Our cars: Qashqai, Mazda 3 and Outlander PHEV

Read the latest updates on the What Car? long-term test fleet. We reflect on our Qashqai’s all-round abilities, and the Mazda 3 is a noisy long distance companion...

Our cars: Qashqai, Mazda 3 and Outlander PHEV

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, Mazda 3 and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Nissan Qashqai

Whenever I’m asked what our Qashqai is like, I always reply in one word: competent.
It might not sound like an exciting word, but it’s not a word to be dismissed lightly. The majority of the cars we get to drive at What Car? might impress us in one or two areas, some in their economy maybe, some in their dynamics, but it’s rare for a car to display competence in nearly all the areas that matter – the Qashqai does.

Over the past few months we’ve taken for granted the build quality and the mechanical and electrical dependability. We’ve made good use of its practical interior, so able has it been at carrying passengers in reasonable comfort and adapting to varying luggage demands. Its frugality has been borne out for us by 40mpg figures around town, and more than 50mpg on longer runs. Its refinement and isolation from the road in the good-quality and well-equipped cabin is close to astonishing.

It’s proved so far to be a capable car on minor roads, major roads, difficult roads and carefree roads, and in a variety of different hands. Would I recommend it? Without hesitation. It has a breadth of ability that has earned the respect of all who’ve driven it. Yes, competent just about covers it.

By Mark Pearson

Read all of our updates on life with our Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi.

In the car park

Director of testing John McIlroy is impressed by the Mazda 3’s long-distance fuel economy – but he’s frustrated by the horrendous road noise.

Digital editor discovers that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a refined and roomy performer – even when transporting four people and a fully loaded boot.

Read more about our long-term test fleet.