WHEN Nissan launched the Qashqai back in 2007 the company could never have dreamt it would notch up more than three million sales.
It was the car that launched the crossover craze, which started as trickle and in recent years has turned into Tsunami.
Now there is a new Qashqai - a word far easier to say than spell - and it's bigger, lighter and far more upmarket ensuring Nissan stays ahead of the competition.
And best of all it was designed in Britain and is manufactured here at Nissan's factory in Sunderland.
This third generation Qashqai has lost weight too, thanks to the use of aluminium for the bonnet, doors and front wings following a massive £52 million pound investment in aluminium at the Sunderland plant.
Despite the changes the new model is clearly recognisable as a Qashqai but it now wears a new suit of clothes which is sharper and much more attractive than its predecessor‘s.
It looks more muscular and has far more kerb appeal thanks in part to the new look grille and the all-new slimmer stylish headlights.
And along with style comes safety as these new lights are matrix headlights which give brilliant illumination of the road ahead while at the same time blocking out sections of the light that would blind oncoming drivers.
Step inside and you see immediately that Nissan has raised it's game. Not only is the cabin far more spacious but there's a real upmarket feel to it with high quality upholstery and trim as well as a stylish virtual dashboard.
The doors close easily and with a solid clunk giving the car a real quality, feel.
Along with most manufacturers Nissan has fitted a central display screen but this 9-inch one is very user friendly ensuring you don't have to take your eyes off the road for more time than necessary.
And as well as featuring the satellite navigation system this screen is also the monitor for the reversing camera which makes life easier when going backwards thanks to a split view - one of which shows what's behind you and a other a bird's eye view from above.
There's also a forward facing camera to help with manoeuvring.
The Tekna spec model - driven here - comes with a host of creature comforts designed to make motoring more relaxed, including heated front seats and steering wheel, heated windscreen, electrically adjustable driver's seat and a head up-up display.
There's also a huge panoramic glass sunroof with electrically operated sun blind.
A powered tailgate makes loading easier and the new model can accommodate some 436 litres of luggage with the rear seatbacks in place and 1,379 with them folded flat.
And the fact that the new model is 35mm longer, 32mm wider and 10mm higher means rear seat passengers now have far more space and better still the rear doors cleverly open to a huge 85 degrees making getting in and out much easier.
Keyless entry and exit as well as push button start are standard and you have three driving modes to select from: eco, standard and sport.
With its 1.3-litre mild hybrid petrol engine the Qashqai Teckna has good pulling power and is particularly enjoyable if you leave it in sport and wind up the revs.
At the same time the cabin is quiet, refined and has a more executive style ambience.
The Qashqai has always been a best seller and this latest generation model has all the credentials to ensure that position doesn't change.
158bhp, 1,332cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six speed manual gearbox.
: 3yrs/60,000 miles