The versatile movable boot floor is retained, now with a reversible wipe-clean side, while the door pockets are bigger and the handy cubbies more numerous. Perhaps best of all are the rear doors, which can now be opened up to 85deg – perfect for loading and unloading children. As a car for the rough-and-tumble of family life, the roomy Qashqai is up there with the thoroughly sensible Skoda Karoq.
Like its Czech rival, Nissan has attempted to take a step upmarket inside. Some scratchy plastics remain lower down in the cabin, but elsewhere it’s soft-touch materials as far as the fingers can feel. It’s perhaps not as boldly designed as the exterior, and while the larger 9.0in infotainment touchscreen is a doddle to use, its graphics still lag behind the best for clarity.
But overall the cabin is comfortable, well laid out and easy to use. The physical shortcut buttons and traditional rotary dials for the climate controls are particularly welcome in world increasingly populated by touchscreens, while the widescreen heads up display is brilliant in its clarity. No, it won’t have traditional premium brands or even Volkswagen quaking yet, but it’s a significant step up in quality over the old car, particularly on the outside, where you get consistently tight panel gaps and glossy paint finish.
Where the Qashqai really needs to make strides over its predecessor, however, is on the move, where cars like the Mazda CX-30 and Seat Ateca have shown the Nissan to be a little on the stodgy side. The reduction in weight should help, as should a new electric power steering system that’s mounted directly to a quicker rack.
Opt for the 20in wheels like our car and the torsion-beam rear suspension is ditched in favour of the same multi-link rear axle as the forthcoming four-wheel-drive machine. As before, MacPherson struts are used at the front.