Nissan's off-road expansion continues to gather pace. Just as our urban environments are filling with Pathfinders, Muranos and Navara pick-ups, the smallest 4x4 in Nissan's range is waiting to mop up all of those buyers who can't quite stretch to an X-Trail.
Our scoop shots show the new Qashqai - the seventh 4x4 in the Nissan range alongside Terrano, Patrol and the aforementioned X-Trail, Pathfinder, Murano and Navara - on test in Germany wearing a cut and shut X-Trail body.
Previewed as a concept at the 2004 Geneva motor show, the Qashqai is said by insiders to blend the qualities of a small off-roader, a midi-MPV and a conventional hatchback - like a miniature version of the Murano.
Arriving in the UK late next year, the car is likely to be built at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland alongside the new mini-MPV Tone due to be shown in Frankfurt next month. The trend towards niche products at the expense of sales in the more traditional five-door hatchback sector means Nissan may not build a hatchback successor to the Almera at all, instead filling the gap with the Qashqai and Tone.