A decade has passed since the first Nissan Qashqai went on sale in a move that marked the start of the crossover boom.

Back in 2007, Nissan pioneered the crossover concept, which combines the practicality and safety of an SUV with the dynamic performance, efficiency and manageable size of a hatchback.

But there are now so many rivals trying to muscle in on the lucrative crossover marketplace, with the stiffest competition provided by the new Seat Ateca and Peugeot 3008.

So Nissan has the ever-more difficult challenge of keeping its Qashqai at or near the top of the class it created.

The 2017 version is more refined than the vehicle that arrived on the scene 10 years ago and, crucially, it continues to do everything to a level that is practical and easy to live with, offering the SUV feel without SUV drawbacks.

It’s a model that gets most things right, from the simplicity of its interior right through to the way it drives.

In terms of roominess, it fits the family formula perfectly, offering a great feeling of space for five.

Indeed, there’s a great deal of room for the driver and front seat passenger, with those in the back also travelling in comfort.

The Qashqai has a simple, easy-to-use dashboard, designed around the driver, and Nissan has added a new steering wheel with updated multi-function controls for the infotainment system.

The infotainment system itself features a new look and extra options have been added, including a seven-speaker sound system.

The driving position is excellent, with the driver sitting in a lofty position with a commanding view of the road ahead and good all-round visibility.

There’s no shortage of stowage, which comes via a number of boxes and trays, four cupholders up front and a split-level boot, with an extra compartment at either side.

Meanwhile, higher spec variants such as the Tekna benefit from soft leather upholstery and a number of other high-end features to enhance the interior’s premium feel.

In terms of looks, the latest Qashqai sports a more aggressive and muscular front end, enhancing its already-pleasant appearance.

Under the bonnet is an efficient engine line-up of two petrol and two diesels, with the option of two or four-wheel-drive, and every powerplant uses a turbocharger to reduce capacity, emissions and fuel consumption.

The 1.6-litre diesel, tested here, is one of the front-wheel-drive variants that account for the lion’s share of sales.

And there’s no doubt that it’s both enjoyable and competent to drive, offering decent acceleration that’s sufficient for most situations, but the gearbox feels functional rather than sporty.

The handling and ride quality is also well-balanced, although the steering is a little on the light side and doesn’t always give a great deal of feedback.

Body control is reasonable, with the Qashqai never feeling wayward. In general, the smoothness of the ride feels more settled than its predecessor.

During a couple of long journeys, the Qashqai provided a comfortable companion, while fuel economy was also excellent, especially on the motorway. Indeed, this frugal version of the Qashqai returns official average fuel economy of 64.2mpg.

On the safety front, Nissan has improved some of the Qashqai’s systems. For example, its automatic emergency braking facility – badged as Intelligent Emergency Braking – now gets pedestrian detection. Other safety features include lane departure warning, high beam assist, and an anti-dazzle rear view mirror.

This vehicle, produced in the north of England at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant, remains a great all-rounder and an attractive option, performing all the functions for which it was originally designed in an even more assured manner.

Nissan Qashqai - LOWDOWN 
PRICE: £25,945 on the road for
N-Connecta spec, rising to
£28,045 for Tekna spec
ENGINE: 1.6-litre diesel
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 9.9
seconds and top speed 118mph
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
ECONOMY: Emissions of 116g/
km and fuel economy of 64.2mpg