Latest Qashqai from

Nissan

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

THE mid-size family car class has a huge number of offerings these days, from traditional saloons to hatches and estates.

But the fastest growing sector is the crossover and right at the head of that is the Nissan Qashqai.

It was one of the first on the market and the company has kept it right up with the latest from the opposition, pleasing the large numbers of faithful returning buyers.

The latest model in the range is the two wheel drive 1.6 Dig-T petrol turbo, which offers a much more sporting drive than the other cars in the range.

And in case you're thinking of buying one and changing it on a regular basis, bear in mind that the equivalent, more expensive 1.6 diesel takes more than three and a half years to pay for itself against this one.

Obviously, that's only of interest to private buyers, because business users will need to have the lower diesel emissions to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay.

However, the petrol makes a strong case for itself, with very good performance in all six gears, a mainly comfortable ride and, like all Qashqais, loads of interior space plus a big, big boot.

It's a very easy car to drive, with light controls, excellent visibility all round and the high driving position that so many owners love.

In top Tekna trim it also has parking sensors front and rear and a rear parking camera, plus keyless entry and starting.

The engine is very smooth and quiet, even pulling quietly away from tickover in sixthgear, which also offers all the acceleration needed for manoeuvres on the motorway.

It is hugely willing, giving great urge in the mid range for overtaking in third, fourth and even fifthgears helping to make it very enjoyable.

The steering has decent feel in the corners, where it's also very accomplished, with excellent road holding and strong grip, even on wet roads.

The ride comfort is also good on smooth roads, only slightly upset in this model on rougher surfaces, when there's a slight sideways rocking motion that can become annoying.

I think it's partly caused by the large alloys and very low profile tyres and the ride would be better with smaller wheels and higher profile tyres - something that's true of almost all cars.

Tekna spec brings heated leather seats, a big touch screen with sat nav, DAB stereo, multi function steering wheel, auto-fold electric mirrors, climate, stability control and start/stop.

It also has excellent safety built-in, with lane departure warning, a blind spot monitor, moving object detection, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition and forward emergency braking.

Rear privacy glass is also part of the package, but I found this too dark, so that it restricted my rearward vision at night.

FAST FACTS

Price: £25,380

Mechanical: 160bhp, 1,618cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 9.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 47

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 138g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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