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2018 Toyota C-HR vs 2017 Nissan Qashqai: What to Buy?

| Photo: Toyota, Nissan
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Guillaume Rivard
Two hot new models gaining converts for different reasons

The market for sub-compact SUVs is in full expansion, as consumers continue to show their love for a vehicle type that weds the qualities of a small car (fun and agile handling, fuel economy) with those of a utility vehicle (higher seating position for increased feeling of safety, larger cargo capacity, available all-wheel drive).

Virtually all the auto manufacturers offer a vehicle in this segment—or will soon, when Ford’s EcoSport, Hyundai’s Kona, Volkswagen’s T-Roc and possibly Kia’s Stonic hit the market as well. Currently, the category includes prominent entries like the Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trax and Subaru Crosstrek. We’ve also already offered you a head-to-head comparison of the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.

Among the new entries in the category, two Japanese rivals have attracted positive attention, albeit for different reasons: The 2018 Toyota C-HR and 2017 Nissan Qashqai. The former is brand-new, while the latter is actually the newest generation of a vehicle that has been popular and well-regarded in Europe for several years.

The team at tried both of them out, and we present a comparative overview that should help you make an informed buying decision.  

By the numbers…

   2018 Toyota C-HR  2017 Nissan Qashqai
  Power (hp)  144  141
  Torque (lb-ft)  139  147
  Transmission  CVT  6-speed man./CVT
  L/100km, FWD  8.7 city - 7.5 hwy  8.8 city - 7.3 hwy
  L/100km, AWD  N/A  9.1 city - 7.5 hwy
  Trunk (L)  538 - 1,031  623 - 1,727
  Wheels (in)  17 or 18  16, 17 or 19
  Warranty  3 yrs/60,000 km  3 yrs/60,000 km

2018 Toyota C-HR – Technical specificationsReviewPhoto gallery

  • XLE - $24,690
  • XLE Premium - $26,290

Strong points

  1. A dream come true for fans of design (available 2-tone exterior colour scheme)
  2. Great roster of standard equipment
  3. Strong safety capacities with the Toyota Safety Sense P (also standard)
  4. Quiet, relatively spacious and comfortable interior
  5. Toyota’s usual reliability and reputation for quality

Weak points

  1. No all-wheel drive as an option
  2. Mediocre acceleration
  3. Inadequate rear visibility
  4. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility or navigation system
  5. Less cargo space (trunk is hindered by a steeply inclined hatch)


2017 Nissan Qashqai – ReviewPhoto gallery

  • Qashqai S AWD M6 - $19,998
  • Qashqai S FWD CVT - $21,998
  • Qashqai S AWD CVT - $24,198
  • Qashqai SV FWD CVT - $24,598
  • Qashqai SV AWD CVT - $26,798
  • Qashqai SL AWD CVT - $29,498
  • Qashqai SL AWD CVT Platinum Package - $32,198

Strong points

  1. Modern and well-proportioned contours sure to please consumers
  2. More practical format
  3. Well-balanced, agile and especially quiet on the road
  4. 4WD system that can be locked 50/50
  5. Very competitive pricing

Weak points

  1. Similar look to the Rogue, nothing fancy
  2. Timid performance (though less so than the C-HR)
  3. Infotainment system could use updating (no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto)
  4. Slightly bargain-basement plastics
  5. Certain buttons are difficult to access

Guillaume Rivard
Guillaume Rivard
Automotive expert