A Bentley

Gliding effortlessly through the winding lanes of old England, with my true love next to me and a Fortnum and Mason hamper in the boot, I'd be the envy of all the respectful, hat doffing gentry that we swpt past. Sadly even www.toodear.co.uk would struggle to find me reasonable, let alone cheap, car insurance for it.

A 1930s sports car

A real head turner, this one! With my hair flying in the wind I'd roar round the track, astounding everyone with my skill and precise driving technique. Problem is, though, that it would likely break down every couple of miles and spares would have to be hand-made, and would cost me a fortune. Oh, and it'd be wet, cold and uncomfortable too.

A futustic supercar

This would go from 0-60 in a split second, run on tap water and drive itself if I stayed in the pub for too long. The onboard computer would keep the kids quiet for hours and the inbuilt wings would fly us over to the Bahamas in 15 minutes, just in time for Sunday lunch. Problem is, it hasn't been invented yet.

The Reality - my 2016 Nissan Qashqai

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My neighbours find the name funny, and when I went to order the dealer fell about laughing when I tried to pronounce it for the first time. There is certainly nothing funny about this car’s performance and features though. The interior is not just well-equipped but also finished superbly. I particularly like how the touchscreen interface works, giving high resolution graphics and simple access to Nissan Qashqai’s apps. OK, so I'm a geek.

While the 1.5-litre diesel engine isn’t particularly that quick, it gives me gutsy low revs, which is good enough for me. The six-speed manual gearbox has a nicely weighted, direct shift action. What I like is the excellent economy this car returns. The Qashqai achieves 74.3mpg combined making it quite cost-effective. I like the steering as it weights up reassuringly when I turn the wheel, confidently taking the corners. The Qashqai remains stable and settled, although some minor irregularities get filtered into the cabin. Largely, however, I like the sophisticated and mature feel with how it 2016 handles road humps and larger potholes.

I like the dashboard that is made of soft, dense materials in all open areas. All the switches and buttons operate with a reassuring solid action. Getting into my it poses no problems as it is quite comfortable. It is possible to adjust the seat to various settings, and I can also move the steering wheel in and out, up or down. Perhaps the only slight downside is that only the premium range-topping versions can allow the driver to adjust lumbar support.
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Two tall adults will be quite comfortable at the back for longer trips but three can fit for short journeys. With the rear seats intact, the boot of the Qashqai gives me an impressive storage space. I find the available space sufficient for my entire weekly shopping, space for family luggage and I can still throw in my set of golf clubs. When I lower the rear seats, the amount of space can even carry a sizeable piece of furniture!

Within the car, storage is rather limited. Besides a centre console small cubby located between the front seats back, there isn’t much space.

The storage area in front of the gearlever is also not of much help as a fair bit has been taken up by the equally useful 12V socket as well as the electronic parking brake switch. Nevertheless, the space will serve its intended purpose, so long as I don’t tag along too many titbits, which I can throw into the boot anyway.

Conclusion? Clever, good looking, roomy inside, great to drive, yet fully stocked with kit, my Nissan Qashqai 2016 is an impressive car, perhaps only lacking for petrol-engine economy and performance. Because of the elevated driving position, I get a pretty good view of what is ahead on the road. However, I take issue with the windscreen pillars which are quite thick, somehow limiting my field of vision. Even more substantial are the rear pillars, which together with a rather narrow rear window, gives me pretty poor over-the-shoulder visibility. The Nissan Qashqai is certainly not cheap to buy, but I think it’s possible to get a great resale value in the coming years for it is a good Nissan product.