A history lesson…
Nissan launched the hard to spell Qashqai in 2007 and it came with a bold statement: "There's change in the air Thanks to the Nissan Qashqai, something different has arrived. You need never drive a boring car again." Big words, right? Well, after a few years we can now see if they were right… and, rather annoyingly, they were. Nissan didn’t re-invent the wheel with the Qashqai but what they did do was create another niche vehicle that spawned a new sector in the market.
The Qashqai is now the class-leading car and continues to do very well on the sales figures. It’s testament to Nissan’s bravery and ability to create a car we thought we’d never need. It’s basically an MPV designed for the city streets; a car that isn’t too big but isn’t too much. Clever, eh?
The QQ – short for Qashqai – appeals to almost everyone, as it’s got plenty of space, loads of practicality and yet still looks kind of funky and ‘out-there’.
Bang for your buck
Most Qashqai models car capable of 0-62mph in less than ten seconds, so they can be quite fun cars to drive. The whole point of the QQ is that streetwise, urban-proof durability, so you get bags of easy-to-use tech and a well-made and solid body-shell.
Like all modern cars, the QQ gets airbags, air-con, climate control, ESP and power-steering, so you can ride in style and without sweating during those summer months. Nissan never scrimps on kit, and the QQ is no different.
What you’ll pay
Prices start at £9,750 for a 1.6-litre front-wheel drive QashqaiVisia on an 07 plate. There’s plenty of QQs about, so don’t be scared to look through the best specs and bag yourself a good one. 07 versions will go for a lot less than 2010 versions thanks to the face-lift Nissan gave the car during that period.
What to check
The QQs are usually used by families; as a result kids will probably have been in the back, so check the quality of the seats and basic condition inside. Remember, kids can be pretty brutal, so you’re better checking than regretting it later.
A clutch assembly will be around £195 and front brake pads are around £45, while an alternator will be around £250 and a radiator around £175.
How it drives
Very well. The QQ is a great driver’s car, despite its size and large body. It’s far from a Ferrari 458, but for such a bulky car it really does handle well. It’s quite nimble, relatively agile and soft, so those city streets are taken with ease. It also has really practical rear-seating, meaning you can swap the seat layout about to accommodate the kids or luggage.
It’ll out-handle any of its rivals, and with it being a Nissan, you know it’s going to be reliable, too. Really, it’s the perfect car for modern Britain, as none of us really want a big MPV, and the QQ just makes everything easier.
2007 models are now becoming very cheap indeed, and it would be hard to recommend anything other than a QQ for this segment of the market.