Qashqai revamped

VERSATILE: The new model has bags of street cred

IT always amazes me how these days large vehicles are fitted with tiny engines. I first came across this with the shapely Toyota C-HR and now the Nissan Qashqai has been revamped with just a 1.3-litre petrol engine.

It’s the same engine that can be found in the Mercedes A-Class. The turbocharged unit is as punchy as some 1.8s of old. Not only does this help the planet by reduced emissions but it also aids efficiency – it travels around 500 miles on a full tank.

The Qashqai has always been a versatile SUV and the second generation model I test has bags of street cred to boot. Its side profile is uber cool thanks to sharp and snappy black edged alloy wheels with a similar design to a fan. Arguably the vehicle wouldn’t look so striking if it wasn’t fitted with these wheels.

Inside, the most refreshing thing for me is that three cumbersome car seats can fit in the back and that my older daughters can undo their seatbelts without an issue.

Lately vehicles I have tested have been very tight in the rear meaning that my hands get scraped just trying to fit the seats and the seatbelts have been really awkward to use in this situation.

The fabric seats are edged with black leather trim and are hardwearing. They need to be with children. Good quality carpets can be found throughout too, but I do wonder whether tiles or laminate flooring might be better for coping with the mess that children make.

Who says that cars should only be fitted with carpet? Our houses aren’t any longer. We travel 36 miles to the other end of Hampshire to visit Andover and by the time we arrive the floor in the back has become home to orange peel, plum stones and wrappers. Don’t you just love children?

Our front seats are heated which is always a nice touch. The front armrest is also large enough to hold a box of sandwiches, useful on a long journey, especially with our continually hungry children.

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