 50.4 mpg for the Qashqai.
The diesel engines are even more impressive with the 1.5 dCi averaging a 74.3 mpg. This works out at about 60mpg in real world driving. The 1.6 dCi manages 64.2 mpg, but this goes down to 61.4 with an Xtronic automatic gearbox. Nissan claim that the maintenance and servicing costs will be three to five per cent less than the old Qashqai’s and, with a Vision Pack fitted; the new Qashqai will be four insurance bands lower than the old Qashqai.
Parkers have estimated that the cost in fuel for the Nissan Qashqai will be between £991-1,054 for unleaded and between £657-884 for Diesel. Which, compared to the Sportage, is quite a difference.
The best for fuel economy in the Sportage line up is the 1.7-litre diesel engine and six-speed manual gearbox at 61.4 mpg. On the other end of the spectrum, the 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol claims 37mpg. Of course, this means that the fuel cost per year will be considerably higher. It is estimated that it will cost you £1,126-1,339 for unleaded and £797-1,106 for Diesel.
3. It’s comfier
There is slightly more front and rear headroom in the new Qashqai compared to the old one. This makes it comfier for the taller people among us. Nissan claim that their seats were inspired by NASA research to ensure they provided you with optimum support. Now, we can’t say whether these are NASA approved seats, but they are pretty comfy.
The road and engine noise has improved compared to the previous generation of Qashqai and even at motorway speeds, noise is kept to a minimum.
While the Sportage has made some vast improvements, though there are more grumbles from the Diesel engines than in the Qashqai.
4. Better handling
The handling of the Qashqai was one of key attributes of the original, and it seems the latest Qashqai has continued along the same lines. It’s well controlled, stable and all lumps and bumps are absorbed smoothly on every drive-train. The body stays flat and stable while cornering or travelling on distended surfaces, improving comfort while keeping it as stable as possible.
The Kia has significantly improved its handling with the newer generation Sportages. However, there’s still body roll, and there’s not much point to the all-wheel-drive option.
5. Better performance
The Nissan Qashqai is great for urban driving and all cars are turbocharged and fitted with stop/start technology. It’s smooth on the road, quiet and offers flexible performance and strong in-gear acceleration.
Despite this performance, it’s still economical.
The Sportage also offers a good performance, just not as good as the Qashqai. The automatic gearbox has older technology, and is slow to react and switch gears. The petrol engine feels like it’s working too hard and the throw too long for sporty driving. If you were to choose a Sportage, you’re better off going for a Diesel engine because of its fuel economy.
So, there are my five top reasons why I think the Qashqai is better than the Sportage. Now, that’s not to say that the Sportage isn’t good, I think the Sportage is a great car. It’s just not quite as good as the Qashqai in some aspects. The Qashqai has great running costs and low CO2 emissions, as well as better handling and performance. But, both are pretty great cars, so it’s all down to personal opinion or what’s more important for you as a driver.