THE Nissan Qashqai is the car that started the ball rolling in the crossover sector - models that offer the best of family hatchbacks and SUVs - and it's still leading the pack.
In fact, in the first six months of this year the Qashqai was sitting in fifth spot in the UK best-sellers table which is above the likes of the Vauxhall Astra, the MINI and VW Polo.
The only cars to sell more models are the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Focus and VW Golf.
So it would be fair to say that Nissan has certainly struck gold with its good-looking, feature-rich and very practical car.
Add in the excellent driving experience, premium build quality and frugal running costs and the reasons for the Qashqai's success are really stacking up.
It looks great from any approach thanks to 19-inch alloys, body-coloured bumpers, door handles and mirrors, a striking black honeycomb front grille, satin silver roof rails, a panoramic glass roof, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights and rear privacy glass.
Move inside the range-topping Tekna model and the spacious cabin is beautifully kitted out with leather trim.
There are techno treats galore to be discovered, including the new NissanConnect seven-inch touchscreen navigation and entertainment system, a six-speaker sound system, CD radio with DAB, Bluetooth connectivity, full colour front and rear cameras, heated seats, cruise control with speed limiter, electrically-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control with air conditioning and plenty more besides.
This car was powered by a 1.6-litre 130ps diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It could sprint from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds, maxes out at 118mph, has combined fuel efficiency of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions of 120g/km.
The first thing to mention is how comfortable the Qashqai is, plus the high roofline and upright seating position mean there is ample room for three adults in the back (at launch the car was available as a seven-seater too, but that option has been discontinued).
The dashboard layout is well thought out with all controls and readouts ideally positioned for diver usability and although the car is generously equipped it remains nicely clutter-free.
In and around town the excellent all-round visibility is a bonus, especially as the car is like to be used on the dreaded school run, with children, parents and other cars darting out from all angles.
The all-round cameras help make light work of parking in tight spaces and with the Intelligent Park assist system; it will even park the car for you if necessary.
Then out on the faster lanes and motorways, the Qashqai proves what an outstanding all-rounder it is.
Acceleration through the six speed manual gearbox may not be the most rapid, but it's smooth and responsive with a constant supply of power on tap at all times.
Despite its height there is no body roll and this, added with the excellent road holding, means long sweeping bends can be approached with confidence.
I did find there was a little road surface noise when the car was pushed particularly hard, but that aside, the driving dynamics and performance of the vehicle was difficult to find fault with.
As a family car the Qashqai needs to be practical and it is.
The boot has a 430-litre capacity, which can be increased to 1,585 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there are cup holders front and rear, deep door pockets, a good sized glovebox and a handy central bin.
And when it comes to safety, Nissan has ensured the Qashqai is kitted out with all the latest innovative systems, including the company's Safety Shield package which adds the likes of blind spot monitoring, moving object detection, driver attention alert and an around view monitor.