Nissan Qashqai Tekna

dCi 110

Nissan Qashqai, front
Nissan Qashqai, front
Nissan Qashqai, front
Nissan Qashqai, side
Nissan Qashqai, rear
Nissan Qashqai, rear
Nissan Qashqai, interior
Nissan Qashqai, interior
Nissan Qashqai, interior

INVENTING something popular does not necessarily mean you are going to benefit financially from it.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web, Laszio Biro and the ballpoint pen, Japanese businessman Daisuke Inoue and the karaoke machine could all reasonably be expected to be billionaires - but they made nothing from their lightbulb moments.

Nissan made no such mistake back in 2006 when it came up with a radical idea to combine a family hatchback and a Sport Utility Vehicle - creating the crossover market in the process.

The Nissan Qashqai rolled off the production line in Sunderland the following year and has since proved to be catnip to large swathes of the car-buying public with more than one million worldwide sales since launch.

Obviously rivals have jumped on the bandwagon - but the Qashqai has managed to more than hold its own in the white-hot battle to both gain new customers and hold on to existing fans.

This has been achieved by improving the original concept while also maintaining the mantra of ‘if it ain't broke don't fix it'. So when the second generation of the motor was launched two years ago the Qashqai offered improvements to build quality, multimedia technology and safety but refrained from tinkering too much with a winning formula.

Sitting in the centre of a three-strong range, flanked by the Juke and larger seven-seat X-Trail, Nissan's most successful vehicle to date offers five trim levels - Visia, Acenta, n-tec, n-tec+ and Tekna.

All benefit from a modern cabin boasting an exemplary fit and finish that shouts quality. Take a moment to look round before pushing the ignition button and you notice stylish dials, neat ambient lighting on the centre console and a delightful dashboard.

The covered storage box between the driver and front seat passenger handles all your bits and bobs as well as providing a home for your mobile.

The Tekna model I drove was fitted with a £400 panoramic glass roof with one-touch shade that makes the interior light and airy.

The kit list is extensive with the centrepiece being an excellent seven-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system featuring sat nav and digital radio with a simple menu that's easy to use.

Parking sensors and cruise control are also included as are front and rear-view cameras, heated front seats plus leather-covered steering wheel and rear privacy glass.

Safety equipment is also comprehensive featuring clever ideas to keep you out of trouble - blind spot warning, moving object detection and driver attention alert - as well as a plethora of airbags should an accident be unavoidable.

The exterior features the familiar muscular SUV look with eye-catching LED running lights at the front and 19-inch alloy wheels stealing the show.

The second generation Qashqai is a big beast offering plenty of space for five adults and their luggage. For the golfers among you, a bag of clubs, trolley and assorted paraphernalia are easily swallowed by the roomy boot.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine beneath the bonnet of my front-wheel-drive Qashqai is a top performer with the flexibility to saunter around town as well as cruise comfortably on a motorway. Linked to a slick six-speed manual gearbox it seems faster away from the lights than a 0-62mph of almost 12 seconds would suggest.

Running costs are reasonable with average fuel economy coming in at 70mpg while carbon dioxide emissions are just 103g/km if you opt for 17-inch alloys.

Despite being bigger the latest Qashqai is still a decent drive with responsive steering and reasonably nimble handling benefiting from well-controlled body roll despite the elevated ride height.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Qashqai Tekna dCi 110

Price:£25,830

Mechanical:110ps, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:113mph

0-62mph:11.9 seconds

Combined MPG:70.6

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions:103g/km

Bik rating:20%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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