I DO love a Qashqai. Always have.
For the simple reason Nissan understands what people want from a car.
But this new one is so good — I’ll go further, so well thought out — we’ve just crowned it The Sun Car of the Year 2021.
There is no better family car.
Big enough for all the usual family debris, small enough to thread down a busy road and to park at Tesco. It just fits your life. I’m going to use a cake analogy here. Qashqai has the right mix of ingredients: Strong, safe, sensibly priced from £24k and, dare I say it, stylish. For an SUV.
Some rivals look like a dog’s breakfast because they are so over-designed. This isn’t. This looks clean and fresh.
The jam in the middle is the cabin. And the hybrid petrol engines that don’t need a plug. But let’s concentrate on the posh interior.
Lots of soft-touch surfaces, tons of tech (head-up display, wifi, top-view camera) and the same luxuries as a Merc (like massaging seats).
Just as pleasing for parents, the rear doors open wider to 85 degrees, there’s more head and knee room in the back, and the reversible boot floor (one side carpet, one side wipe-clean plastic) is handy for filthy dogs and tip runs. The boot is bigger too.
Now for the cherry on top: Qashqai is designed, engineered and built in Britain. Which means it puts food on the table for thousands of families.
So, there you have it. The award-winning Nissan Qashqai. The original crossover and still the best. Well played, Nissan.
As you can see from the picture, other big winners include the BMW M3 (The Sun Legend Award). No explanation needed. The Ford Transit Custom Leader (Van of the Year). This base version is all you need. And the Fiat 500e (Small Car of the Year). We adore it, and it comes in two battery sizes to suit your needs.
Toyota’s rally-bred GR Yaris bagged two top prizes — Hot Hatch of the Year and Jeremy Clarkson’s Car of the Year.
Jenson Button is our Motoring Personality of the Year. Another legend. Lotus was named Manufacturer of the Year. Stunning new cars. Workforce doubled. The transformation under Geely will warm the heart of every true car fan. We also asked you to choose the winners for Value Car of the Year, Family Car of the Year and Electric Car of the Year. Thanks for getting involved.
There is no such thing as a bad new car these days. But if you want the creme de la creme, today’s column will point you in the right direction.
CLARKSON’S CAR OF THE YEAR: TOYOTA GR YARIS
JEZZA said: “This is a car that made me laugh out loud. I took it into my fields one morning and made a terrible mess, but I didn’t care because it was a riot.
This is one of the most enjoyable and thrilling cars I’ve ever driven. It’s like a puppy dog version of the Nissan GT-R and I adored it.”
MOTORING PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: JENSON BUTTON
JENSON said: “Wow. Thank you. I think it just means I’m really busy. I don’t know if it means I’m good at anything, I think it just means I’m really busy.
“But I’m loving life right now. I’m very busy with Extreme E, doing a lot of stuff with Lotus, doing a lot of stuff with Williams, but also the one thing I’m really passionate about is this car behind me, the Radford Type 62, and also Radford as a whole.
“There’s a bright future in front of us. We are bringing coach-building back. It’s exciting. These can be a one-off for anyone that wants one.
“Thank you guys. Have a great night and catch you soon.”