Things have moved on in the crossover class, and the Nissan Qashqai no longer dominates its rivals in the way it once did.

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.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

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

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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