It is immediately noticeable: the third generation Nissan Qashqai is much more beautiful in real life than in the press photos. At first you think it looks like its predecessor, but that idea disappears when you see the sharp folds, striking headlights and big 20-inch wheels in real life. The time when the Qashqai looked cuddly is definitely over.
A tough appearance is also badly needed, because being friendly does not win the crossover battle as a brand. Even if you are Nissan and you invented the segment yourself. That definitely helps, but the customer has a lot of choice and the competition is fierce. This is how Nissan works:
Partly electric is a must
Every modern crossover is electric to some extent. If you order a new Qashqai now, you get a 1.3-liter petrol engine with mild hybrid technology and 140 or 158 hp. An electric auxiliary motor recovers energy during braking and uses it to accelerate smoothly and economically.
“The automatic gear selector is also in the electric Nissan Ariya.”
You can choose from a manual six-speed gearbox and the renewed Xtronic automatic transmission. This is a CVT that, thanks to a new electric oil pump, reacts faster than before. Fun fact: the selector lever of the automatic transmission is the same as that of the all-electric Nissan Ariya. The new Qashqai is also available with four-wheel drive – a variant that other manufacturers increasingly ‘forget’.
As a clean alternative to the diesel engine, Nissan will launch the Qashqai with E-Power powertrain next year. It drives like a fully electric car, with the twist that the aforementioned 1.3-liter petrol engine provides the power production. We are curious how that goes.
Nice mix of pixels and buttons
When it comes to multimedia and technology, the makers of crossovers open their most modern bag of tricks. Nissan is taking part in this lavishly and is supplying the new Qashqai with a razor-sharp digital instrumentation, the largest head-up display in the segment and a 9-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay. In combination with the wireless charger for your phone, the USB cable can remain in your bag.
Much to our relief, the dashboard still has rotary knobs for the temperature and volume. More and more brands are banning these functions to the touchscreen. That ensures a tidy dashboard, but it does not work very well. The operation of the Qashqai is a fine mix of analog and digital.
Napa leather that took 25 days to work on
When you get into a new car with all the trimmings, you want to be pampered. The massage chairs with nappa leather that took 25 days to work on are a good example of this. There are three massage programs to choose from. The dashboard is decorated with beautiful materials and Nissan has found an alternative to the black, scratch-sensitive piano lacquer that other brands go so loose. In particular the panel at the gear lever; it is matte black plastic, but resembles brushed aluminum.
Larger trunk with flat loading floor
Practical convenience makes us happy. A completely flat loading floor is not food for exciting social talk, but you benefit a lot from it. In the luggage compartment we discover even more tricks: the parcel shelf fits under the cargo floor, there is a 12 V connection for the cool box and there are hooks to hang your groceries. And the tailgate swings open high, so you’re less likely to bump your head. The volume of the trunk has increased by 74 liters and now breaks the 500 liter limit.
Functions that every Qashqai has
The Tekna + is the version with all the bells and whistles (massage chairs, digital instruments, head-up display), but in no version you have to bite on a piece of wood. Each Qashqai has adaptive cruise control, LED lighting and an 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay. Put an app such as Google Maps or Waze on your phone and you have a full navigation system. Then immediately download the Nissan Qashqai app, because no self-respected crossover can do without it.
The new Qashqai is in the summer at the Nissan dealer and then it is also time for the driving impression.