Nissan’s ‘cash cow’ gets even smarter
Nissan has introduced the upgraded Qashqai to the South African market
The arrival of the new Nissan Qashqai in Europe in 2017 helped it to maintain its position as the top-selling SUV there with more than 248,000 of them sold
That figure totally eclipses the second top-selling SUV, the Peugeot 3008 (167,000) and the third highest-seller, the Toyota C-HR (109,000).
SA had to wait a while for the new model but finally it is here and it brings a more premium look in terms of design with the company’s V-Motion grille, new LED daytime running lights and revised front and rear bumpers and bonnet.
There are new 17-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels, designed to reduce drag. All the enhancements result in an increased overall length of 17mm to 4,394mm. The width (1,806mm) and height (1,595mm) remain unchanged.
There is also lots of what Nissan calls its Intelligent Mobility technology. Many of the features are already available on the X-Trail and Patrol but now items such as Intelligent Blind Spot Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection are available on the Qashqai.
The interior has been upgraded with the company saying its engineers have implemented changes to make things more driver-oriented. This includes a new steering wheel featuring revised multifunction controls that put safety first.
The NissanConnect touchscreen satellite navigation unit has a new user interface and the integrated microphone for hands-free telephone use has been moved to the overhead lamp unit for improved performance, says the company.
The front seats have been completely redesigned with tapered shoulders to offer additional support while also improving visibility for rear-sear passengers.
Certain models now have the option of an all-new seven-speaker Bose Premium sound system with tweeters, woofers and a digital amplifier.
Boot space is unchanged at 430l, expandable to 680l when the rear seats are folded flat.
When it comes to the drive, Nissan says that the ride, handling and steering have all been improved.
The dampers have been retuned, the anti-roll bar stiffness has been increased to maintain handling performance and the company’s NIM Active Ride Control System aims to reduce body motion while going over large bumps.
Pricing for the new Qashqai starts at R334,900 for the 1.2T Visia, rising to R434,000 for the 1.5 dCI Tekna diesel.