Aside from run-of-the-mill journeys such as supermarket visits and tip trips, our long-term Nissan Qashqai has had two main duties to perform recently – with each of the tasks putting the car to the test in different ways.
The first came at the end of November. Three work colleagues and I headed into London for a rather swanky awards do, involving a round trip of around 250 miles. Accompanying us was a veritable mountain of luggage, including posh frocks and suits in bulky protective covers – plus another (slightly smaller) mountain of sweets for the journey!
As the current custodian of OV71ULB, I did all the driving, which I can honestly say was a breeze. The Qashqai is such an easy and comfortable car to pilot, and to my way of thinking, it’s not surprising that it could turn out to be the UK’s best-selling new model for 2022.
Before commencing the journey proper, there were pick-up duties to perform, involving quite a lot of time spent in early-morning, school-run traffic; the avoidance of winter-time potholes; and the use of the Qashqai’s excellent sat nav system to locate the homes of my workmates.
Once everyone was on board and we were finally heading in the right direction, the trip went without a hitch – with the car proving to be an ideal motorway cruiser and equally adept at holding its own in the congested streets of the capital.
My two rear seat passengers were full of praise, too, for the amount of leg room they had and the general level of comfort they were enjoying. Colleagues and cases safely delivered, the awards night was a blast and we headed home tired but happy the following morning.
Fast forward three weeks and the other task that tested our Qashqai’s mettle was a rather wintry one. The cold snap in early December caught me off-guard and a previously arranged weekend family visit unexpectedly turned into a rather longer stay, thanks to full-on snowstorms and road closures left, right and centre.
Venturing out in the blizzard in the car was not a problem though. True, our Qashqai is two-wheel drive, not four-wheel – but it coped well in the slippery conditions (with its magnetic blue paint job helping it stand out too).
Its many safety and security features were incredibly reassuring, with visibility reduced to a few yards; road markings entirely covered by the white stuff and me wondering whether I’d be able to complete my journey owing to other drivers experiencing breakdowns, minor accidents and basically getting in the way.
Our Qashqai’s intelligent front emergency braking system features pedestrian, cyclist and junction assist – and its blind spot warning and blind spot intervention features are equally helpful.
So here we are, just a few days before Christmas, and more long journeys are on the horizon during that weird week between December 25 and New Year’s Day – but I have no doubt the car will continue to deliver.
After all, it has done so for the great British public for the past 15 years – and shows no sign of stopping. It’s great that a model that was launched in 2007 has been kept fresh and relevant for so long – and Nissan deserves credit for a job well done.
Model: Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta
Price (as tested): £31,235
Engine: 1.3 DIG-T
Max speed: 128mph
0-60mph: 9.3 seconds
MPG: 44.2 (combined)
Emissions: 144 g/km (combined)