New Car Awards 2014: best crossover
The Nissan Qashqai is the 2014 Auto Express Crossover of the Year, with the Citroen C4 Cactus and Mazda CX-5 commended
It was the Nissan Qashqai that started the crossover revolution in 2006, but this is the first time it’s scooped a prestigious Auto Express New Car Awards trophy.
With its rugged looks, practical cabin and low running costs, the British-built Nissan has always been a bold alternative to run-of-the-mill family hatches. Yet it’s the all-new second-generation model’s excellent refinement, quality and comfort that elevates it to the top of the class.
Not that it’s forgotten its roots as a versatile family car, because the plushly appointed and robustly built cabin is roomier than ever, and packed with plenty of thoughtful touches. There’s lots of handy storage, while the generously proportioned 430-litre boot has a clever load divider that provides 16 different load-carrying combinations.
And like the rest of the Nissan line-up, the Qasqhai benefits from the firm’s Safety Shield tech. That means buyers can get all sorts of confidence-inspiring extras, including blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and even an all LED headlamp set-up.
However, it’s the Qashqai’s grown-up driving dynamics that seal its place at the top of the crossover tree. Nissan has worked hard to boost refinement, meaning the newcomer rivals cars from the class above for hushed refinement. Better still, it rides well, too, soaking up bumps and potholes that would send a shudder through some low-riding hatches. Happily, this comfort doesn’t come at the expense of entertainment behind the wheel, because the Qashqai always feels composed and agile.
The icing on the cake is a line-up of punchy and frugal engines, plus the option of four-wheel drive, too.
Qashqai 1.5 dCi Acenta Premium (£23,180)
The Qashqai's Acenta Premium trim brings plenty of kit, including valuable Safety Shield tech. The smooth 1.5-litre dCi stands out with eager performance and tax-busting 99g/km CO2 figure.
Citroen C4 Cactus
With its bold looks, innovative interior and great-value prices, the lightweight Citroen C4 Cactus has turned the compact crossover sector on its head. Few cars at any price attract as much attention, while the relaxed driving experience takes the stress out of any journey. Better still, it’s as cheap to run as it is to buy.
Last year’s winner is still a top choice thanks to efficient and punchy SkyActiv engines, sharp handling and a roomy cabin. Just as crucially, the Mazda CX-5 looks smart, while build quality is more than a match for premium rivals. Plus a strong showing in our annual Driver Power surveys proves it’s good to own, too.
- 1IntroductionWe reveal the best new cars on sale today in every sector of the market, plus we name our overall 2014 Car of the Year
- 2Car of the Year 2014The British-built MINI is Auto Express' Car of the Year 2014
- 3City Car of the YearThe Skoda Citigo is the 2014 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Hyundai i10 and Toyota Aygo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2014 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Dacia Sandero and Peugeot 208 commended
- 5Premium Small Car of the YearThe MINI is the 2014 Auto Express Premium Small Car of the Year, with the Audi A1 and Citroen DS3 commended
- 6Small Family Car of the Year The SEAT Leon is the 2014 Auto Express Small Family Car of the Year, with the Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf commended
- 7Family Car of the Year The Mazda 6 is the 2014 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Vauxhall Insignia commended
- 8Estate Car of the Year The SEAT Leon ST is the 2014 Auto Express Estate of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series and Skoda Octavia Estate commended
- 9MPV of the Year The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is the 2014 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the Citroen C4 Picasso and SEAT Alhambra commended
- 10Crossover of the Year - currently readingThe Nissan Qashqai is the 2014 Auto Express Crossover of the Year, with the Citroen C4 Cactus and Mazda CX-5 commended
- 11Compact SUV of the Year The Porsche Macan is the 2014 Auto Express small SUV of the Year, with the Dacia Duster and Range Rover Evoque commended
- 12Large SUV of the Year The Hyundai Santa Fe is the 2014 Auto Express large SUV of the Year, with the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport commended
- 13Pick-Up Truck of the Year The Volkswagen Amarok is the 2014 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Ford Ranger and SsangYong Korando Sport commended
- 14Hot Hatch of the Year The SEAT Leon Cupra is the 2014 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Golf GTI commended
- 15Convertible of the Year The Audi A3 Cabriolet is the 2014 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the BMW 4 Series Convertible and Porsche 911 Cab commended
- 16Coupe of the Year The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is the 2014 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the BMW 2 Series and Porsche Cayman commended
- 17Roadster of the YearThe Porsche Boxster is the 2014 Auto Express roadster of the Year, with the Jaguar F-Type and Mazda MX-5 commended
- 18Performance Car of the Year The McLaren 650S is the 2014 Auto Express Performance Car of the Year, with the BMW M4 and Porsche 911 GT3 commended
- 19Best Compact Executive of the YearThe BMW 3 Series is the 2014 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Lexus IS and Mercedes C-Classs commended
- 20Executive Car of the YearThe Audi A6 is the 2014 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes CLS commended
- 21Luxury of the Year The Mercedes S-Class is the 2014 Auto Express Luxury Car of the Year, with the Porsche Panamera and Range Rover commended
- 22Van of the Year The Ford Transit is the 2014 Auto Express Van of the Year, with the Mercedes Sprinter and Vauxhall Vivaro commended
- 23Green Car of the Year The BMW i3 is the 2014 Auto Express Green of the Year, with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Vauxhall Ampera commended
- 24Ad Campaign of the YearMercedes Intelligent Drive: ‘Chicken' ad is this year's winner for best advertising campaign
- 25Safety Award Nissan Safety Shield wins this year's Safety Award, part of the Auto Express New Car Awards 2014
- 26Design Award The Volvo Concept Estate wins this year's Auto Express Design Award, voted for by you
- 27Special Award Our annual Special Award for 2014 goes to Tesla for producing the fantastic Model S
- 28Hall of Fame As part of the annual Auto Express New Car Awards, here is our Hall of Fame for outstanding figures in motoring