The second-generation Nissan Qashqai in a much more attractive package, more fuel-efficient engines and possibly better interiors was revealed by the Japanese automaker in London. The first-generation Qashqai was considered a perfect example of the crossover concept and has been the most-successful Nissan model till date.
Manufactured in Nissan’s Sunderland facility, the old Qashqai has seen few international markets and has sold around 1.5mn units in Europe since 2007 and 2mn units worldwide. So in order to set their cash registers ringing again, the Japanese automaker has brought in the new car.
The latest Qashqai is the first model to come out of Nissan’s CAF (Common Alliance Platform). In terms of styling they have gone for more dynamic and muscular feel. This new car is 20mm wider, 49mm longer and 15mm lower than the predecessor without compromising on headroom, which is up by 10mm. The body looks taut with bolder curves, more detailed lines, raised bonnet and 19-inch alloys with beefed-up wheel arches. The Nissan logo lies within the V-shaped engine grille. The front has LED lamps with daytime running lights. Nissan’s typical styling and design can be made out from the sweeping manner of the LEDs, which in particular lends it the daring stance. The rear too features the Nissan’s boomerang lights.
The cabin is very similar to that of other Nissan products like X-Trail and the Rogue and the change in the interiors is also visible distinctly. Top-spec models get leather and Alcantara trim to emphasise this premium feel, but the improvements extend to a greater use of soft-touch materials right down to the bottom of the range. The five-seat interior is also made more functional, with improved storage space and room for passengers, plus a bigger, more accessible boot. There is chrome linings on the steering wheel and the gearshift lever surround. Much lesser chrome is found around the air-conditioning vents and on the dashboard. Seats in the new Qashqai, Nissan says, offer better support thanks to design attention to the pelvis, lumbar and chest areas. Smaller changes include deeper bottle holders, electronic parking brake and cabin lighting that can be controlled or turned off. The Nissan Connect infotainment system comes with a seven-inch touchscreen and smartphone connectivity.
The All-New Nissan Qashqai has the option of four engines in total, two of them being petrol options and the other two being diesel. There is the 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol engine with stats of 113bhp and 190 Nm and the 1.6-litre DIG-T petrol that churns out 148bhp of peak power and 240 Nm of torque. The 1.5-litre dCi diesel that belts out 108bhp of peak power is touted as the most fuel-efficient of the whole range and the 1.6-litre dCi diesel produces 128bhp of peak power.
The Front-Wheel-Drive is a standard offering. The All-Wheel-drive option can only be harnessed from a 1.6-L dCi model. Same is the case with transmissions, with a six-speed stick shifter as standard but a CVT on the 1.6-L dCi only as an option. The All-wheel-drive models also get multi-link rear suspension, front-drivers get twist beam rear suspension. MacPherson struts are used for the front suspension.
The safety features include front collision avoidance, driver attention support, traffic sign recognition, intelligent park assist, automatic braking and moving object detection and active ride control system to boost comfort.
Pricing details are expected when the car goes on sale in February 2014. The new Qashqai may come to India but there is no official confirmation as yet. If that happens, Qashqai will be an elder sibling to Terrano and is expected to sit around the Rs 13-18 lakh price band. Ssangyong Rexton, Ford Endeavour as well as the Skoda Yeti will be its competitiors if launched here.