In one of the worst-kept secrets of recent motoring years, Nissan has finally formally unveiled its new Qashqai compact crossover — months after it had already debuted overseas as the US-badged Nissan Rogue.
The third-gen SUV features plenty of styling queues inspired by its quirky Juke cousin. Aggressive slashes front and rear are used to accentuate air vents, and huge C-shaped headlights (day-time running lights built in) on either side of the model’s V-Motion grille give it a distinctive face.
The new Nissan backs up its sharp looks with an injection of added tech on the inside. This includes a 12.3-inch digital cluster and a 9.0-inch ProPilot primary touchscreen with (wireless) Apple CarPlay and (wired) Android Auto, sat nav, and support for voice-activated software like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
There’s also a hefty 10.8-inch heads-up display to note, plus a 10-speaker Bose sound system, over-the-air update capabilities, a WiFi hot spot, USB-C ports, heated steering wheel, and ambient lighting — all helping push the Qashqai (or rather, the top models that feature all this fruit) into premium territory. In terms of features, anyway.
Nissan boasts that its tech overload is complemented by improved cabin materials. While we can’t reach through our computer screens to see if this holds true, we can eyeball the new dashboard layout.
It’s a neat and contemporary look; the flat bottom of the steering wheel pairing nicely with the flat line that envelops the base of the dash. The stubby gear knob also looks nice, and comes surrounded by a brushed surfacing that Nissan has repeated in the door cards around the window controls.
Under the skin, the Qashqai is built on the new CMF-C platform, making it an all-new model despite some visual similarities with the outgoing variants. It’s 35mm longer, 10mm taller, 32mm wider, and 20mm longer in wheelbase compared to the last model, too. Boot space has swelled by 50 litres to 490 litres total.
Local engine options are yet to be confirmed, but expect some form of electrified variant to make its way here. Of particular note is the E-Hybrid variant, which uniquely uses purely an electric motor to drive power to the wheels — the petrol engine effectively acting as a permanent generator for said motor. This is as opposed to other hybrids where the two work in tandem.
The E-Power pairs a 115kW 1.5-litre petrol four with a 140kW/330Nm electric motor, sending power to the front wheels. There’s also a 1.3-litre mild hybrid offered in other markets, sold with either 103kW/240Nm or 116kW/270Nm. Curiously the latter engine is sold in Europe with a manual transmission as an option. Remember those?
Local pricing and spec will be confirmed closer to release, which is expected to come either in late 2021 or early 2022.