Listen carefully and you might just hear the groaning of trophy cabinets back at Nissan HQ - that’s because the company has just picked up another three industry awards proving that when it comes to designing products oozing with customer desirability, Nissan knows how to hit the right spot.

QASHQAI, the innovative compact crossover, added to its tally of seven honours so far by grabbing Best Medium Family Car in the What Diesel Car Of The Year awards, beating off stiff competition from Ford’s Focus and Hyundai’s i30. And the same judging panel, which included a number of respected independent journalists among its ranks, chose the Navara, up against rivals such as the Mitsubishi L200 and Toyota Hilux, for the Best Pickup accolade.

“Nissan shook up the sector with the QASHQAI, proving that family transport need not be boring transport,” explains What Diesel magazine editor Ian Robertson, “while the Navara manages to perfectly balance the fine line between dependable workhorse and stylishness.”

That’s a view endorsed by Professional Van & Light Truck magazine which also voted Navara Best Pickup at its traditional Commercial Vehicle Show awards dinner.

“It’s a very competitive sector of the market and any pickup these days needs to be a compromise between a working truck and a leisure vehicle,” said PV&LT editor John Fife. “As a good, comfortable all-rounder, the Navara achieves that blend better than the competition. Its ride quality and passenger comfort are very good, yet it can still carry over a tonne in the back. We also very much like the 171 PS diesel engine and its effortless towing ability.”

The awards reflect burgeoning sales of both Nissan models. QASHQAI has been a huge success with over 25,000 units sold since launching in the UK just over a year ago, while in the Pickup market, the Navara continues to be the number one best seller, continuing its strong performance of 2007 in what is a very competitive marketplace.

The British-built QASHQAI’s strong, distinctive design sits between a traditional hatchback style and a more robust elevated SUV shape and appeals to customers looking for something different. That’s backed up by genuine driving enjoyment, great practicality and the option of four-wheel drive for those who want its added security. QASHQAI’s desirability will be strengthened still further when it is joined by QASHQAI+2, a new seven-seat version, in October.

Offering great versatility, the Navara King Cab and Double Cab models bridge the gap between SUV-like comfort and the functional attributes of an authentic pickup. Its tried and tested four-wheel drive system and practical load area have made it as much a favourite with the farming and construction industries as with those who use it solely for their leisure pursuits.

Published : 17/04/08 Author : Melanie Carter

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