Nissan kicked off the crossover market with the series 1 Qashqai and it has proved to be a massive sales success so there was never any doubt that a series 2 would hit showrooms. The biggest selling point of the series 1 was that it was individual, with stand-out styling and limited competitors. Since then everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, so can the Qashqai still stand out?
This model more than any other has moved Nissan from an also-ran to a mainstream contender. The problem with becoming mainstream is that it is very easy to become risk adverse. At first glance this definitely applies to the Qashqai as the styling is much more conservative. This may bring new customers to the brand but it will be interesting to see if existing owners come back for more.
The sensible theme continues inside with a mature/dull look. Perhaps with the Juke fulfilling the role of extrovert younger brother the Qashaqi has been forced to get a hair cut and a proper job. At least it fits the brief of a sensible family car which might lure more conventional hatch owners to the crossover market.
Under the bonnet a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine provides sensible performance thanks to pumping out 236 lb ft of torque at just 1750 rpm. Working through a six-speed manual gearbox, the 4×4 system can be set to two-wheel drive (front), on-demand four-wheel drive, or locked-in four-wheel drive. In 4WD modes the maximum amount of drive than can be sent to the rear axle is 50%.
If the Qashqai is no longer as cutting-edge in terms of its concept as the original was, at least Nissan has gone all-out on the technology front. It is dripping with all sorts of driver aids, parking systems, and mobile phone, tablet and PC synchronisation. If this is your thing you’ll love the new Qashqai, but it does come with a fairly large list price.