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?

 

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Honda Civic
    Car review
    21 April 2017
    Honda’s 10th-generation Civic hatchback goes global — but is that good news?
  • Toyota Prius Plug-in
    First Drive
    21 April 2017
    Second-generation Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid gets a bigger battery with new 39-mile electric range, more tech and styling updates, but it's expensive
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 EcoTSI 150 DSG
    First Drive
    20 April 2017
    Addition of DSG automatic gearbox in this top-spec model doesn't show the Ateca small SUV in its best light
  • Isuzu D-Max Blade
    First Drive
    20 April 2017
    Isuzu treats its rough-and-ready D-Max pick-up truck to a new engine, revised looks, better hauling ability and more equipment
  • MG ZS
    First Drive
    19 April 2017
    We drive MG’s upcoming Ford Ecosport rival in China-spec; good looks and a smart interior bode well for the UK version