British motor show: star cars - 5. Qashqai+2

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Should we be getting so excited about a stretched version of an existing car? A first look at the Qashqai+2 suggests we should, if not only because it is probably going to become a familiar sight on our roads.

The car, which is slightly longer than a standard Qashqai, has two more rear seats for children or for occasional adult use, as well as an additional 90 litres of luggage space, taking the total to 500 litres.

The roofline has also been lengthened to ensure enough back seat headroom, while a panoramic roof and large rear windows bathe the cabin in light.

Buyers can choose between 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines, producing 148bhp and 138bhp respectively. The petrol engine can be linked to a six-speed manual gearbox or semi-automatic CVT unit. The diesel engine can be linked to a manual or automatic six-speed gearbox.

The Qashqai+2 is available in two- and four-wheel drive variants. The four-wheel-drive system only kicks in when the conditions get particularly slippery, and has three settings according to the type of performance required.

Stability control and anti-lock brakes are also fitted as standard, as is a system that automatically activates the brakes if understeer is detected.

The Qashqai+2 is due in the showrooms in September, with prices set to be around £13000 greater than the standard car's.

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