The new Nissan Qashqai has already impressed What Car? enough to be named the 2014 Car of the Year. It didn’t take long behind the wheel to discover that the Qashqai has what it takes as a tow car, too.

Stability at speed is excellent. We found the Qashqai towed straight and true up to 70mph in still air, with only slight steering corrections needed in crosswinds.

The Qashqai goes and stops well, too. The 1.6-litre engine is strong enough to pull car and caravan from 30-60mph in 14.6 seconds, so the Nissan will have no trouble pulling up to motorway speeds. The emergency stop from 30mph took 10.5m in dry conditions, and the brakes were easy to apply smoothly in regular towing.

Hill starts are usually easier when a car is fitted with an electronic parking brake, and that proved to be the case with the Qashqai. One flick of the switch and car and caravan held still on the 1-in-6 slope, and with 236lb ft of torque the hard work of pulling to the top of the slope didn’t seem too hard at all. Our drivers did notice some smell from the clutch after reversing uphill, though.

As an everyday car, the Qashqai offers a smooth, comfortable ride, especially at high speeds. The cabin is quiet, except for some noise from the engine when accelerating. There’s also plenty of space and a quality of finish that is a significant step up compared with the old Qashqai.

If the handbook contained more info on towing and the car’s weight limits, the practicality score would have been higher. Our practicality team found space for all but one item of luggage in the 430-litre boot, and were impressed with the unusually high 100kg noseweight limit.

2018
Category Winners
2018 Up to 1400kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG

2018 1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive

2018 1550-1699kg

Peugeot 5008

2.0 BlueHDi EAT8 S&S GT

2018 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2018 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE

2018 Best Family SUV

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro

2018 Best Petrol Tow Car

Kia Stinger

2.0 T-GDi GT-Line

2018 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Volkswagen Polo

1.0 TSI 115PS SEL DSG

2018 Fuel Economy Award

Hyundai i30 Tourer

1.6 CRDi 110PS Premium

Previous Winners
2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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