Since it was launched with much fanfare in 2007 Nissan’s Qashqai hit the tarmac running, quickly becoming the fastest selling model in the history of Nissan Europe!
Presenting the Nissan Qashqai +2
Cutomers liked origional Qashqai, its style, which combined with the comfort of a family hatchback with something a little different, with an injection of smart 4×4 styling and mini-MPV practicalities.
It went down a treat, with a quarter of a million cars sold by the autumn of last year.
Not slow to adopt a winning formula other big manufactureres brought out their own take on this crossover styling …with varying results.
But nissan hope to capitalise on this initial success with the Quashqai +2 built in Sunderland, which is a bigger version of the origional plus, er, two extra seats. Nissan say this Quashqai +2 combines the best of both three-row people carriers and the family hatchback with none of the drawbacks, with the driving dynamics, ride comfort and refinement of a finely tuned hatchback with the added benefit of the practiacl interior of a bigger car.
And it certainly is a bigger car. It was apparent when, stragely a Qashqai of exactly the same colour parked in the adjacent parking space in a car park.
Once I’d realised the +2 hadn’t given birth, it was noticeable how much bigger than its sibling it was. In fact, the +2 is 211mm longer and 38mm taller than a standard Qashqai, which has allowed Nissan to shoehorn in the extra pair of seats.
Although very welcome for those with bigger families, they are best suited for children because space is a little on the tight side for legs and heads.
It’s a bit of a knees around the cars situation.
It’s also a bit of an assault course to get them out, when the seats are folded flat, it does add acres to the boot space.
The boot has also been changed from the Qashqai to allow easier loading and unloading.
But there is also loads of leg and headroom for everyone else and a huge panoramic sunroof ads to the airy feel inside.
The +2 comes with a choice of 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines. I drove the two-litre diesel model, which handled the extra weight of the +2 with no problem at all. It was reasuringly quick off the mark for a car of its size, with 0-62 in around 11 seconds, and turned it steady acceleration through the manual gearbox.
With a top speed of nearly 109mph, the +2 is adept at motorway driving but didn’t struggle on the streets. Steering is firm, even a little heavy, but its soft suspension and big tyres simply soaked up anything the streets of Wearside could throw at it, relegating even the deepest potholes to a distant shudder.
The +2 is also adept at blocking out engine and wind noise, and the car provides a smooth, protected ride.
The high driving position allows the driver a good view of the proceedings and visability all round is good, although there are chunky pillars at the rear.
This lofty position has its drawbacks though, and there is an amount of roll when cornering. Grip is excellent, though, which helps things along.
Inside the cab things are comfortable, with numerous ways to adjust the steering wheel, and the dials and the dashboard are laid out simply and attractively.
Nissan has used some quality materials all around, and things look like theyre build to last.
This extra size and two more seats are obviously going to cost, and the +2 comes in at £15,600 for the entry level model rising to up to £23,200. This compaires with an entry level £14,200 for the Quashqai, but its expected that the +2 will depreciate slowly in value.
There are three trim levels -enty level Visia, Acent and top of the range Tekna.
But you do get a fiar amount of kit as standard on all models coming with air con, alloys, cd player, all round powered windows and rear privacy glass.
My Acenta test car came with climate control, a cd autochanger, parking sensors, cruise control and automatic headlamps and wipers.
Tekna spec has additional leather, heated seats and keyless entry.
On the safety side of things, all Qashqai 2 get front, side and curtain airbags but stability control is an extra on the the Visia.
Its a refined ride and ultra smooth and loads of kit as standard, and will no doubt be capitalising on the success of its smaller sibling.
Nissan Qashqai +2
2-litre diesel manual Acenta
Top Speed: 118mph
Combined mpg: 42.2mpg
OTR Price: From £15,600