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Nissan Qashing in!

EASY TO HANDLE: Nissan's Qashqai Pilot

WHEN the Nissan Qashqai first arrived in UK showrooms back in 2006, the crossover Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) madness was in its early stages.

In fact, together with the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, it beat many of today's most compact soft-roaders to the market by several years.

Over a decade ago, the likes of Fiat 500X, Renault Kadjar, Ford Kuga, and MINI Countryman never existed and the Qashqai struck gold.

Customers queued up with excitement and Nissan knew that something was cooking and that were onto something. Fast forward present day, it’s fresh, efficient, and more importantly it has started the trend for mainstream family SUVs. The Independent said at the time: “The Nissan Qashqai: A revolutionary which almost drive itself”

Nissan’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine sees the power plant develop a modest 109bhp and 260Nm of torque, which allows for a 0-60mph sprint time of 11.7 seconds and a top speed of 113mph.

Handling this Pilot was easy, it was a seamlessly smooth ride. The automatic Xtronic gearbox was a delight. As far as economy is concerned, Nissan claims the 1.5-litre diesel unit can manage a combined fuel consumption figure of 74.3mpg, while CO2 emissions stand at 99g/km.

The manufacturer has got it spot on, the interior of the latest Qashqai has made it appealing place to sit. The Pilot Edition featured plush quilted leather seats, a premium Bose stereo system and smart-looking piano black panelling around the infotainment system.

Qashqai’s interior meets the needs of most families. There’s plenty of room across the back seats for three children, and two adult passengers with more space available making long distance trips more manageable and enjoyable.

The Qashqai still ranks among the best small SUVs. It has a lot going for it, but the original crossover isn’t without merit; those new 1.3 engines make it more refined yet punchier than ever to drive, and there’s lots to like about buying locally, the vehicle is manufactured in Sunderland, and supporting British car factories.

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