More reliable than a BMW, more popular than a Mercedes... the Nissan QASHQAI has become one of Germany's favourite cars.
A comprehensive study by the German Automobile Association (ADAC) has led to the Nissan QASHQAI joining the Porsche 911 and the Audi A5 on the popularity podium at the same time as becoming the country's preferred imported car.
As well as studying the statistics of more than two million breakdowns, the ADAC's annual 'Gelber Engel' (Yellow Angel) Award asks owners to rate how satisfied they are with both their car and the level of service received from dealers.
The results saw Nissan QASHQAI finishing higher in the rankings than cars like the BMW 3-Series, Porsche Boxster and Mercedes-Benz SLK. It received outstanding scores in both the reliability and the customer satisfaction elements of the survey to secure third place overall. It was the only non-German car in the top eight.
Nissan QASHQAI was designed and engineered largely in Europe by teams at Nissan Design Europe (NDE) and Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE). It is built in the UK by Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK).
"This important award shows why QASHQAI has become such a sales success across Europe," says Simon Thomas, Senior Vice President, Nissan Europe. "It recognises the brilliance of the design and acknowledges the exceptional build quality that is engineered into all cars built at our plant in Sunderland, UK.
"The Gelber Engel award is the quality benchmark for new and nearly new cars and we are delighted QASHQAI has been recognised in this way."
The ADAC survey is restricted to vehicles aged three years old or younger to exclude breakdowns caused by poor maintenance rather than inherent faults and embraces only vehicles with significant sales to ensure a realistic picture is achieved. For the 2011 award, some 150 models were investigated.
The results are published in the Association's magazine ADAC Motorwelt, which has a readership of more than 19 million. ADAC is the second largest automobile club in the world with 17.5 million members.
Nissan QASHQAI was launched in 2007 as an innovative and attractive alternative to the mainstream hatchbacks that dominated the European C segment.
The combination of SUV features and the qualities of a compact family car created a crossover which has appealed to buyers all over Europe. More than half a million examples have been sold to date with over 209,000 examples built at the Sunderland plant in 2010 alone. A major facelift in the spring of last year further enhanced the vehicle's quality and refinement.
ADAC Gelber Engel 2011
1: Porsche 911
2: Audi A5
3: Nissan QASHQAI
4: Porsche Boxster
5: BMW 1-Series
6: BMW 3-Series
7: Audi TT
8: Mercedes-Benz SLK