The original, and in second-generation guise, still arguably the best.
Nissan defined the crossover marketplace in 2007 with the introduction of the original Qashqai and it has dominated since. Little wonder then that this second-generation still has most of its rivals playing catch-up. An impressive all-rounder, it’s difficult to argue against it, though its omnipresence is its undoing.
What is it?
The market leader. The Qashqai pretty much invented the crossover marketplace, with SUV-height and looks, yet car-like driving behaviour seeing legions of buyers trade in their ordinary hatchbacks in exchange. It’s been around long enough to be in its second-generation, and it’s even more impressive than the car it replaced. Sharper looking, more engaging to drive, cleaner and better equipped than ever, it’s a tough act to beat, however hard rivals might try. The cleanest emits a tax-friendly 99g/km of CO2, too.
What is it like?
Given the huge volumes of sales it generates Nissan’s spent time getting everything right. A more spacious cabin, more equipment, sharper looks and a higher quality interior make for an appealing crossover. It’s not the most exciting car to drive - think, safe, surefooted and entirely predictable - but then it does everything with such a level of competence it’s difficult to find fault. The 1.5 dCi turbodiesel won’t set your pulse racing, but its performance is fine, and, crucially, its CO2 emissions are low.
Carzone verdict: 4.0/5
Predictably good, Nissan could so easily have continued to make the Qashqai competitive rather than class-leading and watched the orders continue to flood in. It didn’t; instead it improved the car in every way, making sure that the Qashqai buyer isn’t short-changed in any way against rivals. A fine, if unexciting drive, well-equipped, sensibly-priced, inexpensive to run, well-built and good-looking family car, it’s little wonder it’s retained its place at the top of the sales charts while its rivals attempt to catch up.