Bar­ber of Castile is a cut above as Nis­san braves rain in Spain

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST -

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.

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