Nissan Qashqai 2010 review

Pioneering crossover gets a facelift and new diesel engine in bid to keep it fresh

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Everything we loved about the original Qashqai has been carried over to the revised version – but now it looks even better and comes with an ultra-frugal engine option. The driving experience is still impressive, majoring on refinement and comfort. Combine this with a spacious, well built interior, and the facelifted car deserves to be even more successful than the one it replaces.

It's makeover time for the Qashqai! With a new version of the Ford Focus on the way, Nissan has given its popular family car a nip and tuck in an attempt to increase its appeal.

The major changes have taken place at the front, with a new bumper, bonnet, wings, grille and headlamps. And thanks to the stylish nose job, the updated version looks sportier and less awkward than its predecessor.

Changes to the rear aren’t as obvious. The only modifications are a fresh set of LED lights and some aerodynamic tweaks to help reduce drag. Two new red and grey paint optionswill be made available, too.

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

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Inside, the cabin is virtually unchanged – only the dashboard dials have been revised, making them clearer and easier to read.

The engine line-up is virtually identical to that of the original car, save for the addition of a cleaner 1.5-litre dCi diesel, available across all four trim options, which returns 55.3mpg and produces CO2 emissions of only 135g/km. That’s enough to earn it Nissan’s Pure Drive badge on its bootlid, which marks out the company’s most efficient models.

The new oil-burner is also used in an ultra-efficient, specially adapted Pure Drive model that emits 129g/km and returns 57.6mpg. Only available in Visia trim, it’s £100 cheaper than the standard car and £1,700 less than the Acenta tested here.

Differences between our test car and the Pure Drive model include longer gear ratios, low rolling resistance tyres, improved aerodynamics, a puncture repair kit instead of a spare wheel – to save weight – and the usual gearshift indicator light, which tells you the optimum time to change gear.

On the move, the compact crossover is as good as ever. The engine provides punchy and refined performance, while the gearchange is slick. It’s easy to get 40mpg with regular driving.

Nissan has slightly altered the suspension, and the result is sharper handling, but the ride hasn’t been compromised and is very comfortable. There’s a bit more body roll through bends than you’d get in a Focus, but in town, the Qashqai soaks up speed bumps with ease. Its lofty driving position offers excellent all-round visibility, while head and legroom are impressive, too.

On sale now, our car costs £18,945, with the Pure Drive starting at an affordable £16,795.

Rival: Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi With its blend of practicality, superb driving dynamics and wide range of engines, the Focus is a great choice – but it’s getting old now, and a new model, with a more upmarket feel, won’t be in showrooms until early next year.

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