Both the Qashqai and Sportage are very easy to drive, but the Nissan feels lighter and more responsive from behind the steering wheel. That makes it better for nipping around town, and its slightly smaller size makes it easier to park, too. Front and rear parking sensors are available for both cars, while high-spec models have cameras that make manoeuvring even easier.
Both cars feel solid and settled on the road, if not as much fun as some rivals. They’re great family cars that encourage a more relaxed pace and each rides smoothly, even over bumpy roads, so they’re always very comfortable.
You can choose from a range of petrol and diesel engines with both cars and in all cases, they provide good acceleration. The more powerful diesel engines are the best option if you regularly do long journeys but the 1.3 DiG-T petrol engine available for the Qashqai gives a really good balance of performance and economy, too. In general, the Nissan’s engines are smoother and quieter than the Kia’s.
Automatic gearboxes are available with some Qashqai and Sportage engines and are standard on top-of-the-range models. Four-wheel drive is available with the most powerful Qashqai and Sportage engines, too. Neither car is as capable off-road as a Land Rover, but the four-wheel-drive models feel more secure when driving in bad weather or on muddy country roads. The diesel four-wheel drive versions of each car make great tow cars, with a maximum towing weight of 2000kg for Qashqai models and 2200kg for Sportage models.