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The Nissan Qashqai has been crowned AutoExpress Car of the Past 30 Years.

Added: 08 August 2018

It's official: The Nissan Qashqai has been crowned AutoExpress Car of the Past 30 Years!

WE want something new, something different… especially when it comes to cars. Those were the words uttered by then-product boss Carlos Tavares as Nissan launched the original Qashqai to the unsuspecting public.

Here was a model that offered all the practicality of an MPV with a footprint the same as the contemporary Ford Focus, but the premium style of a 4x4. The Nissan Qashqai not so much tore up the rulebook, as sent it into oblivion. Replacing the Almera hatchback, the Qashqai ripped the SUV market wide open, creating a new segment – and we’ve not looked back since.

When Auto Express first drove the Qashqai in Issue 944, back in 2007, we said it offers “greater space than a regular hatchback, but [is] more comfortable and manoeuvrable than an SUV, the Qashqai really is the best of both worlds”.

A month later we tested it, and it beat the Volkswagen Golf, Kia Sportage and Dodge Caliber – a diverse group of models that underlines what a groundbreaking concept the Qashqai was. A decade on, the three millionth Qashqai has rolled off the line at the Sunderland factory. It’s the most successful model in Europe in Nissan history.

It’s not hard to understand why. It’s grown along with the market, but remains the yardstick by which all family-friendly SUVS are judged.

Today’s car, fresh from a recent facelift, offers a range of marketleading technology, such as the Pro pilot semi-autonomous tech, as well as punchy and efficient engines and handsome styling.

Matthew Weaver, European design director at Infiniti and Nissan, said: “The Qashqai is a pioneering design that created the crossover segment and has since transformed expectations of what a European family car should be.

“Combining the space and packaging efficiency of the traditional hatchback with the high driving position and premium looks of an SUV, it introduced fresh new thinking to the sector and captured the imagination of car buyers.

“Designed, engineered and built in the UK, Qashqai has been so influential that the crossover is now the most popular body type in Europe.”

Matthew Weaver European design director at Infiniti and Nissan

“The Qashqai is a pioneering design that created the crossover segment and has since transformed expectations of what a European family car should be” Matthew Weaver, European Design Director at Infinity and Nissan.