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This is the new Nissan Qashqai and it can drive itself*

*Well, motorway cruises anyway. And it looks tougher!

Doesn’t seem five minutes since we had a new Nissan Qashqai, does it? Even the kickstarter of the whole crossover trend tends to melt into the background of tall hatches these days. So, Nissan’s freshened it up, adding angrier lights with look-round-corners ability, a bluffer ‘v-motion’ grille and two new colours. A shade of brown ambitiously titled ‘Caspian Bronze’, and this ‘Vivid Blue’.

No, none of that is a very big deal. However, if your nerdy streak does pick out one of these new Qashcows in traffic, keep a close eye, because chances are it’s driving itself.

Yup, Nissan’s plumbed ‘ProPilot’ into its crossover, which is a tedious name for self-driving tech that looks after steering, acceleration and braking in single-lane traffic. It’s intended for easing frustration on traffic choked motorways or aiding high-speed cruising, much like Audi’s traffic jam assist, and Nissan confidently says the upgrade “continues Nissan’s ongoing journey towards zero emissions and zero fatalities.”

Weirdly, Nissan’s tried to make the new Qashqai better to drive, despite the fact it’s going to get along just fine without a driver some of the time. Suspension and steering have been tweaked, and it’ll be quieter inside thanks to thicker rear glass and new soundproofing. Oh, and check out that GT-R-esque steering wheel inside. It’s not too late for a Nismo version, Nissan…

Back on the autonomous safety front, Nissan’s adding emergency brake-pedestrian recognition and an alert for reversing out of oblique parking spaces to the car’s fleet of driver aids. Basically, it’s proof that tech you see on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class always filters down to more regular cars – and that transition is occurring a heck of a lot quicker now the self-driving car idea is snowballing.

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