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qash is king




quashqai inside

quashqai inside

opel adam rocks

opel adam rocks



THERE'S a new Nissan Qashqai which, say the ads, is better than the old one.

According to the man in the radio advert, the Nissan Qashqai is the second-best car on the road, with the witty punchline being that the second generation is the best.

Yes, it's all rather hilarious and gets across the point that the best and second-best cars on the road are the Qashqai (does anyone know what the plural is?).

I have no problem with this style of the advertising campaign, because the Nissan Qashqai has undoubtedly been the car of the last 10 years.

Nissan has sold gazillions of the things; they're everywhere, the urban housewife's favourite, a massively efficient 1.5- litre engine and they look fantastic.

My own dear wife bought the rarer, bigger version, the +2, and she absolutely loves it despite ongoing problems with the diesel engine, a beast of a car to run and, most recently, with the handle of the boot falling off.

That said, she won't part with it and won't hear a bad word said about it - especially from me.

From what I can gather, there are no such problems with first-generation 1.5 litre engine models.

Perhaps tellingly, this time around Nissan has decided not to bring out a +2 version of the car. Is that an admission of defeat or simply a concentration on the popular?

All concerns about a prehistoric, now non-commissioned version of the car aside, my week with the second generation was a joy.

This is a car that not only looks pretty stunning, but it drives with such pace and surge that you really have to remind yourself that this is a 1.5 litre.

On-board there's plenty of room in the back for three highly-opinionated kids and the comfort and driving position up front is significant.

Fans of the Qashqai have a number of models to choose from - a 1.2 petrol entry model, a 1.5 diesel and 1.6 litre diesel, including a 4x4 model.

Looking at the engine line-up and specs, it seems bizarre that the two diesels would be separated by a mere 100cc.

The 1.5 litre is the most frugal, boasting 74 mpg (3.8 litres/100km Nissan stats), but the 1.6 litre available with automatic transmission and 4X4 and the entry level 1.2 petrol are not so efficient.

Opting for the 1.5 litre oil-burner also means sub-100 CO2s and at 99g/km the road tax is only €180 a year.

One little gripe would have to be the boot. Size-wise, it doesn't match the larger-looking dimensions of the car.

That said, it will swallow 439 litres of luggage and the adjustable boot panels should make life on the shopping run a little easier.

The rear seats also fold flat should one feel the need to visit IKEA of a bank holiday weekend.

The new generation comes with a number of highly-innovative technologies, including safety shield which is traffic sign recognition tech, high-beam assist and lane departure warning, with front and rear parking sensors and rear-view camera.

But the one big question mark still hangs over the new model - especially with the absence of the two smaller seats for families.

The Nissan Qashqai starts at €24,495.

The new generation Opel Corsa and the three-door ADAM are to welcome a new addition to their family. From summer 2015, the five-door Karl will join the supermini line up.