No disrespect intended, but is naming a car after a desert dwelling nomadic tribe from South West Iran guaranteed to win sales in Europe?
Nissan obviously think and hope so, because that’s where the name for their quirky looking Qashqai comes from. But when I think Qashqai I now think Citroen. The reason being the seats remind me of a Xantia I had as a company car in the last millennium. A car with big, soft, comfy seats that were a delight to slip into after a hard day pounding a computer keyboard in the office. It had style, it was a brilliant towcar and it leaked vital fluid all over the place. But it was a decent car that did the job asked of it and it was always comfortable. The Qashqai? You get the feeling it too would be a loyal friend. It too is comfortable in a cosseting and relaxing way, and during its time in our hands it did what it had to without fault. The only blip in the relationship was a smell akin to Paula Radcliffe’s Reeboks appearing one night (at least what I imagine one of Paula Radcliffe’s Reeboks might smell like) which disappeared as quickly as it arrived. Air con whiff? I don’t know, but very glad it went.
Qashqai is kind of unique. It looks like a butch muscly off roader but it isn’t. Well, not in 2.0 litre 2WD form as sampled here, although there is a 4WD version which should cut the mustard. It’s dubbed a unique crossover concept which loosely translates to a passenger car top half mated to a strong and solid looking lower portion. So, the car shown on TV as a motorised skateboard with a difference is different. People who buy it are unlikely to conform to the norm, and Nissan predict customers for the car will be individuals with their own agendas, and 80 per cent of them will be buying a Nissan for the first time. They’ll appreciate the fact it’s all very neatly laid out inside, with loads of interior space which gives you a good driving position with plenty head, leg and shoulder room. Well done the chaps at Cranfield for that one. Throw in the optional panoramic glass roof (