The Qashqai has become a hugely important car to Nissan. Replacing it must have been a tough brief.

The company can be forgiven for hedging its bets with the styling, but it’s a shame that this new Qashqai fails to stand out from the crossover crowd as a segment-defining car should. It’s also a shame that it isn’t more characterful to drive. Even the latest round of updates don't lift the Qashqai out of the realms of ordinary, despite improving the looks, quality and refinement.

The Qashqai once ruled the crossover class by a distance, but the gap has closed in recent years

But our reservations end there – and ultimately fade into the background. We have nothing but respect for Nissan’s achievement in elevating this car into a class of its own, chiefly on economy, refinement and ease of use.

On top of that, the Qashqai has the kind of dynamic breadth of ability that will make it easy to adopt for those new to a crossover and will be greatly appreciated by those trading out of less well mannered soft-roaders.

That broad-battedness will be key if the car is to continue to grow in prominence. It certainly deserves to.

Rivals such as the Skoda Yeti have much to offer, but fail to match the Qashqai's all-round competitiveness and appeal. It is a phenomenonally good car in its class, but it has been ultimately eclipsed by the new kid on the block in the shape of the Seat Ateca, and is also threatened by the Skoda Kodiaq and the revamped Mazda CX-5.

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