Nissan Qashqai is ‘best used car’ image

Two British-built motors have been given glittering praise from one of the UK’s leading awards ceremonies for used cars.

The one walking away with the main award at the What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards 2011 was the Nissan Qashqai, the SUV built in Sunderland, which was voted the overall used car of the year; it also picked up the gong for best used small family car.

Meanwhile, the Jaguar XF – itself built in Birmingham – went on to grab the award for best used executive and luxury car, meaning that the UK was able to cater to both ends of the used market.

The awards highlighted how many people are looking for security from a great bargain, instead of taking a risk on depreciation after driving their new vehicle off the forecourt.

Judges at the magazine hailed the Nissan Qashqai’s styling, family-friendly cabin and price, while it also grabbed the attention of the panellists for its high safety values – it was the recipient of a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Low running costs and “reassuring dependability” also heaped additional praise onto the Japanese manufacturer’s offering.

Meanwhile, the Jaguar XF was congratulated for being a “seriously desirable and sophisticated car” that has also held its own against the fierce competition offered by German rivals at BMW, Porsche and VW.

Chas Hallett, What Car?’s editor-in-chief, said:

“The Jaguar XF’s combination of sharp, contemporary styling, build quality, refinement, sporting agility and equipment is a winning formula, especially in the second-hand market where a highly specified model can now be bought for less than £20,000.”

He continued: “All the teams involved in the production of both the Nissan Qashqai and the Jaguar XF should be really proud of their achievements. The quality of these cars was great when they were new, and three years later they make unbeatable-value used buys.”

Meanwhile, Ford also grabbed no fewer than three awards. Last year’s big winner, the Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Zetec 5-door, was once again voted the best used family car, while its smaller comrade – the Ford Fiesta 1.25i Style+ 5dr – was the best used supermini. The Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec, meanwhile, was the best used MPV.

Mr Hallett said of this trio: “Ford deserves a special mention because it is producing well-designed, well-built cars in many categories. Used Fords are going to be extremely popular with used buyers.”