Our cars: Qashqai, Carens, i10 and Mazda 3
* We’re full of praise for Qashqai’s brilliant boot divider * The Carens’ bike rack is as easy to remove as it is to fit * i10 might be a city car, but the load space still impresses...
Every day, we take a look at a few of the cars that we are living with. Today, it's the turn of the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Carens, Hyundai i10 and Mazda 3.
If I were to tell my friends that the feature that gives me most pleasure in my long-term Qashqai is the boot, they’d think my motoring criteria had undergone a pretty massive shake up.
Forget the pleasures of accurate steering, eager throttle responses, or ferocious acceleration. You see the Qashqai has a boot that makes every supermarket trip a pleasure, and if, like me, your life consists of supermarket trips, you too would fall in love with this car.
Deep and wide, with 430 litres of available and easily accessed space, the Qashqai 's boot comes with a hidden compartment underneath its flat floor. Here you’ll find a good-sized space for storing odds and ends out of sight, or, even more usefully, the rear parcel shelf. Get rid of that and you can fold the rear seats flat to reveal an impressive 1585 litres of space - enough to transport even the most bulky of flat-pack items.
However, my new passion is really ignited by the lift-up dividers that act as the main boot floor. These can be erected, either front half or rear half, to divide up the boot, and provide a sturdy bookend to stop your shopping spilling over. For years, I’ve driven home surrounded by items of food rolling around the car’s interior, as unsecured bags fall over at the first sign of moderate braking or cornering. No longer. Wedge the bags in the divided up boot, and you can drive with abandon, without any spillage. Who wouldn’t love it?
By Mark Pearson
Read all of our updates on life with our Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi.
In the car park
Road tester Rory White discovers that the Kia Carens’ bike rack is just as easy to remove as it is to fit - perfect if parking space is at a premium.
Deputy consumer editor Matthew Burrow is impressed by the Hyundai i10’s load space, especially considering it’s one of the smallest cars you can buy.
Digital editor Nigel Donnelly puts more than 400 miles on our Mazda 3. He's got few complaints about the road manners, but wishes SE Nav spec included cruise control.