The new Nissan Qashqai is the perfect family car, but without looking too much like one.

In fact, it is Nissan's most popular model. Longer, lower and wider than the previous model, it manages to adopt a sharper, sleek and poised stance while maintaining the crossover style and raised driving position.

There’s plenty of room to fit everyone inside comfortably, along with buggies and shopping bags fitting neatly into the large, square 439 litres boot.

There’s even a system in place to stop your shopping rolling around! I’ve lost count of the times in the past when I’ve heard worrying ‘clinks’ in the boot and feared for the safety of my bottles of wine. The reversing camera is also a must-have, as is DAB radio for me.

Rear seats drop completely flat, and level with the boot floor, which is removable to provide separate storage for items including the parcel shelf or to extend the boot space further.

There are four engines to choose from, two petrol and two diesel, with the option of two- or four-wheel-drive. There are also four trim grades - Visia (from £17,595); Acenta (from £19,145); Acenta Premium (from £20,995) and Tekna (from £23,145).

I drove the 1.5 direct injection diesel engine that is the cleanest and most fuel-efficient engine ever offered in a Qashqai. The sixth-generation 1.5-litre dCi unit is smoother, more efficient and more refined than the outgoing engine and offers greater in-gear flexibility thanks to a 20Nm increase in torque.

Major changes to the engine’s internals have helped to reduce wind and road noise and vibration and the Qashqai is possibly the quietest vehicle in this sector. The engine also features Nissan's automatic Start/Stop system, which ensures the engine restarts within half a second of the clutch being engaged.

Features include an auto-dimming interior mirror, front and rear parking sensors, Front Collision Avoidance, Traffic Signal Recognition, and Lane Departure Warning, all of which are available in the optional £450 Smart Vision Pack. Also included is Forward Emergency Braking, along with several other vital driver aids, while Intelligent Park Assist takes the stress out of urban manoeuvres.

A three-year, 60,000-mile warranty comes as standard, along with three years of roadside assistance.

Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi
On the road: £22,690
Top speed: 113mph
0-62mph: 11.9 seconds
Fuel: 74.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 99g/km