With over 1.5 million of the original model produced and sold across Europe since 2007, Nissan is confident that the second generation Qashqai will continue this rich vein of success. Even though there is a lot more competition around now with up to 14 different brands having ‘Crossover’ models on sale, the originator of the segment has once again upped-the-ante with the all-new version. Designed and built in England, it is best to say that the original Crossover has been re-invented. The Nissan design teams in the UK and Spain were keen to retain the first Qashqai’s appeal and drivability while making it even more desirable, efficient and economical.
All around the new Qashqai there is a more premium design feel about it, whether it’s from the higher quality materials used or high specifications supplied as standard. Sporting bolder styling, the new Qashqai is almost 50mm longer and a little wider and lower than before. It’s a bit lighter too! Greater passenger space and a bigger boot were two areas highlighted by customers that needed attention, and were duly obliged. In fact, there is now a variable boot floor system that can even store the parcel shelf when not in use. Clever!
Since the initial model arrived, the industry has moved on at space-age pace especially in terms of innovation and technology for the driver… and passengers. Driving the new Qashqai is enhanced by Nissan’s Safety Shield Systems such as Front Collision Avoidance, Driver Attention Support and Traffic Sign Recognition along with several other vital driver aids. Then there is Intelligent Park Assist that takes the stress out of getting into tight parking spots.
As before, front-wheel-drive (which will attract the majority of sales) and four-wheel-drive will be available as will the drivetrain options with some additions. Starting with the new 1.2 litre, 115 bhp turbo petrol, the diesel options consist of 1.5 litre 110 bhp and 1.6 litre 130 bhp units (all Euro 5s) mated to either 5/6 manuals or 6-speed auto transmissions. New colours have been added also to the list. On the 1.5 litre diesel, impressive low emission levels have been achieved, from only 99 g/km. Fuel consumption has been pulled down to 3.8 L/100 km according to Nissan’s estimation.
“The Nissan’s Qashqai is long established as the leader in the crossover market, with more than 20,000 sold in Ireland since 2007. It appeals to both C-segment drivers looking for additional style, technology and excitement as well as downsizing buyers seeking greater efficiency. The all-new Qashqai is set to enhance Nissan’s Crossover leadership position. With pricing starting at €24,495 – the all new Nissan Qashqai incredibly maintains its competitive positioning within its segment,” said Peter Dynan, Head of Product at Nissan Ireland at the press launch held at the Nissan Factory in Sunderland.
On the lengthy first drive around the heartland of the Yorkshire Dales, the new Qashqai performs and feels differently in many ways than the previous generation. A bit bigger but better all-round. Its quality build and high levels of specification will be appreciated by current owners and will attract newcomers to the brand with its styling and lower running costs.
The next edition of Fleet Car will feature a comprehensive review of the new Qashqai and how it’s made in Sunderland.