Nissan are understandably quite chuffed with the second-generation Qashqai – it’s bigger, bolder and more efficient than before with CO2 emissions from only 99g/km.
In its transition from old to new, the Qashqai’s visual DNA remains intact – including its clamshell bonnet, crossover style and compact dimensions.
Overall it’s 49mm longer than the current model, fractionally lower and 20mm wider, yet despite this, front and rear headroom has increased by 10mm – while Nissan claim some models are as much as 40kg lighter than before, despite extensive new equipment levels.
A choice of four engines will be available when the car goes on sale early next year. These include a 113bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol (replacing the outgoing 1.6-litre petrol) and a 148bhp 1.6-litre petrol with 240Nm of torque and 132g/km of CO2 emissions.
Diesel engines start at the 108bhp 1.5-litre dCi and peak at the 128bhp 1.6-litre dCi offering up to 64.2mpg and 115g/km of CO2 emissions.
While front-wheel-drive variants will account for the majority of sales, a four-wheel drive version is also available matched to either a six-speed manual or the all-new Xtronic automatic transmission (available with the 1.6 dCi engine).
In terms of suspension layout, the new Qashqai features MacPherson struts at the front and one of two different designs at the rear – two-wheel-drive models are equipped with an advanced twist beam design, while four-wheel drive models feature a multi-link system.
Both two and four-wheel drive versions feature Active Ride Control, Active Engine Brake and Active Trace Control. The former works by applying subtle braking to compensate for changes in the car’s pitch, while the latter uses braking to simulate the effects of a limited slip differential – the system maximises traction while minimising understeer. Finally active engine brake harnesses the power and controllability of the Xtronic transmission to add a degree of engine braking while cornering.
Inside the new Qashqai features a new, more premium look, with better quality materials and 20 litres more luggage capacity (now 430 litres). Passengers enjoy more head and leg room, while the car’s extra width means that getting in and out is easier than ever before.
Even the seats have been improved. Using technology inspired by NASA, the pressure and blood flow in the lower back of seated passengers was analysed – this led to their redesign, and Nissan now claim they’re more comfortable over long-distances.
Nissan has sold a little over 2 million cars sold since the Qashqai was launched in 2007, and it looks like the second generation model will continue this trend when it goes on sale in February 2014.