Nissan Qashqai vs Subaru XV

The Nissan Qashqai and the Subaru XV go head to head in our latest car review guide, to help you decide which of these top models you should be driving home in.

From technology to efficiency, safety to drive experience - take a virtual test drive as we compare the Nissan Qashqai vs Subaru XV in this extensive drill down.

Comparing the Qashqai & XV

Both cars offer excellent safety as standard, tonnes of tech and serious curb appeal, but which is best? We break it down for you across 5 key areas, with a handy comparison rating so you can judge which qualities are most important for your all-important car purchase.

1. Technology & Equipment

Let’s talk gadgets. The Nissan Qashqai comes with all the tech you need and then some. Opt for the highest spec and you’ll get a 7 inch sleek colour touchscreen, built in sat nav (no more balancing your phone) which links up to the driver assist system - with handy features such as slow down on approach to roundabouts and turns. Plus, owners can enjoy the ease of smart key entry with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android, dual aircon, and a decent reverse camera with blind spot and lane departure warnings.

But how does it compare to the Subaru? The top-spec Subaru XV offers similar driver assist and smart-key technology, but also added extras such as tyre-pressure monitoring and a driver’s knee airbag. Based on the top-spec Subaru coming out cheaper than the Nissan, and the added technology benefits, it’s the Subaru that gets our winning vote in the tech department.

2. Engines / running costs

For many of those in the market to buy a car, a big consideration is how much it will cost to run. For others it could be how much power the car has so here we'll take a look at a couple of factors.

When it comes to fuel economy, it's not really a clear comparison as whilst both models offer a mild hybrid engine + battery system, the Qashqai's engine is a 1.3 litre delivering 44 mpg and emissions of 143 g/km whereas the XV with its much larger 2.0 litre engine comes in at a lower 35 mpg and emissions of 180 g/km.

For those who favour power and may be looking for a car which has the ability to tow a trailer or caravan, then the XV would be the favourite.

3. Safety

When it comes to safety, the Subaru XV pulls out all the stops. Its safety safety list is almost endless and topped off with Subaru's smart Eyesight driver assist technology.

Unsurprisingly then, the Subaru scored an impressive full five stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests, including a 94% adult occupant rating, making it one of the safest cars on the road. And if you’re thinking of using the XV for transporting young family members around, then you’ll be pleased to know that it scored 89% in the child occupant protection category of the Euro NCAP test. This is likely down to smart features such as its front occupant detection technology, which can tell if a child seat is being used and will automatically turn the passenger airbag off if so.

The Nissan Qashqai isn’t short on safety tech either. With automatic high beams, parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and driver attention alert.

It’s a close call but with the Nissan scoring slightly lower than the Subaru on its Adult Occupant rating (91%), the XV gets our overall vote.

4. Drive experience

But what are the XV and the Qashqai like to drive?

Get behind the wheel of the Subaru XV and you’ll feel plenty of grip, well-weighted steering and a car that takes corners effortlessly. It’s agile, and a truly enjoyable drive.

In comparison, the Nissan offers a reasonable grip, for a slightly less enjoyable but still controlled ride.

What gives the XV the edge though, is its X-mode system. This allows the car to take on the slippiest of roads and tricky terrain at low speeds. Always good to have up your sleeve - especially in English weather! 

5. Build quality

Both cars had quality in mind when they were designed and come with a 3 year manufacturer warranty as standard, but it is the Subaru XV which feels like it has been built to last and we feel has the edge when it comes to the quality of the materials used.

The rugged XV with its larger engine will likely mean less wear and tear as its not having to work as hard resulting in a longer vehicle lifespan. 

Nissan Qashqai vs Subaru XV - the final verdict

So which one would we like the keys to?

It’s a close call. Both of these popular SUVs are worthy of consideration when it comes to choosing your next car, especially if you're looking for something for the family or which isn't overly big but still has plenty of interior space and a decent boot space. Whilst the Qashqai offers a more modern design, we think the Subaru XV has the ultimate edge. As well as the reassurance of safety and all year round capability with it's all wheel drive technology, we know how reliable the Subaru brand is and the quality of their build.

If you'd like to find out for yourself, why not contact your local Colin Appleyard Subaru dealership and arrange a test drive or take a look at our full Subaru XV review?