Nissan Qashqai e-Power review

Nissan’s forthcoming hybrid Qashqai shows real promise.

Pros: innovative tech, electric car feel, good performance

Cons: odd drive selector, dead-feeling brake pedal

This summer, Nissan will broaden the number of powertrains offered to Qashqai buyers with the introduction of the new e-Power variant. That’s Nissan’s name for a new type of hybrid power, one that gives the family crossover the feel of an electric car.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power Design

Although the important changes take place under the skin of the Qashqai, Nissan has taken the opportunity to enhance the design in a few areas. The e-Power model gets distinctive badging, new wheels and a new radiator grille, but it’s not yet clear if the hybrid powertrain will be available across different trim levels. The third-generation Qashqai only launched in 2021 so is still fresh-faced.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power Interior

Again, the interior of the e-Power model is little different to the rest of the Qashqai range. It does usher in an upgrade for the infotainment system that is expected to apply to the rest of the line-up, however. Aside from that, the e-Power car gets a strange new drive selector on the centre console, plus a button for the ‘e-pedal’ system. As before, the Qashqai is above average in the sector in terms of interior space.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power Performance & Drive

The major difference between the e-Power hybrid system and most others on the market is that the Nissan’s petrol engine never drives the wheels. Instead, it’s no more than a sophisticated generator of electricity. That plays down the significant development work Nissan’s engineers carried out in creating a bespoke engine for the job, but it helps with understanding how the system works.

A small lithium-ion battery sends energy to a 140kW electric motor driving the front wheels. Nissan quotes maximums of 190hp and 330Nm of torque for this motor and, just as in an electric car, that peak torque is available from rest, so the Qashqai e-Power gets smartly away from a standstill. It does that whether the engine is running or not, giving the car the same feel as most electric cars.

At low speeds and when cruising, the engine will turn off completely, enhancing the sense of refinement, but it is running most of the time at higher speeds. Nonetheless, Nissan has calibrated it to linearly increase in revs in line with acceleration, which makes it more natural feeling to drive.

The only aspect of the car we didn’t get on with in our short drive (of a pre-production prototype) was the e-pedal system, which gives the brake pedal a dead feeling. It can be turned on or off in any case, but does make town driving easier as you rarely have to touch the brake pedal.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power Pricing

There’s no word on pricing as yet, but it’s expected that the e-Power model will cost more than the equivalent 1.3-litre petrol Qashqai. That starts at €32,700 and rises to over €53,000, so we’d predict around the €40,000 mark for the hybrid.

Carzone Verdict: 4/5

First impressions of the new hybrid Qashqai are certainly good. It feels more like an electric car than most (non-plug-in) hybrids on the market, yet it can be used without ever plugging it in. It’s an impressive setup, too, mixing the promise of good economy with great performance and refinement. Owners of older diesel Qashqais hanging on for a replacement won’t have to wait too much longer.

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