After 6,000 miles travelled during its time with us, and journeys undertaken to various towns and cities around the UK, we’re preparing to say goodbye to the Nissan Qashqai we currently have on our long-term loan fleet.
But what a time we have had together over the past seven months, driving here, there and everywhere, and visiting family and friends in all corners of the British Isles.
Put simply, OE21NXC has been the ideal companion for all sorts of adventures over a very busy summer during which the British weather actually played ball for once and gave us a holiday season to remember.
As I have pointed out in previous reports, the car is comfortable, capable and spacious, ideal for a camping trip in the countryside, a visit to a garden centre or a day helping a mate to move house.
Its UK popularity doesn’t seem to be in doubt at the moment, either – the Qashqai has topped the monthly new car best-seller lists at least twice so far in 2022.
As well as being there for the fun things in life, the car has shown it has a caring side. It has ferried my elderly mum to a number of hospital appointments in recent weeks and proved an ideal mode of transport when my better half suffered a knee injury on a cruise holiday a little while ago.
It was Nissan’s Qashqai, of course, that got the crossover party started way back in 2007 and since then, it has been much admired and imitated.
Delivering a compelling combination of hatchback compactness, SUV practicality, and an elevated driving position, I’ve mentioned before that its imposing stance, impactful LED lighting and optional 20-inch alloy wheels are certainly distinctive, and not at all ‘vanilla’ – an insult aimed at some models.
There’s plenty of space inside for all the family and their belongings, yet its roomy interior is cleverly contained within an aerodynamic and compact body.
The car’s 1.3-litre petrol engine features ‘mild hybrid’ technology which enhances efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions whilst driving. Ready and responsive, its six-speed manual gearbox is more than up to the job.
Our long-term Qashqai and I have had one or two hiccups along the way, it must be said. Visits to auto repairers have been necessary to replace a badly cracked windscreen and a tyre with a slow puncture – but those are potential pitfalls for any motorist.
Qashqai’s tech is up there with the best, too. As a small example, the aforementioned slow puncture was drawn to my attention by a dashboard warning, pinpointing which tyre was affected.
And its Around View Monitor system – an aerial view you’re given of the car when reversing – certainly impressed my daughter and her partner on a recent day out, leaving them completely flummoxed as to how it actually works. Very clever stuff and incredibly useful.
To sum up, the Qashqai still seems to be at the top of its game a decade and a half after it first appeared.
Despite the arrival of a number of competitors over the years, it has stayed true to its roots whilst moving with the times. Nice one, Nissan – and goodbye OE21NXC.