Nissan Qashqai Tekna 2.0D

Can established SUV hold on to its crossover crown?

It has been around since 2006, but the Nissan Qashqai is far from dated. In fact, thanks to its blend of smart looks, versatility and high spec levels, the Japanese machine has continued to rule the crossover roost.

While its rugged lines might not ignite as many debates as the Yeti’s, the Nissan still cuts a dash on the high street – especially in the optional Fired Iron metallic paint of our test car. The stylish 18-inch alloy wheels, tinted rear windows and a huge panoramic glass roof are standard on the range-topping Tekna model.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Nissan Qashqai

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Climb aboard and you’ll find the high-set driving position is similar to a traditional off- roader’s, giving a commanding view ahead. The dashboard design is attractive, if not quite as modern as that of the Yeti.

The cabin is packed with standard kit: sat-nav, Bluetooth, a colour reversing camera, cruise control, leather heated seats, climate control and keyless start all feature. Unfortunately, none of this distracts you from the slightly haphazard layout of the minor switchgear. Meanwhile, thanks in part to a lower roofline and shallower side windows, the rear compartment doesn’t feel as spacious as the Skoda’s. Sliding back the blind on the panoramic glass roof helps lift the interior ambience, though.

The rear seats don’t match the Yeti’s for versatility, as you can’t remove them. Instead, they only split-fold 60/40. Legroom measurements are exactly the same, however, and the luggage area’s 410-litre capacity is merely six litres down on its Czech rival’s.

Out on the road, the Nissan easily deals with broken surfaces and small bumps, although larger dips and humps unsettle the car. Meanwhile, the softer suspension results in more body roll through corners, making the Qashqai feel slightly cumbersome. On the other hand, the steering is decently weighted and provides useful feedback.

But the star of the show is the engine. Producing 10bhp over the Yeti, the Nissan feels livelier and is more refined when extended. At the track it was decisively faster than the Skoda in all our tests. You will pay the price for this advantage at the pumps, though, as the official return of 40.9mpg is 5.4mpg thirstier than the Yeti’s clean-burning diesel.

While the torquey motor helps it off road, the car doesn’t have the hill descent control or skidplates of its rival. However, we like the fact that you can select between two-wheel drive, automatic 4WD and locked 4WD modes to suit the terrain. It might not have age on its side when facing the newer Yeti, but the Nissan still impresses with its array of abilities and lengthy standard kit list. Yet there’s no getting away from its price premium of £2,525 over the Skoda. Has the Qashqai done enough to see off its latest upstart rival?

In detail Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 148bhp 0-60mph: 10.6 seconds Econ./CO2: 40.9mpg/184g/km

Details

Price: £23,845Chart position: 2WHY: It started the whole crossover revolution and can still mix it with the best of them

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