So, after 5378 miles, thirteen days and 20 countries, our trip around Europe in the new Nissan Qashqai came to a quiet end at Autocar's headquarters in Teddington, Middlesex.

I'm not entirely sure what happened to the welcoming party we'd been promised, although we'd originally planned to get back on Friday, so perhaps they'd got bored and given up.

Since Monday 17 February, our Qashqai has visited (deep breath)  France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Croatia (again), Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bulgaria (again), Romania, Hungary (again), Slovakia, Poland, Germany, a corner of the Netherlands and back through Belgium and France before taking the Eurotunnel back to England.

We've driven our diesel-powered crossover through snow, fog, lashing rain, drizzle and late-evening sunshine. We've encountered fast motorways, catastrophically broken village roads, mountains, city centres and twisty coastal roads, and the Qashqai has taken them all in its stride.

We haven't experienced any issues with the car (although when I parked it at home last night the alarm starting going off without warning – apologies for disturbing half of Hampshire) and it has been a comfortable companion.

As well as accommodating our luggage and all of snapper Stan's camera gear, our Qashqai also lugged around two spare wheels and all the safety kit you need to travel on the continent.

Rarely has that blend of raised driving position, spacious interior and compact dimensions been so useful as around the cramped streets of major cities such as Istanbul, Sofia and Budapest. I'd like a little more visibility out of the rear screen (I'm a stickler for such things), although perhaps I just have to accept that's what parking sensors and cameras are for on modern cars.

The last few days of our trip brought more and more concentrated driving and less chances to stop to explore the variety that the continent had to offer.

The final leg involved streaking across Germany from our overnight halt in Nuremberg. Early on we made a quick halt near Würzburg, in the wine-growing region near the River Main, for some photos. Then it was back on the main roads all the way to Calais.