Launched in 2004, the Nissan Qashqai has proved a head-turner ever since – combining next-generation technology with the rugged appeal of an urban crossover. And now, in 2021, a new Qashqai is set to hit showrooms, bringing with it distinctive styling, boundless practicality and intelligent features which make it the UK’s most anticipated new car.
To mark the imminent release of Nissan’s flagship model, we’re taking an in-depth look at the ubiquitous Qashqai, from its credentials as a 4x4 to its size, engine options, and how the new car compares to previous generations. So, whether you’re new to the Nissan Qashqai or a lifelong devotee, you can find out all you need to know about this modern motoring icon right here.
2021 will see the launch of an all-new Nissan Qashqai, with the latest model promising a significant departure from previous generations. But what can motorists expect from the new model when it hits showrooms later this year?
Here, we’re taking an at-a-glance view of the new Nissan Qashqai, so you can get better acquainted with the features, technology and design of the latest model.
The new Qashqai is expected to land in showrooms before summer 2021.
It’s still not clear how much the new Qashqai will cost, but it’s expected it will come at a slight premium compared to the current car, which retails new from around £23,550.
A lot has changed since the second-generation Qashqai was unveiled in 2014. The new model features a bold new design and hybrid-only powertrains, meaning it’s a lot different to the first and second-generation versions of the car.
Since the new Qashqai runs on hybrid-only engines, many of the design changes to the new Qashqai were made with aerodynamics in mind. This is to ensure maximum range and efficiency, while also affording the new car a more purposeful and athletic stance.
In terms of technology, features and design; the new Qashqai is different from the top down. Designed, engineered and built in the UK, it looks set to help Nissan return to the top of the pile as the best and most innovative urban crossover brand.
The new Qashqai is available with a choice of two electrified petrol engines, as well as a unique ePower drivetrain.
Opt for the electrified petrol version, and you can specify a 136bhp or a 154bhp unit. The more powerful of the two can be paired with a four-wheel drive system, with Standard, Eco, Sport, Snow and Off-road driving modes as standard.
Go for the ePower drivetrain and you’ll get a 188 bhp full hybrid engine, with the petrol-powered unit used to charge the 145kW electric motor.
As well as a bold new design and next-generation hybrid powertrains, the new Nissan Qashqai is loaded with innovative features. Here are a few choice cuts from the car’s impressive spec sheet:
Customisable digital displays and advanced connectivity, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control
New ProPILOT with Navi-Link makes for safer driving, including lane holding, emergency braking and pre-set smart distance monitoring
Massaging front and passenger seats for the ultimate in driver comfort
In-built vehicle wi-fi for multi-device connectivity
A wealth of colour, accessory and customisation options
Derived from the name of an Iranian tribe; there’s something of a link between a tribe’s nomadic lifestyle and the Qashqai’s hybrid of urban and off-road sensibilities.
The Qashqai was first unveiled as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show back in 2004. At the time, there was some scepticism from the motoring press, who thought that rather than representing the best of both worlds, the car would fall short of the SUV and hatchback it was combining.
Little did they know that the Nissan Qashqai would become one of Europe’s best-selling cars, with three million built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant by 2017. Each iteration of the car has proved more popular than the last, and it’s expected the latest model, set for release in 2021, will continue to uphold the car’s reputation as the ultimate urban crossover.
That’s right, the Nissan Qashqai is built in the UK – just like the first and second generations before it. Since 2004, the Qashqai has been manufactured at NMUK in Sunderland, where plant staff work three shifts a day just to keep up with Qashqai orders.
In 2017, the NMUK plant passed the dizzying milestone of the three-millionth Nissan Qashqai, making it one of the most popular cars ever built in Britain. It’s testament to the knowledge, experience and work rate of the Sunderland team that Nissan continues to trust in it to deliver its flagship car, particularly in the new post-Brexit landscape.
Whether you buy the all-new Nissan Qashqai or opt for a second-hand first or second-generation car, you can be sure of outstanding value for money in terms of features, reliability and efficiency. Every iteration of the Qashqai has bagged awards for dependability, practicality and value, so you know it’s a make and model you can trust.
What’s more, thanks to the enduring popularity of the Nissan Qashqai, all models retain value strongly. That means, whether you opt for a new or used Qashqai, you can be assured of its long-term value and reliability.
The Nissan Qashqai may be considered the ultimate urban crossover, but can it rightfully lay claim to the title of 4x4?
With its rugged appearance and raised driving position, the Nissan Qashqai may look every bit the field-going 4x4. But appearances can be deceiving.
In fact, most versions of the Nissan Qashqai are two-wheel drive, and are likely to struggle driving across a muddy field. While the raised driving position gives you extra ground clearance, you don’t get the same off-road capabilities as a traditional 4x4.
That said, four-wheel-drive variants are available on the most powerful versions of the Qashqai. And while this doesn’t necessarily mean the car will be a pure-bred off-roader, it should provide greater assurance in hazardous driving conditions, such as snowy and icy roads.
The older generations of the Nissan Qashqai do feature all-wheel drive, which is controlled by three modes: two-wheel drive, AUTO and LOCK. In two-wheel drive, the Qashqai is essentially front-wheel-drive until a tyre slips, and when that happens, the four-wheel drive kicks in and helps out where traction has been lost.
In AUTO mode, the car is in four-wheel drive all the time and will attempt to “vector” torque to whatever wheel slips first. In LOCK mode, all the wheels turn together and work just like a conventional 4×4 system with the Diff Locks engaged. This means the wheels all turn at the same speed, so they cannot spin on their own. In this mode, the Nissan Qashqai copes well with tricky surfaces and hazardous driving conditions.
If you drive over the speed limit for the system or you use too much steering lock, then the LOCK mode returns to AUTO without you having to do a thing. The Qashqai’s selectable driving modes make it easy to swap between two-wheel drive and AUTO at any speed.
In 2008, a seven-seat version, the Qashqai+2, was launched. Aimed at offering extra practicality for big families, there are more than a few differences between it and the original. The larger car may only differ in dimension by 21cm, but it still managed to provide room for two extra passengers. The added length between the front and rear wheels does help to improve the ride quality, but only marginally.
The added weight does little to affect the handling and performance, and even has a top speed of 119 mph on the petrol engine version – over 10 mph more than the original.
In 2010, Nissan introduced more petrol and diesel variants into the market, with increased options for all-wheel drive models compared to its previous Qashqai+2 iterations. Note that all-wheel drive is different from four-wheel drive. AWD uses a front, rear and centre differential to provide power to all four wheels of the car, while 4WD relies on two differentials and a transfer case to provide power to the wheels. AWD is in use at all times, while 4WD needs to be activated.