It's not so easy to appreciate now, but when it first appeared back in 2007, this Nissan Qashqai was regarded as an 'extreme' example of a new trend in the car market.

At the time, car manufacturers were trying to find ways to be as flexible as possible with their models. Forced by the collapse of the traditional class structures to look at design in a whole new way, they found themselves being pushed, pulled and manipulated by their customers’ often opposing needs and desires, not to mention political pressure to produce cars with a foot in every camp.

The Qashqai was at the forefront of the class of vehicles that we now call crossovers; vehicles that meld a high-riding driving position with the dimensions of a family hatch and smidgen of rugged, ready-for-anything attitude.

There's a inherent danger of trying to be all things to all motorists. Then, as now, any car that could truly master all these arts would clearly be something to behold. But the looming spectre of the jack of all trades is equally visible and perhaps the more likely outcome for a car trying to spread itself so thinly into so many different disciplines.

Can it be that the Qashqai really is all these things to all those people? Or is it really neither one thing or the other?

Looking for a used Nissan Qashqai for sale? Visit PistonHeads Classifieds

Top 5 Compact Crossovers

  • Dacia Duster
    The Dacia Duster is aimed to appeal to buyers looking for a Qashqai, Yeti or 3008

    Dacia Duster

    1
  • The Yeti is a crossover that's available with both two- and four-wheel drive

    Skoda Yeti

    2
  • Renault Captur
    The Renault Captur enters a rapidly growing marketplace

    Renault Captur

    3
  • Suzuki Vitara

    4
  • The Vauxhall Mokka is based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Aveo

    Vauxhall Mokka

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    1 September 2015
    Kia has developed a better-mannered, more sophisticated Sportage for 2016
  • First Drive
    31 August 2015
    Thought the 3 Series was losing its edge? Well it's back, with a facelifted version that offers improved performance and dynamics. Does it reclaim its top spot after our drive on UK roads?
  • First Drive
    27 August 2015
    BMW gives its flagship 7 Series an extensive overhaul in a bid to tempt buyers of luxury cars away from the Mercedes S-Class, Audi's A8 and the Jaguar XJ
  • First Drive
    26 August 2015
    New Qashqai rival majors on practicality and usability and benefits from a long warranty, but lower-specification versions are the better bet
  • First Drive
    26 August 2015
    Go-faster Bentley Continental feels effortlessly quick despite its considerable weight