The all-new, third-generation Nissan Qashqai, the showroom sales juggernaut that has conquered all before it and started an avalanche of crossovers and SUV imitators in its wake. Since it first appeared two generations and 14 years ago, the Qashqai has been bought by more than three million customers in Europe.
What will its rivals be?
A vast array of talent, including the Volkswagen T-Roc, the Skoda Karoq, the SEAT Ateca, the Peugeot 3008, the Citroen C5 Aircross, the Opel Grandland, the Ford Kuga, the Toyota C-HR, the Honda CR-V, the Kia Sportage, the Hyundai Tucson and the Jeep Compass, to name a few. And that’s not including the likes of the Volvo XC40, Audi Q2, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Jaguar E-Pace and Lexus UX, from all of which the up-spec versions of the Qashqai Mk3 could poach a few sales.
Any tech info?
Taking its styling cues from the smaller, second-generation Nissan Juke, the Qashqai looks at once familiar and yet strikingly new. The Mk3 model will be the first time the crossover is available with 20-inch alloy wheels, while inside there’s improved infotainment on a nine-inch central touchscreen, as well as a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster and a sector-leading 10.8-inch head-up display available as well. A powered tailgate will be standard on all models, and there’s more space in the back of the Qashqai for both passengers in the second row of seats and luggage stashed in the boot.
What will the range be like?
Nissan will launch the new Qashqai with three powertrains. The first two are both 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines, augmented by 12-volt mild-hybrid technology to save some fuel. These two will deliver either 138hp and 240Nm, or 156hp and 260Nm to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, although the 156hp engine will also be available with a CVT automatic transmission – this comes with an increase in engine torque, to 270Nm, and it is the only powertrain from launch that can be fitted with four-wheel drive if required.
There’s a third way, though, which is the new e-Power Qashqai. This uses a variable-compression 1.5-litre petrol engine with 154hp, but that never drives the Nissan’s wheels. Instead, all of its output goes to a power generator, inverter and 140kW (187hp) electric motor that’s similar to the unit employed in the Nissan Leaf. With 330Nm available too and one-pedal driving possible in the Qashqai e-Power, it is a key part of Nissan’s drive to have half the vehicles it sells in Europe powered by some form of electrification by 2024.
No one can doubt the Qashqai’s importance in the fabric of automotive history and so a brand-new version with a heavily electrified model serving as its halo vehicle has to be viewed as one of the biggest car launches of 2021.