IT’S the super popular small SUV with the name no one quite knows how to say properly, and now it has a new look, lots of new tech, and a new range topping model, at least for now, with a more luxurious Ti variant on its way in mid-2018.
Nissan has gone all out to make the new Qashqai a better car, with a contemporary new exterior design, higher levels of interior quality, improved driving performance, and the addition of new Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety technologies that will maintain the its place as one of the leading vehicles in its class.
Featuring a more contemporary shape and premium finish, the front of the new Nissan Qashqai has been completely revised, including a redesigned and more integrated bumper bar and Nissan’s signature ‘V-motion’ front grille. Front fog lamps are standard from the mid-spec ST-L model.
The range comes with enhanced LED daytime running lights, fitted to the halogen headlamps on the ST and ST-L, and full ‘boomerang-styled’ LED daytime running lights on all higher grades – including the new N-TEC special edition which heads the range at launch. The N-TEC will be replaced by the range-topping Ti model.
The rear has also been updated to offer two rear bumper designs, depending on grade. The rear ‘boomerang’ LED taillights are more aerodynamic, and with the shark fin antenna, reduces drag. There are also new alloy wheels across the range with 17 and 18-inch wheels on ST and ST-L respectively, as well as 19 inch wheels on the N-TEC and Ti.
Inside, the new Qashqai offers new standards in quality and refinement with the introduction of a new D-shaped steering wheel that includes redesigned cruise, phone and instrument controls, with one-touch power windows on all four doors that can be opened and closed remotely – a timely inclusion as we head into summer.
Comfort levels have also been addressed with improved seating. The ST grade seat benefits from a new and more durable upholstered finish, while seats in all other grades are now mono-form in design, providing a more premium seating experience. The ST-L and N-TEC seat have partial leather trim, while nappa leather will be offered on the range-topping Ti.
DAB+ digital radio is now standard equipment from the ST-L model, while the 7.0-inch touch screen SatNav unit has a smarter interface that is more app-like in appearance.
Under the metal, firmer spring rates, stiffer stabiliser bars, new front and rear bumper bound characteristics, plus damper re-tuning, provide a premium ride and handling experience by absorbing the bumps and reducing body motion when cornering.
Active cruise control joins an increased focus on safety across the range, with intelligent emergency braking with forward collision warning as standard across the entire range, as well as front and rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, lane departure warning, hill start assist, brake assist, and an electric park brake with auto hold.
Grade dependant, Qashqai also offers intelligent park assist – Nissan’ s self-parking technology, a 360 degree intelligent camera system with moving object detection, intelligent driver alert and lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and high beam assist. There’s also rear cross traffic alert, lane intervention and adaptive front lighting.
For now, the new Nissan Qashqai comes in three grades, the base model ST, mid-grade ST-L and range topping N-TEC special edition. It features a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 106kW of power and 200Nm of torque mated to either a 6-speed manual or CVT transmission. It sips fuel from as little as 6.9 litres per 100kms.
It has a load capacity of 430 litres, which grows to 1,598 litres with the rear seats down and is available in seven colours. Prices start at $26,490 plus on roads for the base model ST manual. The special edition Nissan Qashqai N-TEC hits the road at $36,490, while the Ti will be $37,990 at launch. Both are CVT only. Prices are plus on roads.
Oh, and in case you were wondering how to say it, it’s pronounced cash-kai.