Since its debut in 2007, the Qashqai has been one of Nissan’s cash cows in Europe. With the second-generation model starting to show its age, the Japanese carmaker felt it was time to unveil an all-new version. That time is now.
Part of the automaker’s “Nissan NEXT” transformation plan, the Qashqai rides on the Alliance CMF-C platform. Making use of lightweight materials, advanced stamping processes and new welding techniques, the new crossover is 60kg lighter and 41% stronger compared to the one it replaces. All of these offer improved ride comfort and overall driving feel.
The third-generation Qashqai features a front clip that borrows a lot of styling cures from the Ariya electric crossover. The prominent V-motion grille is flanked by stylish daytime running lights and LED headlamps, while a pair of small LED fog lamps can be found on either side of the bumper. Character lines run through the sides giving it an edgy, swept-back look. Out of the available 11 finishes, five are two-tone. Plastic fender claddings adorn the wheel arches that can house 20-inch alloys, depending on spec. Boomerang-shaped taillamps bookend the simple yet gorgeous rear end.
Hop on and you’ll find an abundance of premium materials and a handful of screens with varying uses and sizes. Replacing traditional analog gauges is a high-definition 12.3-inch TFT screen where navigation, entertainment, traffic and vehicle information can be found. Too bad you won’t be looking at it too much as a 10.8-inch heads-up display projects most of the information you’ll need on the windscreen. Finally, the nine-inch NissanConnect infotainment system has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Altogether, these make the Qashqai’s interior stylish, comfortable and practical.
At launch, the Qashqai will be offered with a 12V mild-hybrid powertrain that uses a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine paired with an electric motor. The latter provides added pulling power and can capture kinetic energy during deceleration for better fuel economy and lesser emissions. Soon, Nissan will start putting its innovative e-Power drive system into the Qashqai, making use of the world’s first variable-compression-ratio gasoline engine as the electric motor’s main source of juice.
The new Nissan Qashqai is indeed leaps and bounds better than the model it retires. Too bad we won’t get our hands on one anytime soon. Unless, of course, someone can convince Nissan Philippines to bring this smart and funky crossover to our market.