kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai 2021

Making a smart choice with kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai 2021 can be a confusing experience, especially when you are faced with the idea of getting them at a fair quality. Our experience will give you some apt choices on how to go about purchase the best kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai 2021 and the best way to get them at the lowest price while not compromising on the basic things they are meant to do like in case with kia Sportage vs Nissan Qashqai 2021.

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.

Nissan Qashqai Vs Kia Sportage 2021 Uk

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.

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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.


Nissan Qashqai

Length: 4394mm

Width: 1806mm (excluding door mirrors)

Height: 1590mm

Boot space: 430 litres

Kia Sportage

Length: 4485mm

Width: 1855mm (excluding door mirrors)

Height: 1635mm

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.

Kia is hoping to make hay with the latest addition to its range! The new Sportage slots beneath the Sorento SUV as the firm’s family-sized crossover, and aims to add a dash of style to the market.

With renowned ex-Audi stylist Peter Schreyer responsible for the newcomer, the Sportage is like nothing else on the market. But it has substance, too, as it comes with a large and versatile cabin, plus a huge list of standard kit.

Video: watch CarBuyer’s video review of the Kia Sportage


For now, the Sportage is available only with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and in First Edition four-wheel-drive trim, although a wider line-up including two-wheel-drive variants arrives later this year.

Yet it won’t have everything its own way, as the Nissan Qashqai is one of our favourite crossovers, as well as one of the UK’s best-selling cars. Its revamped 2.0-litre diesel brings impressive eco credentials, and in n-tec trim it’s well equipped.

Both models offer a big dose of style, performance and economy, plus car-like handling – but only one can be our pick of the crop…


THE Qashqai has been a huge hit since it blew the family 4×4 market wide open, but it tastes defeat here. The Kia Sportage is arguably the firm’s best effort yet, mixing exciting looks, decent ride comfort and tidy handling. It also has a larger and more classy cabin than its rival, and solid build quality.

Most appealing of all is the Korean car’s price. For £2,718 less than its rival, the four-wheel-drive First Edition is better equipped and greener than the Qashai, and it comes with Kia’s trailblazing seven-year warranty.

The Nissan isn’t disgraced, though. It’s still great to drive and recent revisions have made it more eco-friendly and better looking than ever. But it can’t match the all-round brilliance of its sharp-suited competitor. The Sportage’s low price and generous kit count seal the deal for a maiden road test victory.

1. Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi First Edition EVEN without its price advantage, the Sportage would be a deserving winner. And with its seven-year warranty, economical engine and low CO2 output, it makes a great ownership proposition. We hope the forthcoming two-wheel-drive model is as good – it could be fighting for top honours in the burgeoning crossover sector.

2. Nissan Qashqai 2.0 dCi N-TEC THE revised Qashqai is the best yet, with a neat design, cleaner engine and impressive standard specification. It’s also great to drive and boasts a practical cabin. Still, despite its recent improvements, it can’t match what’s on offer from the excellent Sportage.

WE all expect family 4x4s to be practical, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring – as this latest Kia proves. Take a look at the Techno Orange machine in our pictures, and you could be forgiven for thinking the Sportage is a concept car.

The crossover model is oneof the most exciting and daring Kias we’ve ever seen. With sharply styled headlamps, a striking chrome grille and a windscreen outline that rises at each corner to create a peaked cap effect, it looks unlike any of its rivals. Smart 18-inch alloys, black sills and chunky bumpers add to its rugged appearance.

Video: watch CarBuyer’s video review of the Kia Sportage


The interior is not quite so distinctive, but it’s spacious and well built. The switchgear is more modern than the Nissan’s, and although the cabin can’t match the exterior for excitement, it still marks an improvement over other models in the Kia line-up.

The shapely dash is attractive and logically laid out, while the low seat provides a better driving position than in the Nissan – although we’d like a little more reach adjustment from the steering wheel. And the instruments on the Sportage house a gearshift indicator, to help make the most of the 2.0-litre engine’s economy.

The amount of equipment fitted as standard in First Edition trim is astounding, with the Kia boasting heated leather seats all round, a rear view camera, cruise control and iPod connectivity. There’s also decent legroom for passengers, comfortable seats and a flat transmission tunnel. This all helps the rear feel more spacious than the Qashqai’s, despite its narrow window.

The boot is well shaped, but the inclusion of a full-sized spare wheel makes it shallower than the Qashqai’s. Still, it does have a couple of cubbies, a luggage net, 12V socket and sturdy tonneau cover. Plus a couple of straps on the rear seats allow them to be folded in one action.

On the road, the Kia doesn’t feel as punchy as the Nissan, although it’s never underpowered.

In our in-gear tests it struggled to match the Qashqai, thanks partly to the longer gearing on offer from its six-speed gearbox. Refinement is good, while the ride is particularly comfortable, despite its big 18-inch rims.

That extra suppleness comes at the expense of handling, though, as the softer springs struggle to control body roll in bends, meaning the Sportage pitches and dives more under acceleration and braking than the Qashqai.

Our only other criticism concerns the light steering, which doesn’t inspire confidence.

At the pumps, the Sportage is greener than the Qashqai, with an official combined figure of 47.1mpg, while its CO2 output is only 156g/km. Add an impressive seven-year/100,000 mile warranty, and you can see why the Kia makes so much sense.


Chart position: 1WHY: The Sportage looks like a concept car, boasts a spacious interior and has a huge standard kit list. It’s also backed by the maker’s seven-year warranty.

Ever since it replaced the uninspiring Almera as Nissan’s family car offering, the Qashqai has been an Auto Express favourite. And its blend of good looks, smooth engines and car-like driving dynamics is equally appealing in four-wheel- drive trim. A host of revisions should make it better than ever.

The tidy exterior is an improvement, but parked next to the eye-catching Kia, the Nissan isn’t as dramatic or exciting as its rival. The design changes have been kept to a minimum, but the face has been refreshed thanks to a new grille and more angular headlamps. Chunky black plastic cladding on the doors and under the bumpers adds to the Qashqai’s off-road appeal, and the large two-tone alloys and silver roof-rails of our test car ensure the Nissan is still one of the sharpest crossovers around.

Video: watch CarBuyer’s video review of the Nissan Qashqai


The interior hasn’t received quite as much attention, though, and makes do with a slightly dated layout. Sat-nav is fitted as standard, but you can’t display the instructions in a supplementary readout between the rev counter and speedometer, and the main screen is positioned too low down on the centre console.

We’ve always praised the Nissan for its car-like driving position, but after a stint behind the wheel of the low-slung Kia, it feels like a 4×4 and provides a more commanding view of the road. Its seats don’t offer quite as much support as those fitted to its rival, either. It’s comfortable enough in the rear, although the sloping roofline means that headroom is at more of a premium than in the Sportage, and the Kia’s extra length translates into more legroom in the back.

On the road, the Qashqai is livelier. Its 148bhp engine is much more eager and free- revving than the Sportage’s powerplant. Against the clock, it was fractionally slower from 0-60mph at 10.6 seconds (as opposed to 10.4), but it’s quicker through the gears, adding to its feeling of flexibility.

With a stiffer suspension set-up, the Qashqai offers much better body control, but progress does tend to get unsettled over bumpier roads. And while the gearbox has a short shift, our example was a little notchy. In our braking tests, the Nissan recorded respectable figures, with a consistent feel through the pedal.

Where the Japanese car struggles to match its rival is when it comes to aftersales back-up. It can’t compete with the superb seven-year/100,000-mile warranty of the Kia, although you do get three years of breakdown cover. Both servicing and insurance costs are reasonable. The Qashqai CO2 emissions and fuel economy are also beaten by the Sportage.

However, its official returns of 167g/km and 42.1mpg on the combined cycle are reasonable.

The Qashqai still makes a convincing family 4×4, becauseit looks good and should be affordable to run. But in this test, the odds are stacked against it.


Chart position: 2WHY: One of the UK’s best sellers last month, Qashqai has car-like handling, lots of cabin space and great looks. It’s just been revised, and is cleaner and more efficient.

Facts and figures

Kia SportageNissan Qashqai
On-the-road price/total as tested£20,777/£21,212£23,495/£24,592
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)N/A£11,278/48.0%
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£956/£1,912£1,175/£2,350
Annual fuel cost (12,000/20,000 miles)£1,726/£2,876N/A/N/A
Ins group/quote/road tax band/cost13/£565/G/£15523/£413/H/£180
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd serviceN/A£157/£157/£297
Engine4cyl in-line/1,995cc4cyl in-line/1,994cc
Peak power134/4,000 bhp/rpm148/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque320/1,800 Nm/rpm320/2,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/4wd6-spd man/4wd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel58 litres/full-size65 litres/space-saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down)564/1,353 litres410/1,513 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,754/386/2,000kg1,590/415/1,400kg
Turning circle/drag coefficientN/A/0.37Cd10.6 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery7yrs (100k)/1yr3yrs (60k)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers10,000 miles/14012,500 miles/209
Driver Power dealer/manufacturer pos.18th/16th25th/25th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./pointsN/A5/4/2/95
0-60/30-70mph10.4/11.4 secs10.6/10.9 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th4.3/5.7 secs3.6/5.6 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th8.3/13.0 secs7.4/10.8 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph112mph/2,050rpm118mph/2,200rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph50.7/38.8/9.3m46.5/33.6/9.6m
Auto Express economy/range37.9mpg/484 milesN/A/N/A
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined econ40.4/52.3/47.1mpg33.2/49.6/42.1mpg
Actual/claimed CO2200/156g/kmN/A/167g/km
Tax bracket23%25%
Airbags/Isofix/parking sensorsSix/yes/yesSix/yes/yes
Auto gearbox/stability/cruise control£1,230/yes/yes£1,200/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/yesYes/no/no
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go£435/no/no£440/no/no
Sat-nav/CD changer/MP3/BluetoothNo/no/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

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