Six years since it was launched and the Nissan Qashqai has firmly made its mark as the leader of the crossover car market with no sign of slowing down.
Having sold in excess of two million of the original family-friendly SUV, the Japanese manufacturer has created a new version that will be on dealers' forecourts from January 2014 and which Nissan believes will enhance the car's reputation ever further – and as with the first generation model, the new Qashqai is again being produced at Nissan's Sunderland plant.
So what differences will Nissan customers see in the new Qashqai?
The first obvious change is the car's appearance; 49mm longer than the current version, the Qashqai sits slightly lower and wider, offering a more streamlined stance. The driving position has not changed though and drivers will still enjoy the benefits of a raised view on the road as well as increased headroom.
Nissan's Safety Shield system, which uses cameras and driver aids to detect and avoid potential collisions, has now been fitted to the Qashqai. First installed on the Note, the system provides Front Collision Avoidance, Moving Object Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Support and Traffic Sign Recognition and is a demonstration of Nissan's continued commitment to technological innovation.
Step inside and new features include an increased boot space of 20 litres, giving Qashqai owners 430 litres to play with – and that's with the rear seats in place. This enhanced luggage space also benefits from a moveable floor system that can be placed vertically to divide the space or perhaps to stop loads from moving around. Ambient lighting has been introduced as well as extra-deep cupholders designed to accommodate a bottle. The improved look and feel of the dashboard reflects a greater depth of quality in both design and materials. All the parts drivers need to regularly access, such as the heating controls and sat-nav, are easily reached and all new Qashqais have a centrally positioned colour screen.
Both petrol and diesel models come with a six-speed gearbox as standard and every engine employs a turbocharger in order to reduce capacity, emissions and fuel consumption while maintaining first-class performance. An overall weight reduction on some models of 40kg has helped generate even greater efficiencies in fuel economy and Co2 emissions which range from 99g/km to 129g/km.