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Nissan Qashqai+2: Test Drive

Date: 03 September 2008   |   Author:

Category: Mini-MPV
P11D: £22,434
Key rival: Vauxhall Zafira

Not content with shaking up the lower medium sector with its Qashqai, Nissan is now setting about doing the same to the mini-MPV market with its. Qashqai.

Well, the Qashqai+2 to be precise. The firm reckons people find MPVs practical but unsexy, so it's hoping to fill what it sees as a gap in the market.

The new seven-seat version is actually different in every body panel from the windscreen backwards. It's taller and has a longer wheelbase than its five-seat counterpart to accommodate a pair of "occasional" rear seats that will take passengers up to 1.6 metres tall.

Nissan fleet boss James Douglas recently said the biggest reason for customers rejecting the Qashqai is the lack of space, so extending the wheelbase has created an extra 90 litres of luggage room when the two rear seats are folded flat into the floor. The rear doors are also larger to ease entry into the third row. A one-touch tilt mechanism on the middle seats, which slide forward, also helps.

Headroom is the biggest problem at the back, with any adult taller than average having to crook their neck to get it. It's also difficult to squeeze three adults into the middle row, thanks to a smaller central seat. The boot, though, is a decent size and there are a number of clever touches such as the under-floor storage for the luggage cover when it's not in use.

In the most expensive 2.0-litre 150PS diesel four-wheel drive form, the Qashqai impresses...