Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Quality Counts

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Quality Counts

Article excerpt

ROM pencil line to production line, the Nissan Qashqai is as British as they come.

Fonceived at Nissan's design studio in London, engineered at its technical centre at Craneld in Bedfordshire and built at the Nissan factory in Sunderland, the Qashqai has made millions for UK plc.

Since it rst appeared ten years ago some 2.3 million have been made, most have been exported and 450,000 snapped up in Britain.

It's our favourite crossover and last month was number three in the nation's Top 10 new car sales charts, pipped to the post only by the Ford Focus and VW Golf - both of which are made in Germany.

Now there's a new Qashqai on the way with the second generation model - launched in 2014 - getting a heavy facelift inside and out.

As mid-life makeovers go the changes are radical and see the latest Qashqai with sharper lines, a reshaped bonnet and grille and some shiny body highlights.

ere's also a new range topper in the form of a Tekna+ model which comes with Nappa leather upholstery in a distinctive 3D pattern, a high-end Bose sound system and a sporty-looking D-shaped steering wheel.

In such guise it is now possible to spend more than £30,000 on a Qashqai - a far cry from the £23,249 it cost to get behind the wheel of the poshest Qashqai back in 2007.

Back then the range started from a shade under £13,500. Now it kicks oat £19,295 but what's onboard is light years ahead and the latest Qashqai is still a pacesetter.

e Qashqai Tekna+ 1.5-litre diesel we just tried tipped the scales at £30,325 and that included a Vivid Blue metallic paint job which accentuates the new car's lines a treat.

For a family hatch-cum-SUV the cabin is very upmarket - albeit it overly black and that included the headlining - and the seats, taken from a specication devised by NASA are exceptionally comfortable.

ere's carbon-e ect trim in the dash, chrome handles on the doors and the technology features the latest generation of the NissanConnect system which uses a seven-inch touchscreen for full connectivity and satellite navigation. …

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