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Nissan Qashqai vs Ford Kuga | RAC Cars

By raccars Published

Nissan Qashqai or the Ford Kuga?

Used Nissan Qashqai - What Do You Need to Know?

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan has a challenging task on its hands. In launching the Qashqai it began a trend as customers clambered to buy the sporty, practical, economical model that seemed to tick all the right boxes. Understandably other manufacturers wanted in on the act.

● Low carbon emissions compared to rivals (a tax free model is available, and emissions below 99/Km rate on newer models)

● No longer a seven seat option

● Storage space for the whole family

● Low resale value

● An economic engine for its class

View used Nissan Qashqai models on RAC Cars.

Used Ford Kuga - What Do You Need To Know?

The first generation Kuga was met with high acclaim when it came to driving dynamics, but was marked down on practicality and space. However, Ford has addressed that criticism and the latest generation model is one of the class-leaders for interior room.

● Sharp and refined aesthetics

● Not as economical as crossover rivals

● A great drive, especially for a family car

● Centre Console can glare on the windscreen

● Low emissions for its class

View used Ford Kuga models on RAC Cars.

A Short History Of The Nissan Qashqai And The Ford Kuga

Ford launched its Kuga model in 2008 to compete against the Nissan Qashqai and, although the first generation car was not as practical as some of its rivals, the latest version is regarded as one of the class leaders. It still has a good amount of catching up to do, though.

The Qashqai attracts the highest sales figures in the crossover SUV segment, with Ford one of the key competitors in that chasing pack. The fact that the Qashqai essentially invented the sector has given it somewhat of a head start, but that doesn’t mean Ford won’t really push forward.


Both Nissan and Ford have managed to produce models that deliver on all counts when it comes to design, practicality, economy and driving dynamics.

There may be rivals that are cheaper, faster and roomier, but the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga are great examples of crossover design at its finest.

The Qashqai is very easy on the eye with its smooth lines, LED daytime running lights and sporty lines. But the Kuga is also quite the head-turner thanks to bold styling with a ready-for-action stance, thin light clusters, roof rails and twin exhausts. It’s got that American muscle that this sector has always lacked. A bit of attitude in a market where many consumers are still used to the placid, tempered Renault Espaces and Ford Galaxy’s of the family ferrying world.

Nissan Qashqai - What Should You Look Out For?

● Click the key and check the driver’s door. If it doesn’t open then you may have a faulty electric motor - it’s relatively cheap to fix.

● A rather more serious issue comes in the shape of a broken rear shock absorber. That might be what the creaking sound at the rear of the car is. Get an RAC Vehicle Inspection to save some money in the long run.

● The Electronic Control Unit may need to be updated at the dealership. You will know this if the throttle is very touchy and the car keeps jolting forward.

Ford Kuga - What Should You Look Out For?

Ford Kuga

● If you hear quiet banging at the rear of the vehicle then the likelihood is that it’s just the rear door striker rubbing. A quick application of grease could solve this issue, but we recommend having an expert view the car.

● Check the doors and listen for a creaking noise. The door seals on the Kuga are susceptible to wearing and will have to be replaced.

How Do They Compare On Driving Dynamics?

The second generation Qashqai shed the pounds and as a result is more agile and dynamic to drive. Out on the open road it’s an accomplished all-rounder with plenty of grip, next-to-no body roll and good suspension.

The Ford Kuga is also an engaging car to drive with plenty of bite on faster roads and all the agility needed for city driving.

The diesel engines do get a little noisy at higher revs and the fully electric power steering results in reduced feedback, but the Kuga is a confident all-rounder. Good insulation keeps noise levels low and the highly efficient suspension sorts out any bumps and dips along the way. Two of the best in class. Bravo.


The Nissan Qashqai offers an excellent level of comfort and practicality. Getting the ideal driving position is easy because there is plenty of scope for seat and steering wheel adjustment.

In addition, the elevated driving position is good for all round visibility, which always comes in handy on a school run or at your young one’s local sporting event.

The Ford Kuga is spacious with room for five adults. The rear seats can be dropped flat at the touch of a button and in newer models drivers have the advantage of shutting the boot with a kick. This ‘hands free’ boot opening perhaps shows the competitiveness of the crossover sector more than anything else. Manufacturers are adding gimmicks and add-ons in an attempt to gain any advantage possible. This is good news for used car buyers because it means, in general terms, you’re buying vehicles of a higher standard than if the sector was home to a monopoly.

Storage options are good on both cars with the Qashqai boasting a boot capacity of 430 litres, increasing to 1,585 litres with the rear seats dropped down. The Ford Kuga can accommodate 406 litres increasing to 1,603 litres.

New Nissan Qashqai And Ford Kuga Models

Engines and gearboxes

Qashqai customers can select from a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines. The choice depends on what sort of mileage the car will be doing. For instance, the 1.2-litre petrol option is ideal when a city school run takes precedent.

Alternatively, if high mileage is expected then the diesel engines will be the most frugal with the 1.6-litre a real winner. The Qashqai is available with two or four-wheel drive along with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.

Although petrol options are available, diesel engines dominate the Ford Kuga line-up and have proved most popular with buyers. There are 2.0-litre diesel engines with either 138 bhp or 161 bhp.

The higher powered engine is available on Titanium models and above and it can return a pretty respectable 47.9 MPG thanks to fuel-saving features including a grille that closes at faster speeds.

Nissan Qashqai models are available in trims called Visia, Acenta, N-Tec, N-Connecta, Tekna and Grey Edition with prices new ranging from £18,545 to £29,350, and used prices range from £6,000 up to £20,000.

Trim levels on the Ford Kuga are called Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X, and ST. Prices new range from £20,245 to £34,445, whereas you can purchase used Ford Kuga models that range from £4,000 to £18,000.

If you know the registration number there are tools available to check the tax such as the gov.uk tax rate calculator.

View thousands of used Nissan Qashqai and used Ford Kuga models on RAC Cars today.

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