It doesn’t help that the best engine for towing – the 1.6 diesel – is one of the car’s weakest links. It’s neither as efficient nor as refined as the smaller 1.5.
What’s more, on the big 19-inch wheels fitted to our Tekna+ test car ride comfort suffers, and the price tag of just under £31,000 is on the steep side when there are heavier and more powerful rivals available for similar money.
However, judged as a tow car the Qashqai still holds its own. In the lane-change test the car stayed under control at all speeds, helped by interventions from the stability control system. At high speeds the Qashqai tracks straight and true.
Performance was reasonable, taking 15 seconds to go from 30-60mph. However, the engine has noticeably less mid-range torque than the 2.0-litre engine in the Skoda Superb.
The electronic parking brake held car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 slope used for our hill-start test, and so long as the driver took care to balance the clutch and throttle the Qashqai pulled to the top of the climb without fuss.
Our practicality testers couldn’t find space for a full luggage load. However, the Nissan won back some marks for its 12V socket in the boot and the useful reversing camera – a definite plus when hitching up.