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A silver 2022 Nissan Qashqai is shown from the side parked on a city street.

Canada Loves The Qashqai

Was it love at first sight or first drive? What is it about the Nissan Qashqai that has drivers across Canada searching for a used Nissan Qashqai for sale? After all, there are plenty of small SUV options to choose from in today’s market. Still, there’s a magic spark between drivers and the Qashqai, which is now gearing up for its seventh year of sales in the Canadian market.

While the Qashqai is being discontinued outside of Canada, many Canadians continue to appreciate and enjoy all of the things the equally practical and fun Qashqai has to offer. Even if it finds its way to the chopping block after 2023, we expect there will still be a strong market for used examples for years to come. Whether you’ve never considered a small SUV, or you’re actively looking for a new or used Nissan Qashqai for sale, let’s take a look at some of the very special features that make this not-too-big and not-too-little vehicle the perfect fit for many drivers.

Introduction to the Qashqai: A Lesson for Beginners

There are likely many drivers who are only beginning to consider the merits of the Nissan Qashqai. If you’re shopping for your first SUV and want something with the behaviour of a well-mannered sedan that isn’t too big or too diminutive, the Qashqai certainly fits the bill. This subcompact model fits between the Kicks and the Rogue in Nissan’s lineup, making it a great choice for someone new to SUVs. It’s a pleasure to drive and gets the right marks in all the right places from many drivers.

The name Qashqai is pronounced “cash-kye” and pays tribute to an Iranian tribe known for their masterful weaving and semi-nomadic lifestyle. The Qashqai tribe are herders and historically migrated seasonally over long distances. While many of the tribe are no longer nomadic, their rich history was an inspiration for the sensible and spirited Nissan SUV that wears their name.

The Nissan Qashqai became available to Canadians in 2017. Despite being some 26 centimetres shorter than the Rogue, the Qashqai almost magically provides 2,098 litres of cargo space with the rear seat folded. Furthermore, an available “Divide-N-Hide” Cargo System provided drivers with options for efficiently utilizing every millimetre of that space. With the rear seats in place, you will still enjoy 1,033 litres of cargo volume and 2,985 litres of passenger room.

When announcing the arrival of the Qashqai, Bert Brooks, Senior Manager of Product Planning for Nissan Canada, proudly stated, “The new Qashqai is a great complement to the Nissan CUV lineup… Qashqai fills a need for singles and couples who want the space and versatility of a CUV, but also desire a smaller overall size for urban maneuverability like a passenger car.”

From the start, Nissan knew that the Qashqai was meant to make a niche market happy. But perhaps the brand wasn’t expecting how very happy they would make that market because Qashqai sales took off.

Flash Forward a Few Years

One impressive fact about the Nissan Qashqai is that it has remained formulaically the same since its debut in 2017. Each year’s version is revised and refreshed to embrace the latest in technology, design, and engineering, but the spirit of the Qashqai has not wavered. The largest change came in 2020 when the SUV received a mid-cycle refresh. This provided a cosmetic update for the exterior and extra comfort and convenience goodies for the drivers.

Perhaps most notably, the 2020 model year also marked the first time all Qashqai trims received standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 driver-assistance technology. Including Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and High Beam Assist, the Safety Shield 360 package provides drivers with extra assistance in every direction.

Under the hood, both then and now, is a pleasantly energetic 2.0L inline-four engine with 141 hp, which connects with a six-speed manual transmission in the base S trim with front-wheel drive. All other versions of the Qashqai include an Xtronic continuously variable transmission with Eco Mode. As a result, 2020 models with the Xtronic CVT enjoy a fuel economy of 8.8 L/100km in the city and 7.4 L/100km on the highway. Available all-wheel drive models have a slight dip in fuel economy, sipping 9.0 L/100km on city streets and 7.7 L/100km on the highway. Economical without being lazy, the Nissan Qashqai offers many drivers the right amount of power without draining their fuel budget.

Searching for the Perfect Qashqai

Over the years, the essentials of the Qashqai have remained the same: it is offered in S, SV, SL, and SL Platinum trims. All-wheel drive is available on all trims but is standard on the SL and SL Platinum trims. In recent models, many features that are often offered as upscale options in other small SUVs are standard across the lineup, like a heated seat and steering wheel or push-button start.

Should you invest in a new Nissan Qashqai or search for a used Nissan Qashqai for sale? That’s a tough call, if only because even the oldest Qashqai in Canada will be just a few years old and filled with modern features. Furthermore, the vehicle is meant to echo the semi-nomadic lifestyle of its namesake tribe, taking daily commutes and long-distance wandering in stride.

For those who have their heart set on a manual transmission, shopping for a used Qashqai is the only way to go because that option was dropped for 2023. But those who are interested in practical Canadian features such as ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving, standard quick-heating front seats, and remote start with climate control might be surprised to learn your wishes can come true on the new or used lots.

A blue 2022 Nissan Qashqai is shown from a rear angle driving on an open road.

Hoping for More to Come

While details are still fuzzy on the future of the Qashqai, it’s clear that Canadian drivers are committed to their small SUVs. Perhaps this Nissan model is still a few years away from officially earning “Canadian Icon” status, but it’s fair to say that experts and critics alike have few foul things to say about the Qashqai.

There are certain driver archetypes. You’re likely familiar with the Performance Car Person, who only drives vehicles with 400-plus horsepower. There are Truck Only Folks who won’t drive anything without a tow hitch and Carpool Parents who need as many seats as can practically fit in a single vehicle. Nissan makes vehicles for each of these individuals. But there are also Just Drivers––a set of people who don’t necessarily need extravagant engines, massive payload ratings, and seating for nine. For the Just Drivers, Nissan presents the humble, friendly Qashqai. It may not accelerate with staggering G-force, tow a gooseneck trailer, or transport an entire baseball team, but it can be driven safely, reliably, and comfortably.

Over the years, Nissan has presented drivers with a variety of solid choices, each of which is purposefully designed to make a particular type of driver happy. With the Qashqai, the manufacturer has managed to create a vehicle that combines all the right elements to make many drivers happy. With many standard safety features, plenty of room for passengers and cargo alike, and an eye on fuel economy, it’s clear that there are many reasons why drivers across Canada are very pleased with the Nissan Qashqai.