The Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage are among the most popular family-size SUVs in the UK. But how do they compare against each other? Here’s our guide to the Qashqai vs Sportage, looking at how they stack up in key areas.
Interior and tech
The version of the Nissan Qashqai we’re looking at went on sale in 2014 and was updated with new tech and styling in 2017 (an all-new version went on sale in spring 2021). The Kia Sportage is the more recent car – it went on sale in 2016 and was updated in 2019.
Both cars have comfortable interiors, although the Nissan’s black and grey colour scheme can feel a bit dark and its dashboard isn’t as intuitive to use as the Kia’s. The Sportage has a simpler layout with fewer buttons and a more responsive touchscreen display.
Everything you touch and use regularly in both cars feels solid and well made, although neither has the premium look and feel of rivals such as the Volkswagen Tiguan. Both Qashqai and Sportage have soft, supportive and comfortable seats in the front and back and both are relaxing to travel in, with little outside noise or engine noise getting through to the interior.
The Nissan and Kia are closely matched, again, on standard equipment. Both are available in many trim levels with different equipment packages but even the most cost-effective version of each comes with air con, cruise control, DAB radio and smartphone connectivity. High-spec versions of both have sat nav, heated leather seats and panoramic sunroofs.
Boot space and practicality
Both cars give you more boot space than most family hatchbacks and will easily accommodate three large suitcases. The Sportage’s 491-litre capacity is 61 litres larger than the Qashqai’s, although the latest Sportage mild hybrid models have only a 9-litre advantage for space.
The differences between the Qashqai and the Sportage become more apparent inside. Both have enough room to seat five adults but the Sportage’s extra length, width and height over the Qashqai mean there’s appreciably more passenger space, especially in the back seats. The Qashqai has more than enough space for children, even those in bulky child seats, but they’ll feel less enclosed in the back of the Sportage.
Bear in mind that models with a sunroof may have a nice, light-filled interior, but actually have less headroom in the back seat, which can be a problem if you regularly carry taller passengers.
Which is the best to drive?
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.
Which costs less to own?
The Qashqai is more fuel-efficient than the Sportage. According to official figures, petrol Qashqai models give around 40mpg to 50mpg and diesels give from 40mpg to more than 70mpg. By contrast, petrol Sportage models give 31mpg to 44mpg and diesels give 39mpg to 57mpg.
How fuel economy is tested changed in 2017, with much more stringent procedures. That means the official figures for cars with the same engine can be very different, depending on their age and when the test was done.
Safety and reliability
Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded both the Qashqai and Sportage its full five-star safety rating. Both have a lot of driver safety equipment though the Qashqai has the edge.
Nissan and Kia have great reputations for reliability and both ranked highly in the latest J.D. Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study, with Nissan placing 4th and Kia placing 7th out of 24 brands. The Qashqai comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty from new, but the Sportage benefits from Kia’s unrivalled seven-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Width: 1806mm (excluding door mirrors)
Boot space: 430 litres
Width: 1855mm (excluding door mirrors)
Boot space: 491 litres
The Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai are both excellent family cars and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. Each is comfortable, practical, good value for money and full of useful features. But we do have to pick a winner – and that’s the Kia Sportage. While the Qashqai is better to drive and cheaper to run, the Sportage is more practical and user-friendly. It’s easier to live with every day and that really matters in a family car.
You’ll find a wide range of high-quality used Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage cars for sale at Cazoo. Find the right one for you, then buy online and have it delivered to your door or choose to collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.
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