The Nissan Qashqai may lay claim to being one of the pioneers of the crossover genre, but it has had some adversaries in the past decade in the form of the Korean duo of the Hyundai Tucson (formerly IX35) and Kia Sportage.

Both are respectable advocates in their own right and their new swanky garb may have slightly overshadowed the Japanese offering. However, the updated version of the Qashqai has, in my books, proven why it is revered as one of the forbears of this genre. I spent time at the wheel of the latest flagship 1.5 dCi Tekna variant and was impressed with the exemplary way it goes about things. Cosmetically, the model has been given updates to keep it fresh. These include a new grille, LED daytime running lights, privacy rear windows and stylish 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, an ergonomically designed steering wheel replaces the pre-facelift model’s cheaper-looking tiller. The infotainment screen is perhaps a fly in the ointment as it lags behind modern units fitted t...

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