Barber of Castile is a cut above as Nissan braves rain in Spain
Six years on, Nissan has sold two million Qashqai “crossover” hatchbacks, including 1.5 million in Europe and 250,000 in the UK. Even its makers now admit they never knew if it would be a success. The car was designed in London and 1.6m have been made at Sunderland. Against the industry’s model life cycle, sales have increased every year. Last year was a record, despite news of a new Qashqai. It was the UK’s sixth best selling car in 2013. It is a real, genuine winner selling on word of mouth recommendation not hype.
What was almost a unique style in 2007 has now been copied throughout the industry. Then it replaced Nissan’s conventional Almera with a roomier car which gave owners more visual clout, more capability if they chose the all wheel drive version – but sales of that fell away.
This weekend Nissan showrooms will be showing the new Qashqai. Qq Mk2 is longer, lower, wider, more streamlined, lighter, more economical, better equipped but slightly more expensive – from £17,595 for a small petrol turbo. The 1.5 diesel dips inside the 100g/km CO2 target to give zero road tax and zero London zone charging. Upscale options now include robotic parking at the kerbside and in bays. There is a reversing camera with a lens cleaner.
Dutch IT experts have even created an “app” for smart phones which translates the dashboard controls – obviating the need to riffle through the handbook. Next, an app for the engine bay.
On the evidence so far, Nissan can’t fail with this new Q car.
The influential What Car? magazine has already named it Car of the Year 2014.
The new Qashqai from Nissan sets out to be comfortable, secure and give the driver confidence.