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.

Best Crossovers 

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.

Nissan Qashqai Tekna 2014 interior

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.

Our choice: 

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.

Commended crossovers

Citroen C4 Cactus

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.

Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 front tracking

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.

Continue Reading

Recommended

Safest cars for sale in the UK
Safest cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Safest cars for sale in the UK

We look at the cars Euro NCAP has named as the safest cars on sale
13 Jan 2022
Dacia Duster vs Nissan Qashqai: 2022 group test review
Dacia Duster vs Nissan Qashqai
Nissan Qashqai

Dacia Duster vs Nissan Qashqai: 2022 group test review

The Dacia Duster has just been refreshed, but can it compete with the Nissan Qashqai?
8 Jan 2022
Nissan Qashqai review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai review

The new Nissan Qashqai moves forward in a few key areas, but ultimately can’t compete with the best in the crossover class
20 Dec 2021
Nissan Qashqai vs Peugeot 3008 vs Hyundai Tucson
Nissan Qashqai vs Peugeot 3008 vs Hyundai Tucson
Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai vs Peugeot 3008 vs Hyundai Tucson

The original Nissan Qashqai was ahead of the game when it was launched but has the latest version already been left behind by the Peugeot 3008 and Hyu…
31 Jul 2021

Most Popular

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?
number plates
Tips & advice

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?

Everything you need to know about so-called ‘4D’ number plates, including whether you’re allowed to have them on your car
25 Jan 2022
Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
10 Jan 2022
New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time
Lamborghini Countach - front
Lamborghini Countach

New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time

Lamborghini’s reborn Countach pictured on the move ahead of it arriving with customers
25 Jan 2022