IT’S not every day I get to drive a ground-breaking motor. But millions of people worldwide certainly do – when they get behind the wheel of their Nissan Qashqai.

The Japanese company can be credited with creating a genre of car when it was launched in 2007. Customers headed for the Nissan showrooms in ever-increasing numbers, and other manufacturers followed suit with their own SUV-crossovers.

The demand for this type of family car shows no sign of abating and with a winning blend of space, comfort, practicality, style and pleasing driving characteristics, topped by the desirable slightly-elevated driving position, you can see why this is an automotive trend that continues to grow in popularity.

Features on the Weekend Wheels Tekna+ model included heated automatic folding door mirrors with reverse-link, auto-wipers, front, rear and side view cameras, cruise control and speed limiter, electric speed-sensitive power steering, LED headlights with adaptive system and automatic levelling, automatic dual-zone climate control, glass roof pack (panoramic sunroof with one-touch shade) as an optional extra, posh satnav, premium audio system, rear privacy glass, leather trim, heated front seats, rear privacy glass and heated windscreen. On the safety front you will find the likes of chassis control, electronic stability programme and ‘safety shield plus’ – intelligent driver alert, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and moving object detection. A ‘smart vision pack’ gives you features including traffic sign recognition, high-beam assist, lane-departure warning, intelligent emergency-braking and tyre-pressure monitoring system.

The on-the-road experience is satisfying, with smooth ride, composed handling and a handy turn of pace. The electrically-assisted steering is direct and positive in feel.

Exterior style is enhanced by 19in diamond-cut alloy wheels, rear diffuser, gloss silver mirror caps and roof rails.

The cabin is no less stylish, including carbon-effect dashboard trim, interior ambient lighting and D-shaped steering wheel. Comfort is catered for with electrically-adjustable front seats.

With a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the car clocks up 0 to 62mph in 11.9 seconds and tops out at 113mph while returning 74mpg on the combined cycle (manufacturer’s figures).

Price: £30,350 OTR (inc options)