It’s fitting that the car that pioneered the sector should win BusinessCar’s inaugural Crossover of the Year prize, recognising the importance of a sector that is growing in both quantity of vehicles on offer and the number of registrations it attracts.

The Nissan Qashqai has been a massive success for the Japanese firm, and a British success too, as it’s built at the company’s plant in Sunderland. With a higher driving position, distinctive looks and a drive that surpasses expectations to be one of the better-handling cars in the sector despite the higher centre of gravity, Nissan has kept the Qashqai fresh with a series of updates, including the addition of the Qashqai+2 seven-seat version, new higher-spec version such as the N-tec trim and, most importantly, the addition of a 130hp 1.6-litre diesel engine that finally addressed the Qashqai’s only major weakness by getting the car down to an official 119g/km and 62.8mpg.

One of the top sellers into Motability, the Qashqai’s task in 2013 as Nissan moves towards the model’s replacement is to build sales into the core fleet and leasing business. But for now, Nissan can enjoy its successful model being crowned BusinessCar’s first ever Crossover of the Year.