Nissan claims its new Qashqai+2 seven-seater will compete with a different set of rivals to its standard, and very successful, five-seat sibling launched in March 2007.

While the regular model aims at the Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, the +2 is gunning for mini-MPVs such as the Vauxhall Zafira or Renault Grand Scenic.

“The number one reason for rejecting the Qashqai is lack of space,” Nissan fleet boss James Douglas told BusinessCar. “The +2 is hugely important, it’s our major launch this year and solidifies Qashqai as a major fleet choice. It fills a hole between Qashqai and X-trail.”

The company hopes to shift 8500 units of the new model, compared with 25,000 of the five-seater.

Of the +2 range, only the diesel auto goes up a BIK band over the five-seater, despite the extra two seats or 90 litres of boot space in the back.

Prices for the +2 are expected to come in at £1800-£2000 over the standard model, although extra standard kit including roof bars, panoramic glass sunroof, 17-inch alloys and an auxiliary socket will be standard.

The Japanese company has confirmed that the bigger model will only be powered by the bigger 2.0-lite petrol and diesel engines. Yhe 1.5 diesel and 1.6 petrol are not deemed powerful enough considering the extra 120kg of weight.