The first generation Nissan Qashqai was a platinum smash hit throughout its six-year lifecycle, and even remained one of the top 10 most sold cars in 2013 despite a sharp rise in competition.

So how does Nissan follow that? The second generation Qashqai had a tough act to follow, just ask David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, to carry on in the tyre tracks forged by its predecessor.

Three years on and the second gen Qashqai has remarkably continued the success of the original and managed to keep the burgeoning competition at bay, with none currently being able to hold a candle to it. Although the emergence of the Seat Ateca may change all that.

Ostensibly the Qashqai was a replacement for the Terrano, but that isn’t a particularly satisfying account of its success. The Qashqai wasn’t the first crossover, but it was among the first to tap into the concept from a mainstream, family-size and affordable standpoint.

That, in the UK at least, it also replaced the Primera and Almera in 2007 shows the extent to which Nissan had bet all its chips on a single hand. Almost seven years on, the gamble better resembles a masterstroke.

The stakes for its replacement are obviously high. But the omens are good. Like Volkswagen reworking its Golf or Ford fettling the Focus, it seems on paper as though little has been left to chance – or, indeed, dramatically changed.

Special feature: New Nissan Qashqai vs Europe - Autocar's 5000-mile road trip

Convincingly reworking your best-selling car is the secret of being a successful car maker, and if by the end of this review Nissan has managed it, the triumph is once again indebted to homegrown expertise.

Not only is the new Nissan Qashqai built in Sunderland, but it was also designed in London and largely engineered at Cranfield in Bedfordshire.

There are now five trim levels on offer, starting with the relatively well equipped Visia model, rising through Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna and the range-topping Black Edition.

There are two petrol engines a 1.2-litre, 113bhp four, then a 1.6-litre 148bhp four, plus two diesels, the familiar 109bhp 1.5-litre Nissan shares with Renault, and a 128bhp 1.6-litre unit.

All come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although the 1.6-litre diesel is also offered with the choice of a CVT or, alternatively, four-wheel drive in conjunction with the six-speed manual transmission.

Special feature: New Nissan Qashqai vs Europe - Autocar's 5000-mile road trip

To find out what our sister site, What Car? thought of the Qashqai, watch the video below.

First drives

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