At Nissan Ireland’s training academy Motorhub was given a one to one preview of the new Qashqai. The all new third generation SUV crossover invented the segment back in 2007. Since then it has sold over 50,000 cars in Ireland alone and over 3m in Europe. The latest Qashqai is built on the new Alliance platform (CMF-C). The bodywork is all new as is the five-seater’s interior, so let’s take a closer look.
A walk around a pre-production top grade model revealed a more sophisticated car that has a purposeful stance. A number of new and interesting styling and aerodynamic elements. You’ll like the little touches e.g. there is a small embossed Qashqai in the bodywork beside the new front lights or a bigger touch is the availability of not one but two contrasting roof colours – black or grey. The boot, grille and lights (LED headlights are standard) make up the car’s new face. The slim lights integrate beautifully with the painted bodywork to give an air of premium to its look. The flanks feature strong crease lines with a nicely worked C pillar area bringing your eyes towards the new rear end. The Qashqai name is spelt out in individual letters on a tailgate that is again full of good styling lines. In person I could see hints Jaguar and even Range Rover to the outside of the very popular Crossover SUV. The boot gains in size and a golf driver can easily fit in sideways. Nissan’s innovative split floor carries on (grade dependent) and a 12 volt socket is standard in the boot – perfect for electric cooler boxes. The auto opening boot’s leg kick’ functionality has been improved.
Access to the cabin is brilliant with really wide opening doors that are so valued by families with young kids still in child or baby seats and elderly users also with find it ultra easy to get in and out of the new Qashqai. The interior is bigger thanks to a longer wheelbase. You’ll notice most room in the rear while there is also lots of headroom even with our demo car’s huge sunroof in place. Up front the dash layout is simplified with rotary controls for the air con and enough digitalisation to keep tech nerds happy. The Nappa leather seats were really comfy and sumptuous. A new massaging seat function can be specified. Lots of safety aids feature with enhanced pedestrian and cyclists safety a highlight. The car’s standard auto emergency braking system works not only going forward but also in reverse. Parking sensors front and rear are standard across the range also. Other notable new toys include wireless charging and wireless Apple CarPlay. There is a driver’s head up display available and Home-to-Car features are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices.
The engine range is revised with a 1.3 DiG-T mild hybrid petrol (138hp man or 156hp auto) and a new ‘e-POWER’ petrol hybrid. Nissan’s new mild hybrid system uses a 12 volt and not 48 volt set up. The e-POWER model (187hp) uses its 1.5 litre petrol engine to power its battery pack, which in turn powers an electric motor that turns the wheels – so the petrol engine is simply a generator for the car’s battery. The Qashqai’s ‘e-Pedal’ will deliver a one-pedal driving experience similar to Nissan Leaf’s.
David Moss, Region Senior Vice President Research and Development, Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania (AMIEO): “The e-POWER system offers the best transition technology between ICE and EV, allowing users to enjoy exhilarating EV driving sensations and impressive efficiency at an affordable price point. We’re really looking forward to customers experiencing the thrill of new Qashqai’s superior electrified driving performance – it’s a perfect expression of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.”
“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.
The new Nissan Qashqai has taken a big step forward. It is due to land in showrooms in Ireland in time for the 212 registration plate. Front wheel drive and 4WD (all wheel drive) versions will be offered. Pricing has not been finalised and the order books are open.