Nissan

When a colleague handed me the keys to OU63 YZO I was a bit nonplussed.

I'd been enjoying driving our ASX so much I was reluctant to swap. Two dead legs and a Chinese burn later (that guy can be so cruel), I found myself piloting the Qashqai on a regular journey of mine, up the A3 and into London for a spot of moonlighting.

I was pleased to be in the capital for the unveiling of the new version of Qashqai in November last year – and since then of course, things have moved on big-time, with dealers rushed off their feet to satisfy demand for it.

Our car is a member of the previous generation, but it still performs admirably. It's certainly not lacking in creature comforts and technology – and the well-engineered turbocharged 1.6-litre diesel engine is refined and efficient.

The major leap forward Nissan has been keen to highlight with the latest version is the improved interior. It says it makes the car feel like a premium German model, and it's right.

Having said that, you wouldn't say the cabin of the outgoing car is an unpleasant place to be. I guess Nissan just thought it was time to update Qashqai's image and did so before the old model started to feel stale.

Author: Dave Brown

The knowledge


Model: Nissan Qashqai 360
Price: £22,090 (as tested)
Engine: 1.6-litre, turbocharged diesel
Power: 128bhp, 320Nm
Max speed: 118mph
0-60mph: 10.7s
Emissions: 135g/km
Mileage this month: 723