LeaseCar UK Logo
Rated 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot

4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot

Nissan Qashqai Models Explained

In this article, you’ll find the different Nissan Qashqai models explained - from there, you can better decide which model suits you best.

Ever a popular option, especially amongst families, it's important to understand the car's history and why it has become such a mainstay around the world since its inception fifteen years ago.

Back in 2007, Nissan was already a well-known player in the global market with their Micra and Sentra models , but the Nissan Qashqai drew the attention of families around the world who could suddenly enjoy the practicality of a larger car without sacrificing stylistic design.

Despite its enduring success in today's market, the Nissan Qashqai's popularity was not found overnight. In fact, it took several iterations before it became the flagship that it is today.

If you're looking to lease the poster child of crossover cars, get a stress-free, no-obligation quote from LeaseCar in minutes! Or, still unsure which car is right for you? Read on where we’ve got all the Nissan Qashqai models explained below.

Nissan Qashqai Models Explained: 1st Gen (2007-2013)

With innovation on their mind, Nissan took a gamble with the original Nissan Qashqai crossover (the J10), coming out with a never-before-seen blend of SUV and hatchback that would - perhaps unknown to them - become the ideal family crossover. Thanks to the hatchback nature of the Qashqai, which made it easier and more economical to drive, people took to it quickly.

In some circles in the United States, the J10 was playfully referred to as the 'mini-Murano', after Nissan's larger SUV make. In Australia, it was known as the Nissan Dualis for some time until adopting the Qashqai name - itself a reference to the nomadic tribe of the Qashqai in South West Iran.

Base Engine Options and More

The base 1.3 engine options of this first generation Nissan Qashqai include 1.2 Litre and 1.6-Litre diesel engines that boast 106 and 150 horsepower, respectively. The petrol engines, at 1.6 and 2.0 litres, reach 115 and 140 horsepower. The top speed capabilities of the Nissan Qashqai reach around 108mph. Both engine versions and fuel types are available with Nissan's all-wheel-drive system for that token road safety expected from typical SUVs.

On top of the varying engine options, it sports an array of gearbox options including a five-speed and six-speed manual, as well as a six-speed automatic gearbox. Sales reached an impressive 200,000 units before the second generation was even out, despite the major financial crisis of 2008.

Looking for your next car but don't want to break the bank or get involved in the hassle of owning one? LeaseCar offers thousands of flexible car leasing deals so you can find your car for the perfect price and contract length .

The Nissan Qashqai's first facelift

The Nissan brand experienced major success in Europe in the face of wider financial woes affecting auto sales and, in 2010, the Nissan Qashqai model received a sharper design upgrade. This included:

  • A new front facia with a more dynamic, appealing design

  • Refreshed grille and bonnet

  • Adoption of LED headlights to replace the typical halogen bulbs

  • A new colour range

On top of the aesthetic features of the new Nissan Qashqai model, the 2010 mid-cycle revamp also offered a '+2' version, which offered room for up to seven passengers thanks to a larger wheelbase.

This Nissan Qashqai model also came with Bluetooth connectivity within the audio system as part of its collaborative partnership with audio company BOSE.

Nissan Qashqai Models Explained: 2nd Generation (2013-2021)

By 2013, the Nissan Qashqai had significant control in the crossover market due to its good entry price, brand image and capabilities. Still, with this power, Nissan saw greater responsibility to provide more of what prospective customers wanted from these cars.

Enter the J11 series.

Despite Nissan furthering the exterior appeal of the Qashqai with intricate details and more muscular wheel arches, for the J11, greater focus went on the interior of the car. It was designed with variable flooring, allowing for larger passenger space and luggage capacity, as well as higher quality material and design, further increasing appeal to customers.

For the J11 series, 20L of storage was added to the boot, bringing the total volume to 430 litres - another one up on many of its rivals at the time. Concentrating further on family needs, the boot also provides different configurations for loading shopping bags as well as a wipe-clean surface for muddy boots and pets.

Despite its extended boot space, the second-generation Nissan Qashqai still provides better leg, head, and shoulder room than the J10. This upgraded model also promises occupants comfort and support with its adjustable passenger seats inspired by medical techniques from NASA.

Improved Aerodynamics

As well as improving the form and interior function of the first-gen Qashqai, Nissan looked to the aerodynamic profile of the J11 as a means of possible improvement. This is because simple manipulations in aerodynamic design can make just as much of a difference in a car's performance as the more well-discussed engine-based factors like acceleration, torque and power.

In developing the J11 series, Nissan focused on creating a car that cut through the air with greater efficiency and less drag for improved performance. This was achieved through subtle design choices, such as a unique flat floor design and a roof spoiler with added winglets.

More notably, however, Nissan added an Active Grille Shutter System with this Qashqai generation, which closes off airflow through the radiator at speeds over 30kph (18mph) and opens back up only to cool the engine. All of these additions and innovations resulted in a reduced drag coefficient of 0.32 down from 0.34 and therefore greater fuel efficiency.

The result? A 1.3-litre Dig-T engine producing 140bhp and 240Nm of torque, which gives the Qashqai J11 a combined fuel consumption figure of 47mpg. This is significantly lower than the previous model's 55mpg.

Improved Safety Features

As is usual for auto manufacturers, safety was another priority for this newer generation of Qashqai. This led to a host of innovations that Nissan hoped would put them at the top of the league when it came to passenger safety.

With the help of radar technology scanning the road or lane ahead for vehicle movement and object detection, Nissan's Forward Collision Warning System provides layers of emergency assistance during a possible collision scenario.

With this feature, an audible warning sounds if gaps between cars close, but if the driver doesn't react in time, the system will apply partial or full automatic emergency braking if necessary.

The Driver Attention Support feature intelligently learns the driver's unique driving style by monitoring their inputs. For example, if the driver becomes drowsy and their steering erratic, the system will advise a break before heading back on the road, further reducing the risk of an emergency.

Other on-road safety features present on these Nissan Qashqais models can include:

  • Traffic sign recognition: This displays upcoming speed limit signs to the driver.

  • Lane departure warning system: Intelligent lane intervention technology that will correct drivers' positions if it detects the car is straying from the lane.

  • Blind spot warning: Another form of object detection, which uses a rearview camera and a light on the wing mirror to detect and warn if a driver is in a blind spot.

  • Intelligent parking assist: This uses rear parking sensors to automatically measure the size of an available parking space before steering into position.

Are you looking for a family car that prioritises you and your loved ones' safety through intelligent onboard technology? The Nissan Qashqai can be yours to lease in just a few clicks - get your stress-free, no-obligation quote from LeaseCar today.

Nissan Qashqai Trim Levels Explained

By this point in 2022, Nissan had already introduced several trim levels to suit the needs and preferences of the Qashqai's now thriving customer base. For the uninitiated, trim levels are simply different version of the same model, with higher range trims offering more in the way of equipment and features. The Nissan Qashqai trims include:

  • Visia

  • Acenta/Acenta Premium

  • N-Connecta

  • Tekna/Tekna +

At LeaseCar, we offer a range of trim levels for the Nissan Qashqai series, including the 1.3 DIG-T MH Acenta Prem trim with a glass roof and N-Connecta trim with a panoramic sunroof available for lease. Interested? Check out our special offers on the latest car releases here .


The Visia is the entry-level Qashqai and so is also the cheapest trim level. It can feature:

  • A 5-speed gearbox

  • 17" steel wheels

  • Intelligent bling spot intervention

  • Electric windows

  • Central locking

  • Intelligent Cruise Control

  • ABS brakes

  • Vehicle dynamic control

  • DAB radio with inputs for auxiliary and Bluetooth

It also comes standard with a 1.3 Dig-T engine, giving out 140bhp and 240 Nm of torque, achieving 0-60 in just over 10 seconds.

Acenta Premium

The best seller of all the trims due to its reasonable pricing, smart spec and choice of engines, with the Acenta, you can pick between a 1.5-Litre diesel and 1.3 petrol mild hybrid engine. You can expect more of Nissan’s renowned technology too, such as:

  • Auto headlights

  • Dual-zone climate control with pollen filter

  • Ambient interior lighting

  • 17-inch alloy wheels

  • Chrome trim around the windows

With the higher range Acenta Premium, drivers can also enjoy keyless entry and a panoramic sunroof.


A step up from the Acenta Premium, the higher-range N-Connecta model - in both petrol and diesel fuel options - is where the Qashqai really begins to shine. The N-Connecta experience can include:

  • 18-inch diamond wheels

  • Dual-zone climate control with pollen filter

  • Leather steering wheel

  • Rain-sensing wipers

  • Automatic emergency braking

  • Automatic headlights

It also comes with standard touchscreen smartphone integration such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.


For those looking for the premium Qashqai experience, the Tekna trim is the answer. 19-inch alloy wheels sit under the interior leather seats and an electrically adjustable driver's seat.

Tekna models also include the Tech Pack and Heat Pack as standard which offer NissanConnect 7-inch dashboard touchscreen infotainment system and rear-view camera.

Automatic models of the Tekna enjoy driver assistance features like:


Introduced later alongside a mid-generation facelift, the sharper design of the all-new Nissan Qashqai Tekna + became the exclusive premium power choice for Qashqai users:

Both versions are available in petrol and diesel fuel options, with the 1.3 Dig-T engine coming in manual or dual-clutch auto transmission with the best economy figures.

Nissan Qashqai: The Most Successful Family Crossover in Europe

By the time the Nissan Qashqai had reached its second generation, it enjoyed 10% of the crossover market with 2.3 million cars sold in Europe alone since its initial release in 2007. It has also won more than 80 awards, including 19 Car of the Year titles and has created a wave of crossovers from the vast majority of its competition.

Nissan, therefore, has had the opportunity, as well as demand from drivers, to launch all-new Nissan Qashqai flagship models - the success of which has surpassed expectations. Only once consumers knew that the family crossover configuration was the most practical for their families and their lifestyles, there was no turning back.

This saw the Qashqai grow alongside swift technological advancements, from smaller safety features on the wing mirrors, LED headlights, and dashboard touchscreen infotainment to adjustable passenger seats and ambient lighting for added comfort.

On top of premium features like rear cross-traffic alerts, traffic sign recognition, and intelligent lane intervention, this has made the Nissan Qashqai a household name, and one that continues to evolve into 2022 and beyond.

Interested in leasing an all-new Nissan Qashqai? LeaseCar

offers a wide range of Nissan cars on flexible car lease agreements. Get your free no-obligation quote today.
Find out what our customers love about us
As featured in ...