The Qashqai's engine line-up features an entry-level 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.5-litre diesel and range-topping 1.6-litre diesel and petrol.
You may question the logic of fitting a seemingly large crossover with something as diminutive as a 1.2-litre petrol engine, but turbocharging and advances in engineering have permitted compact engines to produce substantial and reliable outputs.
Besides offering more power, the new 113bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol offers up substantially more torque than the old 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine. It's not fast – Nissan claims 11.3sec to 62mph – but it accelerates smoothly and with ease from a standstill.
The 1.2-litre engine most impresses on the motorway. Noise levels are low and its 140lb ft peak torque output allows for painless overtaking without having to shift gears.
The diesel engines are likely to be the prime movers for many, however. It takes a cold start on a frosty morning to elicit any hint of incivility from the 1.5-litre turbodiesel – and the slight clatter doesn’t last long. The rest of the time, this is a remarkably quiet, well mannered powerplant.
Our noise meter confirmed as much: 62dB of cabin noise at 50mph is impressive. You have to revisit luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW X5 to better the result. A Bentley Flying Spur is a decibel louder. It isn’t just that the engine is well isolated, either. The Qashqai’s cabin is equally well protected from wind and road noise. The other petrol - the turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol good for 160bhp and peak twist of 177lb ft, which is enough to propel the crossover 62mph from a standstill in 8.9sec and onto a top speed of 124mph.