To put the new Nissan Qashqai to the ultimate test, we set out on a journey from the car's birthplace at Nissan's production facility in Sunderland to Istanbul, where Europe ends and Asia begins.
Picking the right Qashqai in which to travel 5400 miles in 13 days was an important task. Petrol or diesel? Manual or automatic? Front drive or all-wheel drive? And which gadgets to add? Decisions, decisions.
In the end we chose the 128bhp, 236lb ft 1.6 dCi turbodiesel engine, driving the front wheels only via a six-speed manual gearbox. We went for the biggest diesel on offer due to the amount of motorway cruising we’d be doing, and fancied as much torque as we could get in case the going got rough.
Equipping our car, OU63 ZBT, with winter tyres largely negated the need for all-wheel drive, given how unlikely it was we’d do any proper off-roading, and we’ve still got reservations over using a CVT auto for those kind of antics, making the slick manual option a no-brainer.
As for spec, the upper-mid-range Acenta Premium was chosen for its generous standard equipment; given the amount of miles we would cover, we wanted to sample as many of the new Qashqai’s toys as possible.
Included with Acenta Premium trim is everything from safety kit such as traffic-sign recognition and a lane departure warning system to new, pan-European satellite navigation. A few luxuries can also be found in our car, such as a panoramic roof, ambient interior lighting and leather trim for the steering wheel and gear knob.
We only chose one cost option: white pearlescent paint at £725. That brought the total price of our Qashqai to £24,720, which is some £7000 more than the entry-level model but still £3000 shy of the range-topper.