Best Small 2WD SUV under $35,000

Nissan Qashqai ST

The oddly named Qashqai ST has launched Nissan to awards’ glory for the first time in 10 years, in the newest and one of the fastest-growing categories.

Australia’s appetite for SUVs continues to abound, but with one in three buyers opting for two-wheel-drive rather than all-wheel-drive, it’s more about the internal versatility, practicality, easy access, high driving position and the SUV look than off-road capability.

Inside, the Qashqai really sets the quality benchmark. The leather-wrapped steering wheel, soft-to-touch dash and cabin trim, electric parking brake, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, cruise control and reversing camera are all standard features in the entry level ST model.

Space is abundant for a vehicle in the ‘small’ category. Four adults can be comfortably accommodated and the boot offers cargo space of 430 litres. A large centre console, good-sized door pockets, multiple drink bottle holders and an array of handy storage options add to the overall package.

All Qashqai variants have been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine with 106kW and 200Nm delivers outstanding performance for this segment along with better than average fuel economy. The latest generation CVT auto is one of the best we’ve driven. 

Indicative Drive Away Price: $31,855 

View scoresheet

Criteria out of 10 – Nissan Qashqai ST

Value for Money  Rating
Pricing  5C
Depreciation  6M
Running and Repair Costs  9H
Fuel Consumption  7C
Warranty and Dealer Access  5H
Insurance  4L
Standard Features  4H

Design and Function  Rating 
Safety   7C
Environment  9C
Seating Comfort  7M
Space  7L
Practicality  6H
Ergonomics  8H
Build and Finish  8M

On the Road  Rating
Performance  7M
Ride  8M
Handling  7M
Braking  7M
Smoothness and Quietness  8L

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.

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