Nissan Qashqai +2

Nissan attempts to restart the engine with the +2

When Nissan produced a new SUV for the market it had no idea how vital it was going to be to the company's fortunes.

Credit crunch and global recession were not even on the horizon when the Qashqai took to the drawing boards but it single-handedly saved the firm from the worst economic downturn could throw in its direction.

Its exalted status among the company’s thousands of employees is well deserved. Right from launch the SUV was class-leading in the way it was built, performed and charmed. Where others were just okay Qashqai was exceptional. And if there was a downside, it could have done with being just a bit bigger.

As recession bites and all manufacturers need every bullet in the armoury to survive Nissan has reloaded by resolving this issue nicely with the introduction of the +2.

This shares all the attributes of the original with the benefits of seven seats and a bit more room.

You have to be sharp-eyed to see its different grille and stretched body and you really need to see both models side by side to tell the difference.

Inside, the rear set of seats folds neatly out of the boot floor to provide accommodation for two adults that will provide reasonable comfort over a reasonable distance. If and when you don’t need them they remain hidden offering a flat floor and an even larger load space.

Qashqai has always been excellent to drive and +2 is no exception. Where many SUVs feel compromised in the ride and comfort stakes, Qashqai acts just like a big car. The extra length and weight of the +2 do nothing to spoil the party while the 2.0 litre diesel isn’t perturbed by the job at hand.

The turbo diesel is exceptionally strong offering fine and splendid acceleration, overtaking and cruising ability. In all conditions it is refined and capable and, most importantly of all, enjoyable to drive. It will achieve 40+ miles per gallon too; just what you need when times are hard.

It does seem strange though that the Qashqai isn’t necessarily a 4x4 when its looks and lines scream off-roader.

The original Qashqai felt SUV enough but the +2, with its increased girth, feels even more like an off-roader.

But in truth you have to specify all wheel drive as an option and when you do it is worth the money, kicking in automatically at the first hint of trouble and resuming traction to normal. When you don’t accessorize it can’t help you and it is vital you remember this important fact.

More than once I found its front wheels flailing through the dirt because I’d forgotten I wasn’t behind the wheel of a mud-plugger. The huge reserves of power that appear from virtually tickover can break the contact of the front wheels, particularly when it is wet and greasy so be warned.

In providing a stretched version of this successful model Nissan has pulled another blinder at minimal cost.

Offering that bit extra on top of an already capable car was just what it needed to keep Qashqai ahead of the game and the rigors of recession at bay a bit longer.

Car Facts

Model: Nissan Qashqai+2

Engine: 2.0 litre diesel

Drivetrain: Six speed manual

Power: 140PS

Top speed: 110mph

0-62mph: 10.5 secs

Insurance group: 9

Miles per gallon (combined): 40.4

CO2 (g/km): 199

Price: from £18,345.00

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

    SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

    Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

    £85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

    Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

    £55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering