While the majority of the automakers in Europe battled hard with their C-segment hatchbacks, Nissan offered the Qashqai compact crossover almost 15 years ago. Thanks to its great success by offering more, Nissan has just introduced the third-generation Qashqai.
Named after the mountainous tribe from Iran, the Qashqai one of the best-selling compact crossovers in both Europe and the UK. Nissan says there are over 3 million units of Qashqai sold since its introduction in 2007.
Similar to its two predecessors, the Qashqai continues to be a European-centric product with the latest being designed in London catering to the European taste and preference.
The exterior design of the new Qashqai continues to have key themes of modern Nissans with design elements such as the large V-Motion grille, floating roof and “boomerang” lamp signature. The new Qashqai still maintains its compact footprint, with just a 20-millimetre increase to its wheelbase.
The headlamps now feature full-LED matrix with intelligent selective illumination. A trim piece in body colour (marked with Qashqai naming) creates a separation between the DRL-boomerang signature and the main lighting cluster that consist of 12 individual elements.
Nissan said they have increased the wheel sizing to 20 inches to fill the arches and further contribute to the robustness of the Qashqai on the road. Variants with 20-inch wheels also get the more advanced multi-link rear suspension.
Aluminium panels are used on the doors, fenders and the bonnet which contribute to a reduction of 21 kg in weight. The tailgate meanwhile is made from composite material which shaves 2.6 kg.
Thanks to construction with the CMF-C platform that utilises advanced stamping and welding techniques, the overall “body in white” is lighter by 60 kg and 41% stiffer than the outgoing model.
Under the bonnet lies a revised 1.3-litre turbocharged engine with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system and a lithium-ion battery. Drivers who like to row their own gears (6-speed) will get to choose outputs of either 140 hp or 158 hp.
The Xtronic CVT is only paired with the engine that has outputs of 158 hp and 270 Nm of torque, and comes with either 2WD and AWD drivetrain.
The new Qashqai will also be the first Nissan in Europe to feature the e-Power series hybrid system. A new variable compression 1.5-litre engine will function as a battery generator/charger, with drive to the front wheels via a 190 hp / 330 Nm electric motor.
This setup is the latest and more powerful the e-Power system available in Thailand-made Nissan Kicks.
Inside, the driver is met with a high-definition 12.3-inch TFT multi-information screen with customisable content and layouts. The driver is further aided by a head-up display (HUD) with a viewing size of 10.8 inches.
A free-standing touchscreen infotainment display measuring 9 inches opens the controls for the massage feature in the front seats.
Home-to-Car skills are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices. The system supports a wide range of commands, including the ability for drivers to send destinations to the car’s navigation by talking to their smart device, minimising the time required to input the destination.
Nissan says the increase in wheelbase contributed to better knee room for the rear passengers. Front and rear headroom has also increased thanks to small increase in exterior dimensions.
Similar to the new Nissan Rogue/X-Trail in North America, the new Qashqai is equipped with Nissan latest ProPILOT Assist system.
The updated system is now able to adapt the car’s speed according to additional external circumstances- the system can read road signs and take into account navigation system speed limit data to slow the Qashqai to the appropriate speed, meaning the driver doesn’t need to adjust the cruise control speed manually.
The system can also use data from the navigation system to adjust the speed for approaching curves or exit ramps that have a tighter radius.
Furthermore, ProPILOT with Navi-link can now communicate with the Qashqai’s blind-spot radars to help intervene with a steering input correction to help prevent a lane-change manoeuvre if there is a vehicle in the blind-spot zone.
Similar to many new vehicles being launched recently, the new Qashqai is also equipped with a central airbag for the front occupants. Deployed from the inboard of the driver’s seat, the large airbag inflates to prevent the driver and front passenger from making side-to-side contact.
The new Qashqai will be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK with sales to commence in summer of 2021.