The Nissan ‘Qashqai’ created a car class of its own when the Japanese firm took the underpinnings of a regular compact family car and plopped an SUV styled body on top. The result was a car that looked as chunky as a highly fashionable off road 4X4 SUV but without the high retail price and big running costs. When we tested the original SUV/Crossover we knew straight away Nissan had a hit on its hands. It took buyers slightly longer to embrace the Qashqai – first of all they had to learn how to pronounce it! But in no time, sales skyrocketed with over 3 million sales in Europe alone.
Conceived in 2002, developed in Europe and launched in Paris in 2006, it took the competition a good few years to catch on that Nissan had struck gold with Qashqai (aka Dualis/Rogue in other markets). Today as a direct result we have literally dozens of Qashqai-inspired ‘tame’ SUVs aka crossovers to choose from. Worryingly for Nissan the Qashqai has loads of brilliant rivals. The next generation ‘electrified’ Nissan Qashqai has been revealed today to the press at an online event and Motorhub attended.
The exterior is a smoother evolution of the outgoing model with a strong shoulder line – if it ain’t broke don’t break it! As you’d expect front and rear lights and body panels get a more modern look. 20-inch alloy wheels introduced to Qashqai for the first time. The Qashqai is built on a new platform that allows for electrification. The Qashqai features a longer wheelbase and this should increase ride comfort as well as it increases interior space. The fit and finish in the all new cabin has been upped. Nissan is using improved materials in the family favourite too. The Qashqai’s new platform has allowed more space to be found in the boot too – its now 504 litres. Rear access is improved with wider opening doors.
A new 10.8 inch head up display is available for the first time and every grade we are told will get intelligent cruise control. The next generation of Nissan’s ProPilot (assisted driving) features also. The new Qashqai is ‘connected’ and depending on the grade gets all the toys you’d expect – wireless apple CarPlay is even available. The new Qashqai has its own App and this allows for a good deal of interaction and home to car features.
Mild hybrid MHEV is at the heart of the 1.3 litre petrol engine that is also quite green. The new 1.3 DiG-T petrol engine also represents the European debut of e-POWER, Nissan’s innovative and award winning powertrain, that draws technologies from the company’s 100% electric Nissan LEAF. The 12V mild hybrid system available on new Qashqai is a more affordable hybrid technology that provides torque assist, extended idle stop, quick restart and coasting stop [Xtronic only], with improvements to both fuel economy and CO2 output (-4g/km). It’s mated to the refined 1.3 Dig-T petrol engine that was introduced to Qashqai in 2018. The 1.3-petrol engine will be offered with two power outputs – 138hp and 156hp – with either a 6-speed manual transmission, or new Xtronic gearbox (156hp only). Max engine power arrives at 5500rpm, with maximum available torque of 270Nm at a convenient 1750rpm on 156hp Xtronic and high power MT variants. On manual versions the gearbox has been enhanced for a quicker, more direct and sportier shift feeling. The new generation Xtronic transmission offers better fuel economy and acceleration feel thanks to improvements including a twin oil pump system with new electrical oil pump. 2WD is available on both 138hp and 156hp versions. 4WD will only be available on 156hp Xtronic models. A new 4WD control system and driving selection mode is more intuitive and intelligent, adapting itself to external conditions with five driving modes – Standard, ECO, Sport, Snow and Off-Road. In case of any wheel slip, the time which the 4WD system acts has been reduced by a factor of five to around 0.2 seconds.
The new Qashqai’s e-POWER system is a unique solution which Nissan says provides the enjoyment of driving electric without having to worry about range or charging. The unique element of the e-POWER is that the petrol engine is used solely to generate electricity, while the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor. The new Qashqai’s e-POWER system is comprised of a high-output battery and powertrain integrated with a category-leading variable compression ratio 154hp petrol engine, power generator, inverter and 140kW electric motor of similar size and power output to that found in Nissan’s electric vehicles. The e-POWER installation has been significantly upgraded for the new Qashqai in order to meet the demands of European consumers and their daily drive. The 1.5 litre petrol engine has a final power output of 140 kW (187hp). Similar to the electric Nissan LEAF, the new Qashqai e-POWER benefits from the entirely new ‘one-pedal’ driving experience called e-Pedal. Drivers can start, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal.
50,000 Irish motorists drive a Nissan Qashqai. The all-new Qashqai is a key part of the company’s strategy to achieve 50% electrified sales in Europe by 2024. “The new Nissan Qashqai combines the best of Nissan’s pioneering crossover and EV expertise. It allows new and existing Qashqai drivers to experience hybrid and electric driving without range or charging concerns in an unmistakably stylish crossover that continues to deliver everything they would expect from a family car,” said Seamus Morgan, Managing Director of Nissan Ireland.
Deliveries of the Sunderland built next generation Qashqai start this summer. A special ‘Premiere Edition’ launch version will be offered for a limited period.