What is it?
It’s a Qashqai, the benchmark crossover, facelifted for 2010. Nissan have presumably concluded that the Qashqai wasn’t all that broken and opted not to fix it to any great degree, so updates are relatively minor.
What you get are exterior cosmetic changes and new colours, interior styling changes and, perhaps most significantly, under-the-skin tweaks aimed at reducing interior noise and enhancing the ride.
The version driven here is the two-wheel drive 1.5 dCi in upper-midrange n-tec trim, but all the 2010 updates apply across the whole Qashqai and Qashqai +2 range.
What’s it like?
Well, as we’ve established, it’s a Qashqai, and not hugely different from those we’ve driven before. On the outside a restyled front gives a fresher look and appears to draw some inspiration from the Infinti EX.
Minor interior changes include new dials, front footwell lighting and a new cubby hole, while improved insulation around the bulkhead, a new design windscreen and new window sealing around the A-pillar have resulted in a noticeable reduction in cabin noise.
Along with a marginally improved ride which feels firmer and more controlled while still allowing some off roader-esque body roll in corners, the overall impression is of a more refined and accomplished, if not ultimately all that rewarding, drive.
Should I buy one?
Quite possibly, yes. Nissan bills this year’s updates as ‘extensive’, but on the face of it there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot different. However, the changes add up to a more polished and desirable package than before.
If you’re sold on the idea of a high-rise driving position and chunkily purposeful exterior looks, then the improved Qashqai sits comfortably on the crossover leader board.