Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.
Larger-yet-lighter second-generation Qashqai will land on SA shores around mid-2014.

With two-million of the first generation having found homes around the globe, the Nissan Qashqai has become something of a cash cow for Nissan and the second generation crossover looks set to continue riding that wave, thanks to its crisp new design and advanced technologies on offer.

The new Qashqai has also grown in size, but not too radically, with overall length having been stretched by 49mm and width by 20mm, while height has been reduced by 15mm.

From the front end, the Qashqai bears a strong resemblance to the new X-Trail. All models feature LED daytime driving lights, while posh versions get full LED lighting.

SPACE, COMFORT

Inside the cabin, occupants can stretch out a little more, with head, shoulder and leg room having been improved and there's 20 litres more luggage space, the boot capable of gulping 430 litres of baggage.

Plenty of attention was paid to the comfort factor too and Nissan even went as far as using NASA-inspired medical scanning techniques when completely redesigning the seats.

Drivers will enjoy the intuitive new interface that allows them to tailor the car's functions to their needs, from adjusting how early the auto headlights switch on to activating three-flash indicators.

As expected, Nissan has thrown in a whole suite of driver assistance features, such as Front Collision Avoidance, Driver Attention Support, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Moving Object Detection, High Beam Assist and Intelligent Park Assist and Around View Monitor (which is much like a helicopter view).

ALL-TURBO LINE-UP

Drivers will also find a notable improvement in performance and efficiency. Not only is the new Qashqai up to 40kg lighter than before, but the advanced new range of engines are turbocharged across the board.

Kicking off the petrol line-up is a new 1.2-litre DIG-T turbopetrol that delivers 85kW and 190Nm. With a claimed combined consumption figure of 5.6 l/100km, the new 1.2 is 0.6 l/100km more efficient than the normally aspirated 1.6 that it replaces.

Top of the pile, for now, is a 1.6 DIG-T that develops 110kW and 240Nm, while matching the economy of the aforementioned 1.2.

While these advanced new petrol motors might make diesel seem less attractive, Nissan is nonetheless tempting the diesel-heads with two compelling options, starting with the 81kW 1.5 dCi turbodiesel that pushes 81kW and 260Nm. Of course, the real talking point is its 3.8 l/100km stated consumption. The brawnier oil-burning option is a 96kW 1.6-litre dCi that sips 4.4 l/100km.

The South African engine line-up will be confirmed nearer to its local launch date, which will be around the middle of 2014.

THE ULTIMATE CVT?

Depending on which engine is selected, the Qashqai can be had with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Aimed at offering a superior driving experience to those horrid traditional CVTs, the Xtronic mimics the behaviour of traditional automatic 'boxes in certain ways; for instance, by implementing stepped changes under hard acceleration. It's also been set up to provide a smoother experience during gentler driving.

Though most models will send their power through the front wheels, fancier versions will be available with Nissan's renowned All-Mode 4x4-i permanent all-wheel drive system. The Qashqai also offers a new Chassis Control system that mimics the functionality of a limited slip differential.

Could this new Nissan make you think twice before buying a Kuga, RAV4, CR-V or Sportage?

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