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Our Cars: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi n-tec

19 June 2015: Final report: The Washington Weed couldn’t quite take root

The Details

Current mileage 9400
Claimed economy 74.3mpg
Actual economy 53.5mpg

Six months with the Qashqai has been at once utterly predictable and genuinely memorable. We knew how good it would be; we knew how effectively it would do the day-to-day grind; we knew it would be boring.

It was all those things. What we didn’t know was quite how flawless it would be. Fuel economy aside, that is. And a gammy door seal. And a gammy parking sensor. And a chronic lack of power. Apart from that, though...

But really, it was excellent. Spacious, comfortable, and always calming to drive – assuming you stayed firm in your decision not to try to overtake anything, ever – the Qashqai was near enough the perfect family car.

And that was, in many ways, its downfall. Firstly because it’s no secret it’s that good, so everybody’s got one and secondly because it’s so clinical in its excellence.

You know those songs that you hear in department stores, and even though you have no idea who sings them, you know every note and word because you’ve heard them a hundred times before in a hundred shops because they’re so perfectly uplifting and inoffensive? The Qashqai is like that. You can’t love it. You can’t be a fan. But you can really enjoy it then never think about it again. 

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                                                    So it's farewell to the Nissan Qashqai

That sounds harsh, I know, but it is disconcerting and weird that you can think a car is so brilliant then be so nonchalant about it. I believe - and not to put too fine a point on this - it’s because they’re all over the place. I recently heard someone describe them as “Washington weeds”, which, if you’re not familiar with the North East, alludes to the fact that the Sunderland plant is on the outskirts of the Washington district

But I can strongly recommend a Qashqai to anyone. Well, not anyone. Basically anyone with a couple of kids and no desire to stand out. It’s not pretty and it’s not original, but it just works. Every bit of it works. From the high-riding, safe-feeling driving position, to the actual safety rating (five-star Euro NCAP), to the near perfect ergonomics, to the intuitive navigation and media system that keeps your eyes on the road more of the time and less on the screen. The Qashqai is a surprisingly dynamic drive, too.

Would I buy one? No. But that’s because I’m a big show off. I like cars that stick out. Cars with imperfections, even, because a good imperfection or two makes a car loveable. The Qashqai hasn’t really got any. It’s the perfect pop song. I want grunge. 

« Earlier: Vast difference    

Updates
19 June 2015: Final report: The Washington Weed couldn’t quite take root
The Qashqai has gone, so it's time to look back at what impact it's made over the last six months...
A stint with a BMW hybrid supercar got Mark all worked up about how short the Qashqai is falling in the economy stakes.
An errant door seal demonstrates just how well built the functional Nissan Qashqai generally is.
Part two of last month's cliffhanger, in which a rogue hand car wash emporium tried to classify the Qashqai as an SUV.
When you're in the North East of England with a Qashqai, a football analogy is inevitable. Here it is...
A trip to the hand car wash place prompts us to question the very nature of our family hatchback.
Finally our parking sensor issue has been resolved, as is another of the Qashqai's frustrating quirks.
Bad cars don’t really exist any more. Bad in-car media systems still do. Luckily, the Qashqai responds well to being touched.
We have a bit of a problem with our Qashqai. The parking sensors keep screaming at us. And we don't like it....
Our Qashqai is marvellous family transport but it's not proving emotional. Which is a bit of a shame.
Mark may be advancing in years but he's having more than a few problems approaching 50 in his Nissan Qashqai.
Mark picks up the new Nissan Qashqai, making him feel right at home in his native North East.
 

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