Nissan Qashqai long-term test: report 4

The Nissan Qashqai is one of the best-selling family SUVs, but is its popularity deserved? We're living with one to find out...

Nissan Qashqai 2022 long-term wipers

The car Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta DIG-T MH 158 XTronic Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

Why it’s here To see if one of Britain's most popular family SUVs can cut it as an all-weather, all-purpose workhorse 

Needs to Carry heavy, bulky equipment all over the country while being comfy, safe and economical

Mileage 5180 List price £32,595 Target Price £30,760 Price as tested £33,050 Test economy 41.3mpg Official economy 44.3mpg 

14 April 2022 – Surprise and delight

My Nissan Qashqai has put me in mind of the process of getting to know somebody, during which discovering their characterful quirks can turn an acquaintance into a friend – and maybe even more. The little things they do, often involuntarily, that add to their personality; maybe an unusual accent, an unconventional sense of humour, or perhaps even the way they bob their head when walking. Things like that can stick in your mind and make somebody memorable.

Nissan Qashqai 2022 long-term fuel filler

It started the first time I used the Qashqai's windscreen washers, and I noticed that the screenwash came not from a nozzle but from the blades themselves, which makes sense because it means that every drop of the stuff goes just where you want it. No doubt many other cars have a similar arrangement, but it's a good one and it earned the Qashqai a brownie point when I found it.

In the same vein, when I first took the Qashqai to a petrol station, I found that the fuel filler doesn't have anything so old-fashioned as a cap to unscrew. Nope, you just open the door (a simple push on the trailing edge to unlatch it) and then you thrust the fuelling nozzle in through a kind of one-way valve. Withdraw the nozzle and the filler seals itself neatly and cleanly, leaving you with no need to put your hands anywhere near the smelly stuff. It's brilliantly simple. Again, the Qashqai isn't alone in providing this feature, the rival Ford Kuga has a similar set-up, for example, but it's another instance where it's clear that thought has been put into making things work.

Nissan Qashqai 2022 long-term wide doors

More recently, I had cause to give my sister a lift to the airport when she was on her way to visit her kids in Perth, Australia. She wasn't travelling light, and because the Qashqai's boot was packed solid with my camera gear, her luggage had to travel on the back seat. It was when dealing with this hefty consignment of air-freight, including one particularly gargantuan case, that I discovered another trick up the Qashqai's sleeve; while its rear doors default to the same 60-degree or so opening as you'll find in most cars, you can push them through that detent and open them to a full right angle with the side of the car. 

Noticing that feature has proven something of a game-changer. I can load the most cumbersome of objects into the rear seats with gay abandon, and some of the most cumbersome objects I know of are the guys I take to football practice on a regular basis. Well, they're my mates, really, and no doubt they like me a little bit more since I've had a car they can all get into easily. And, even at much more than six feet tall, a pair of them fit into the back just fine – although a third is pushing things a bit. There is a bugbear, though; once in, they seem to struggle to find the seat belt buckles, which they're invariably sitting on. For some reason finding it seems to fox them more in the Qashqai than in other cars I've forced them into.

Nissan Qashqai 2022 long-term rear seats

But hey, not all quirks are positive. Having a few flaws makes you that bit more human – even if you're a car.

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