All-new Nissan Qashqai breaks cover with edgy styling, advanced tech

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Feb 18, 2021

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LONDON - Nissan has revealed the third-generation of its Qashqai, featuring a bolder design, new hybrid drivetrain tech and a digitised cabin with more gizmos than ever before.

Nissan South Africa says it’s planning to introduce the newcomer before the end of the 2021 financial year, with exact timing and specification to be confirmed closer to launch.

With its edgy exterior design, the new-gen Qasqai is more distinctive than its predecessors, and it’s also more customisable, with the Premiere Edition in Europe offering a range of two-tone colour options, which allow certain exterior colours to be paired with either a black or grey roof. The launch edition also flaunts 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, which give it a more purposeful stance.

The cabin, as you’d expect, brings things bang up to date with smarter-looking materials and more screens and gadgets. To that end, the new Qashqai debuts a new 30.4cm configurable digital instrument cluster as well as a 27.4cm Head-Up Display and a 22.8cm TFT central infotainment screen. Other key features include wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, LED matrix headlights, wireless phone charging and an upgraded ProPilot semi-autonomous driver assistance system.

Walk-around video: All-new Nissan Qashqai

Sharing its CMF-C platform with the new-generation Rogue (AKA X-Trail), which has yet to be released in South Africa, the Qashqai features lightweight, high-strength body components that make the ‘body in white’ 60kg lighter than before, as well as 41 percent stiffer. The bonnet, doors and front fenders, for instance, are now made from aluminium, while the rear tailgate is hewn from a composite material.

1.3-litre turbopetrol power likely for SA

European buyers get to choose between a 1.3-litre turbopetrol engine with 12V mild hybrid technology, and a more advanced e-Power hybrid system.

The South African engine line-up has yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely that our market will get the 1.3-litre mild hybrid powerplant, which is available in two output levels: 103kW and 116kW. While a six-speed manual gearbox is standard, the more powerful variant is also available with an Xtronic CVT transmission. Both engine variants also ship with front-wheel drive as standard, but the 116kW CVT model can also be ordered with all-wheel drive.

Unconventional hybrid drivetrain

The hybrid model is rather interesting. Using Nissan’s e-Power system that debuted in the Note MPV in Japan, the vehicle is propelled by a 140kW electric motor, which is in turn charged by a 1.5-litre petrol motor. The vehicle thus offers the driving characteristics of a pure EV, but without the need to charge. While Nissan hasn’t announced any CO2 or consumption figures, the company does claim that the system offers better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions than a traditional internal combustion car.

Watch this space for more local information later in 2021.

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