60: Nissan Qashqai – best-selling contender surprisingly engaging to drive

Top cars for 2019: This year it got a new 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine and (at last) an improved infotainment system

The Qashqai has been vying with the Hyundai Tucson all through 2018 to see who’s going to be Ireland’s best-seller by the end of the year

The Qashqai has been vying with the Hyundai Tucson all through 2018 to see who’s going to be Ireland’s best-seller by the end of the year

 

The Qashqai has been vying with the Hyundai Tucson all through 2018 to see who’s going to be Ireland’s best-seller by the end of the year, and Nissan keeps rolling out the updates in order to keep the Qashqai factory-fresh.

Last year it was styling and cabin update; this year it’s new 1.3-litre turbo petrol engines and (at last) an improved infotainment system. Enough to keep the Qashqai competitive? Yes, but it has slipped from its previous perch.

While it’s surprisingly engaging to drive, and certainly well-built, the sad fact is that in spite of the SUV-style body it remains compromised for interior and boot space.

Even though it’s been upgraded, the cabin is a little behind the benchmark, aside from the excellent front seats. Most family buyers would actually be far better off with a good compact estate, but the Qashqai benefits from SUV buyers not being able to see the wood for the trees.

Best model: Qashqai SV Premium 1.5 dCi for €32,070

Price range: €26,370 to €39,340. Finance from €256 per month.

Co2 emissions: 99 to 134g/km

Sum up: Family favourite, but should it be?