Nissan Qashqai: Ready for the keys

The Nissan what?

I’ve spent half a year with Nissan’s small city car, the Micra, and now it’s time to move up the ladder to the larger and more practical Qashqai.

Although it’s been around for just over two years, the Qashqai name probably doesn’t conjure up the same immediate picture in your mind as some more mainstream models such as the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra or Volkswagen Golf.

These cars are deeply ingrained in car buyers’ minds and most will have a fairly good idea about what they’ll get for their money when they drive away in one.

But what is the Qashqai? What does it do better than anything else in the same price bracket and is it actually a 4x4, a hatchback or both?

My ultimate aim for six months’ time is to get under the skin of this so-called 'crossover' model and really find out why you should (or shouldn’t) buy one.

I’ll be putting it through its paces in as many different day-to-day situations and driving conditions as possible, to test whether it’s as good at Morrisons as it is on the motorway. Can it handle a fully-loaded 500-mile round trip to Europe and how well will it live up to the high expectations set by the excellent Micra?

Let’s find out…

Current mileage: 207

Average mpg: 40.8