Choosing your next family car can be a daunting and stressful experience.
There are so many different options and different body styles to choose from, but one has prevailed above all else – the SUV.
Two of the most popular models of SUV are the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage.
Think of them as the Aldi and Lidls of the car world – they offer great value for money at a fraction of the price of their luxury Range Rover rivals.
The Nissan Qashqai is available in some really striking colours that separate it from the boring blacks and greys that usually litter the road.
Not only that, but the Nissan also features sleek front headlights and brake lights that complement the car’s design without it feeling too imposing on the road.
As for the Kia, its design is a little more marmite – especially past iterations – but new models look much sharper and sleeker in keeping with the brand’s overall aesthetic.
What are they like to drive?
Let’s be honest, you’re probably not buying a Qashqai or Sportage for the way they drive.
They drive well for an SUV, but they aren’t going to be wowing you around a country road anytime soon.
The Qashqai is well known for its comfortable ride quality.
It handles even really scarred surfaces with ease, so that very little gets through to your seat.
But don’t go thinking this means wallowy, because it actually handles very well.
As for the Sportage, this is also a really easy SUV to drive.
You sit nice and high up and the car feels really well-planted on the road.
Whether you’re nipping to the shops or going on a longer family roundtrip, you’re not going to be disappointed with either car.
Interior and technology
Like we said earlier, the Qashqai and Sportage are like the budget supermarkets of the car world.
If you’re a brand snob then you may want to change your ways and consider one of these two options, because their interiors are really impressive.
The inside of the Qashqai is not as you’d expect for a car of this price bracket – it’s much better.
For a cheap SUV, you get lots of lovely soft-touch materials throughout the cabin and some great levels of tech.
The entry-level Visia is well equipped, but we’d recommend looking at the mid-spec Acenta trim, which upgrades the air-con to dual-zone climate control and also adds auto lights and wipers, plus alloys.
You can secure a great deal on a used Nissan Qashqai, so higher trims are available at lower prices.
As for the Sportage, this is very much the same story, with it offering a really plush and up-to-date interior with all the usual bells and whistles you’d expect to find in any other modern SUV.
Bootspace and practicality
Being SUVs, neither model will leave you short on space in the boot or rear seats.
The boot is 591 litres for the Sportage and 504 litres for the Qashqai. To put this into perspective, a Ford Focus has a 375-litre boot and a full-size Range Rover offers up to 725 litres of boot space, so these two sit nicely in-between.
As for rear passenger legroom, both will comfortably seat those over six-foot tall.
Three people can fit on the rear row but it will be quite snug, so we’d recommend keeping it to two unless you have to.
Read our in-depth car reviews:
Safety and reliability
Reliability and safety should be at the top of your priority list when buying a family car, and the good news is both the Sportage and Qashqai are very solid in both areas.
Following their most recent Euro NCAP crash testing, both cars scored a full five stars, with particularly good protection for adult and child occupants.
Boot space: 504 litres
Boot space: 591 litres
Verdict: Nissan Qashqai vs Kia Sportage: which should you buy?
After reading our comparison, we’re sure you’ve made up your own mind about which SUV you want, but if not, here’s a little verdict to help you make your decision.
If you’re after a new family car, you’d be more than happy with either of these, but here are one or two things that may sway you.
You would be better off choosing a used Sportage if you need that little bit more boot space to carry suitcases, sports equipment, school bags, and shopping – because who doesn’t want that?
If you're after more of a comfortable ride, then a used Qashqai has the edge over the Kia thanks to its supple suspension and plush interior.