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Kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai: Which SUV Is Our Top Pick?

4 minutes Published: 08/11/2021

Looking for a family friendly car with both space and style? The Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai are some of the most popular family cars on the market, but which one is best? Find out which is the better choice for you in our comparison below.


Pros and Cons of Each

Sportage Estate

RRP: £19,735 - £33,295

Monthly Cost From: £211.99

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine:
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 262g/km

Qashqai Hatchback

RRP: £23,260 - £38,245

Monthly Cost From: £194.71

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine:
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 99 - 208g/km
  • Great safety kit

  • Comfortable to drive

  • Average interior

  • Driving experience could be better

  • 7 year warranty

  • Good infotainment system

  • Not very comfortable to drive

  • Average fuel efficiency


Exterior

KIA SPORTAGE EXTERIOR

NISSAN QASHQAI EXTERIOR

It goes without saying that we’re comparing these models because they’re fairly similar. Both cars are SUVs, but with slightly different styling to set them apart.

The Kia’s exterior is definitely eye-catching, but it might not be for everyone. The front of the Kia features a wide grille and large boomerang headlights. In comparison to the Qashqai, the Sportage appears visibly bulkier, and the rounded edges throughout give a slightly dated look.

Nissan has given the latest Qashqai an update in styling, with sharper features across the board. Despite having pretty similar dimensions, the Qashqai has a sleeker appearance. All features like headlights and brake lights have been made smaller and more angular. Though it’s like many SUVs around, the two tone roof/body is nice if you are looking for something a bit different.

In short, it probably comes down to personal preference. We’d give the Qashqai the edge as it offers a more modern look. 

Sportage Estate:

Qashqai Hatchback:


Driving Experience

Both cars drive pretty well, so it’s down to exactly what you are looking for in the driving experience.

The clue in the name, the Sportage is ‘sporty’, and feels quick and nimble on the road. It’s pretty responsive and does well on corners and higher speeds. Unfortunately, it’s not the most comfortable. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re only going to be using it for short trips, but if you need a car for longer journeys, it’s something to keep in mind.

The Qashqai is an average drive, prioritising comfort over the quality of the driving experience. It handles bumps, potholes and rough terrains very well, but doesn’t have quite the same responses or grip on the corners as the Sportage. It only comes with petrol engines, available in either manual or automatic. 

Overall, it depends whether you’d rather go for comfort or driving experience.

Sportage Estate:

Qashqai Hatchback:


Interior

INTERIOR OF KIA SPORTAGE

INTERIOR OF NISSAN QASHQAI

The Kia interior has a much more modern look to it, with slightly higher quality finishes than the Qashqai. Space inside is also more generous, with three tall passengers able to comfortably sit in the back. The infotainment is a standout feature of the Sportage, with a well defined 8-inch display that’s fast and easy to use.

The Qashqai interior may come as a bit of a disappointment compared to its upgraded exterior. Though it has been noticeably improved, the materials feel cheap and scratchy in places. You do get a higher quality interior with the higher trims, but the entry-level models are fairly basic. It also has less room than the Sportage, but if you don’t need as much space, you might be better comparing the Nissan Juke vs Qashqai.

Sportage Estate:

Qashqai Hatchback:


Practicality

PASSENGER SEATS IN KIA SPORTAGE

PASSENGER SEATS IN NISSAN QASHQAI

In terms of practicality, both cars offer a lot. The Kia has a more generous interior, and it comes with a larger boot than the Qashqai. You can easily fit sports gear, or a pram in it without a struggle, and as the boot floor is flush with the opening, there’s less effort to get heavy items in.

The Qashqai is just smaller inside, but it’s still an extremely practical choice if you’re looking for a family car. However you do get less flexibility with the seats. The Sportage’s seats can recline back, or move forward easily to create more boot space. Though the Qashqai seats can fold forward, they don’t slide forward, and there are no rear handles on the backseats to help get them down from the boot.

Sportage Estate:

Qashqai Hatchback:


Costs

Cost is probably one of the most influential factors, but luckily the models come at similar prices. Prices for the Qashqai start at £23,985, while the Sportage begins at £23,530 (correct as of November 2021).

However, with the Qashqai you’ll see greater price jumps as you go up the trims. The Qashqai’s highest trim will set you back almost £40k, whilst the Sportage’s top model is just over £35k.

That said, the Sportage is likely to cost you a little more in fuel with the model reported to be poor in fuel efficiency. Qashqai petrol models on the other hand all come with mild hybrid assistance, helping to reduce the overall fuel consumption.

Sportage Estate:

Qashqai Hatchback:

Derivative Contract Length Monthly Cost
Sportage Estate 1.6 CRDi 48V ISG 2 5dr 4 Years £211.99
Qashqai Hatchback 1.3 DiG-T MH Acenta Premium 5dr 2 Years £194.71

Verdict

Both cars are well built, popular models, and it’s really a tough call on which is best.

The Sportage is a great option if you’re looking for a slightly better drive. It’s not quite as comfortable as the Qashqai, but you have more control and the car responds well. It also just takes the win on interior, with a greater amount of space and better tech. 

The Qashqai is an excellent competitor, with lower fuel consumption and greater driving comfort. However, it’s not quite as practical and pales when it comes to tech, cost and interior. For us, the Sportage is our winner, but if you’re set on the Qashqai, read through our Nissan Qashqai review to check it’s the one for you. 

Kia Sportage

4/5

Nissan Qashqai

3.7/5