Used Nissan Qashqai+2
Nissan is developing something of a habit for building cars that are hard to pigeon hole. The original Qashqai was just such a vehicle and it was a roaring success. Nissan noticed that most drivers of 4x4s never took their cars anywhere near any serious off road environments and seemed to buy the cars instead for their commanding driving position, space and looks. Some perhaps convinced themselves that the four wheel drive capability would be good in the snow and on the playing fields for school sports days but few ever went further than that. Nissan's mixologists then took a touch of hatchback, a little off roader and sprinkled it with some mini mpv. The Qashqai was born. The car managed to offer most of the urban benefits of a 4x4 without such drawback as poor fuel economy, the added expense of all the off-road gubbins and the hard ride. They also managed to avoid those disapproving stares from neighbours concerned about the traditional 4x4's planet eating tendencies. Small wonder then that when they saw another niche that could be incorporated, they went for it immediately. Enter the Qashqai +2 seven seater.
Bang for your buck
The seven seat Qashqai addresses a market that is looking for a big family car that might on the odd occasion need to transport more than five occupants in something that will not draw the ire of environmentalists and does not look like a minibus. It isn't simply a stretched Qashqai and everything behind the windscreen pillars is brand new. The wheelbase has been extended by 13cm and the overall length has been increased by 21cm. The roof has also been raised by 4cm to accommodate the passengers in that third row of seats. The cabin now feels airier due to larger side windows and tailgate window. What is now the middle row of seats can be moved forward or backward to adjust the balance of legroom between it and the rear seats and it also now reclines. That rear row of folding seats meanwhile is designed to accommodate children or adults smaller than 5'3" and can fold away or split easily. Outside, later Qashqai +2 models have a redesigned front end with suitably snarly grille and revised bonnet, bumper, headlights and wings. The rear end had to be content with a minor tweak and new LED lights.
The approved used Nissan Qashqai +2 for sale comes in the familiar Visia, Acenta, n-tec+ and Tekna trim levels. Depending on which one you go for you will get automatic lighting, automatic wipers, speed sensitive door locking, cruise control, darkened glass, electric windows, parking sensors, alloys and Nissan's Intelligent Key. The n-tec+ and Tekna models have the Nissan Connect system with Bluetooth connectivity, touch screen sat-nav, a colour reversing camera and CD with MP3.
What you'll pay
A 2009 used Nissan Qashqai +2 2.0 in Acenta trim and on a 58 plate with 31,000 miles on the clock will cost a shade under £9,000. At the other end of the spectrum, a 2012 62 reg 2.0dCi n-tec+ model with four wheel drive and just 4,500 miles will cost £24,000.
What to check
Look for damage caused by previous owners who have taken the Qashqai's modest 4x4 capabilities a little too seriously. That could include underside damage to exhaust, suspension and steering components. Also that far away rear end is difficult to judge when parking and might boast the odd war wound. Other than that the engines are robust and interiors are proving to be hard wearing so you should not expect too many problems.
A clutch assembly will come in at £195 and front brake pads are £45 with £40 for the rear set. An alternator is £250 and a radiator costs around £175.
How it drives
There is a wide choice of engines available with two diesels and two petrol units. The 2.0 litre n-tec+ variant will whisk you to 62mph in 10.5 seconds while its rather more sedate sibling, the 1.5 dCi Acenta takes 13.2 seconds. Top speeds are 120mph and 108mph respectively. Steering and suspension have been upgraded to cope with the extra 100kgs of weight compared to the standard car and overall the Nissan Qashqai +2 handles better than you might expect from a 7 seater as long as you keep to the tarmac.