Toyota Rav4 may have invented cross-overs, but Nissan Qashqai defined the genre of cross-overs. Nissan Qashqai I is the sort of car you buy when you want a cross-over, but you don’t necessarily know what you want. But is it worth it?

Nissan Qashqai I was the first cross-over to become truly popular and this was because it placed itsefl in the price range of compact cars. Sure, you also had VW Tiguan or BMW X3, but those were not at compact cars prices. You also had Hyundai Tucson I but it looked and behaved too agrarian for the regular driver

After that, the fantastic Dacia Duster I arrived, but it was not so well equipped and it was also a Dacia, a new brand on the market brought by Renault subdivision in Romania. Talking about Rav4, this one abandoned the cross-over utility vehicle zone and climbed into the premium area. Therefore Nissan Qashqai I remained with no competition in a segment that in 2007 was a curiosity and later became the giant we see today. Plus it was the only compact size cross-over that arrived in the 7-seater version, the famous Qashqai +2.

Normally I would write down a few things about the car, but for Nissan Qashqai I I will stop here because I will have more to talk about in the issues section.

Nissan Qashqai I Engines


  • 1.6 MPI of 117 horsepower – The base engine, which you will see in the front-wheel-drive and a manual transmission configuration. In a similar fashion to Nissan Juke, it has cold starting issues at temperatures below -15 degrees Celsius and in some cases, if the spark plugs have not been replaced in the proper way or if they have been tightened too hard, they will become lodged and the cylinders can crack.
  • 2.0 of 140 horsepower – A classic engine, and old-fashioned 2 litre NA petrol engine. With no notable issues, this 4-cylinder engine only needs quality oil changed at regular intervals and also the timing chain and the aux belt need regular care. In the same manner as the 1.6 engine, if the spark plugs have been tightened too hard, the cylinders can crack.


  • 1.5 dCi K9K of 105 si 110 horsepower – The legendary 1.5 dCi K9K was bolted on literally everything, from Dacia Logan to Mercedes B Class. Arriving on Nissan Qashqai I, here it has minor issues with the EGR module which gets stuck, and occasionally cand develop injector issues.
  • 1.6 dCi of 130 horsepower– This engine has nothing to do with 1.5 dCi and is part of the new generation of engines Nissan-Renault alliance. There are no known issues with this engine but there are cases of premature timing chain stretch. It has 20 horsepower less than the out-going 2 litre diesel, but it’s better programmed and faster. 1.6 dCi – the official engine for “it doesn’t matter how big it is, it’s how you use it that matters”.
  • 2.0 dCi de 148 horsepower – Retired by 1.6 dCi, there is nothing wrong with this engine mechanically speaking. It suffers just from a severe lack of power in the inferior RPM range, but that’s an irrelevant detail for the regular Nissan Qashqai I owners as it’s the Platinum Jubilee for most brits.


Nissan Qashqai I General Issues

  • For the diesel engines, I must present the complementary particulate filter issues moment. They’re not that bad with Renault/Nissan, but they are still there and will punish you if you drive too much in the city and clog it up.
  • One of the main issues however for Nissan Qashqai I is the CVT automatic gearbox. Basically this autobox will break down before it’s assembled, so it’s in your best interest to avoid the CVT.
  • The rear shock absorbers are made from slime and chewing gum and they snap at the first big pothole. Fortunately, in Her Majesty’s finest there are no such things as potholes, those being more specific for Germany, Austria, Italy, and other countries. Occasionally they also develop issues with the rear bearings.
  • The shift stick falls off or gets stuck in rev.erse and you have to buy another one or deal with it like that. And since we are still talking about parts made of the highest quality materials, the tailgate handle is also made of chewing down and tends to break. Don’t forget that there is also housed the support for the license plate light bulbs.
  • The rear differential cracks so be sure to use the 4 × 4 module as rarely as possible. However, the Nissan Qashqai I is not an off-road car and you will trudge along in 4 × 2 most of the time.
  • Speaking of chewing gum, the discs and brake pads on the front are also made of slime and cheese. If your shift stick has not broken, if your EGR has not been clogged yet , if you do not have a CVT that will break down, then the faulty brakes may make you think better if a Nissan Qashqai worth it.


Nissan Qashqai I Verdict

Sure it has it’s shortcomings but things are about to pick up abit. Nissan Qashqai I managed to bring the concept of cross-over to the people who had budget only for a normal, compact car. Despite the issues, people rushed to buy a Qashqai more than they rushed for jeans from Turkey in the early 1990s. The Nissan Qashqai also captured the basic idea of a city crossover. The best models are the cheapest, the basic ones. Reliable, economical, and good enough for city life. The front-wheel-drive version is enough for everyone, the base engines are enough for everyone, and the manual transmission is enough for everyone. If, on the other hand, you want to go ahead with the options you will end up the way you end up like at the dentist: with the money taken and in pain. So don’t complicate your life.


What engine do I recommend? A 1.6 or 1.5 dCi combined with a manual transmission and front-wheel drive should be a very reliable and decent car. Along with the 2.0 dCi, they represent the most reliable engines on the Nissan Qashqai I and they are also diesel, so automatically and to the liking of the europeans who will trample each other just to get their hands on this cross-over which started the heinous period in which the cross-overs came and wiped out everything. And the petrol engines are equally choctastic.