The third-generation Nissan Qashqai has just been unveiled, boasting a new range of engine options, hybrid tech, and much bolder styling than before.
The new Qashqai features a much sharper front end compared to its predecessors. The “V” grille fitted to the new model looks rather reminiscent of Nissan’s “V-motion” grille that we’ve seen in their latest models.
The headlights and daytime running lights are now split up by a piece of body-coloured trim stamped with the word “Qashqai”. The vents in the bumpers are fully functional and serve to channel air across the sides of the car to improve its efficiency. Even the vents under the grille have slats that can be closed to improve aerodynamic efficiency, a feature that is commonly on some continental cars.
Inside, the cabin has been completely redesigned with several new features that make the car appear posher than ever. Embroided Nappa leather is offered as standard on higher trim levels, the leather-wrapped dashboard is now more stylishly sculpted than before, and ambient lighting will be an available feature on this new Qashqai. Buyers can also opt for a Bose sound system.
The NissanConnect infotainment screen in the new Qashqai appears to be a reworked version of the infotainment screens used in recent Nissan models, but it still features tuner and volume knobs, and physical buttons under the display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity will be available as standard, and the new system will offer over-the-air updates, much like modern cellphones.
Ahead of the driver is a new 12-inch digital gauge cluster and a new (and optional) heads-up display that measures 10.8-inches across, the largest among other compact crossovers in its class.
For the first time in the Qashqai line-up, Nissan is offering hybrid powertrains in their latest compact crossover. The new Qashqai will be offered with a 1.3-litre turbocharged engine paired with a 12-volt mild hybrid system. In Europe, this drivetrain will be offered in 138 horsepower and 156 horsepower variants.
The other powertrain option will be Nissan’s e-Power technology which was introduced in Singapore with the Nissan Serena MPV, and the smaller Nissan Kicks subcompact SUV (Check out our review of the Nissan Kicks e-Power here!!). Unlike the Serena and the Kicks, which utilise a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine as a generator, the new Qashqai is expected to use a more powerful 1.5-litre unit paired with a larger electric motor. Power output for the e-Power drivetrain is expected to peak at 187 horsepower and 330Nm of torque.
Despite the changes to the car, the new Qashqai is actually lighter than its predecessor. Extensive use of aluminium and composite materials for the body panels helps drop the kerb weight of the car by up to 60 kilograms. Despite the weight savings, Nissan says that the new car is 41% stiffer than the previous generation, which aids handling and improves safety.
All Qashqai models will be offered with Nissan’s Intelligent Cruise Control and the very latest ProPilot driver assistance tech that constantly monitor road conditions and automatically apply the brakes in the event of an emergency.
In Singapore, earlier generations of the Nissan Qashqai have been small, easy-to-drive crossovers that offer a lot of bang for your buck. As of now, this new crossover will literally “cross-over” into the Category B COE segment, putting it up against the likes of Infiniti’s upcoming QX55 or the Lexus NX. In time to come, we may see detuned versions of the Qashqai for Singapore’s market.
The 2021 Nissan Qashqai is expected to go on sale in Singapore at the end of the year.