Our cars: Used Nissan Qashqai - May
Week ending May 25
Driven this week: 169 miles
Used Nissan Qashqai review
The Qashqai is getting used to being filled with bikes at weekends, but when it does it so well, there's little else on the fleet worth taking.
With my girlfriend riding Lands End to John O'Groats in September, we both signed up for London Revolution, a two-day, 185-mile loop around the capital.
In went two racing bikes and all our kit, which barely touched the sides. With the DAB radio back to its best, the front suspension fixed and the steering column finally silent, the Qashqai is becoming an even more popular weekend car.
I'm still disappointed with the fuel efficiency, though, which remains at around 37mpg.
Rory's Nissan Qashai on video
Week ending May 18
Driven this week: 124 miles
I borrowed the used Qashqai for the weekend and was reminded of how quickly things move on in the car world.
When we first tested this model, four years ago, it closely matched its rivals' performance and refinement. However, the 1.6-litre petrol engine now feels very inflexible compared with the latest small-capacity turbo engines, and it's also working much harder at motorway speeds (the fact there's no sixth gear doesn't help).
I'm not convinced our car is a particularly good example, though; the other Qashqais we've had in for testing seemed better to drive in general.
2008 Nissan Qashqai 1.6 Visia
Week ending May 11
Driven this week: 204 miles
With a mountain-biking daytrip planned for the weekend, the Nissan Qashqai seemed perfectly suited to my plans - given its flat-folding seats and the decent overall boot.
First up, was the trip to the hills, and rather than waste time fitting a carrying rack, I put the bikes straight into back. The Nissan took the two cycles of varying size with ease, although the front wheels needed to be removed.
A big concern was the return journey, though, because the recent wet weather meant the trails and tracks were covered in mud. I certainly didn't want to return the car with evidence of a dirty weekend. The solution was simple because the rear loadspace proved to be just the right size to hook an old double sheet over the folded back seats.
This meant everything stayed clean and there was no awkward conversation on the return to the office.
Week ending May 4
Driven this week: 53 miles
The Qashqai is back to its best. Back from the garage, having had an even more thorough lubrication of its steering column, it seems to have been cured of the problematic whine once and for all.
A chat to Nissan confirmed that the steering whine is an issue they’ve seen before, so it’s worth doing a couple of full-lock turns while stationary on your test drive. If you hear it, have it sorted before handing over any cash.