YesAuto>News/Reviews>New 2021 Nissan Qashqai: everything you need to know

New 2021 Nissan Qashqai: everything you need to know

Cameron Tait

20 Mar 2021

1/7
King of the crossovers gets more tech and premium looks, as well as a electrified engine line-up. Here's everything you need to know.

This is the all-new Nissan Qashqai and it’s a very important car because, believe it or not, the Qashqai is royalty. Not only is it the king of crossovers, it was the car that kicked off the crossover trend in the first place.





The big changes here are an all-electrified line-up of engines, including the UK debut of Nissan’s intriguing e-Power hybrid, plus a more premium design and a huge cabin upgrade that packs in more tech and, crucially, a bit more room for those in the rear.


Here’s everything you need to know.


Design


This isn’t just a new face, everything you see here is entirely new. The overall look is distinctly Qashqai, carrying over a heavily tweaked version of the old car’s grille and a similar, though vastly more premium, rear end and tail light cluster.





Look a little closer and you’ll notice that a lot has changed on the Qashqai. The LED headlights take some inspiration from the Ariya electric car and give the crossover a more futuristic look. The side profile, meanwhile, is clean with a single body crease running from the front to the rear. The launch car sits on new diamond-cut 20-inch wheels, though entry-level models will come with 17-inch alloys as standard.





Like the old car, the roofline slopes downwards towards the back end and can be specced in gloss black, adding to the car’s premium looks. You’ll be able to choose from 11 colours at launch, including a new metallic blue.


Engine


The Qashqai’s engine line-up has been massively streamlined. Diesel cars just aren’t popular any more and sales keep falling by the day, so it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the new model has skipped on the devil’s fuel altogether.





Instead, you can choose either mild hybrid based around a 1.3-litre petrol engine or Nissan’s new e-Power hybrid. The range kicks off with a pair of two-wheel drive manual options, available in either 138bhp and 156bhp form. Above them sits a pair of Xtronic models, a fancy name of a CVT, both of which produce 156bhp and can be had in either two or four-wheel drive form. They’re all connected to a 48V mild hybrid system, regenerates energy under braking and uses it when accelerating to save fuel.


The e-Power hybrid is a bit different. Unlike most hybrid cars, where the electric motor works in tandem with a combustion engine, the Qashqai’s engine works as a generator to top up the battery and the front wheels are driven purely by the electric motor. The system develops 188bhp and 330Nm of torque, with power being sent to the front wheels. There’s also no need to charge the battery, simply fill the car up at the pumps and you’re good to go.


However, Nissan hasn’t revealed any details about fuel economy for the e-Power model, so we’re not yet sure how efficient it is compared to a normal hybrid.


Boot space


Nissan has managed to squeeze an extra 74 litres into the back of the new Qashqai, for an overall capacity of 504 litres. That’s a huge improvement and there’s even storage under the boot floor, which is big enough to stow away the luggage cover.





Like the old model, the boot floor is split into two sections which can be used to divide up the boot. Simply lift up part of the boot floor and slot it vertically into one of the dividers. There’s also no load lip, so getting bulky stuff in and out of the boot should be a breeze.


Interior design and tech


Build quality has come on leaps and bounds in the new Qashqai. Not only does the cabin feel more premium, but all the buttons and dials feel sturdy enough to withstand decades of family use. And yes, you read that correctly, there are physical buttons inside the new Qashqai. Not only is there a dial for the volume and buttons for the climate settings, there are also physical shortcuts for the infotainment system.





The infotainment system itself has been upgraded, incorporating a more colourful and sharper user interface. It certainly looks more modern, but there’s a fair bit of lag when moving through menus and swapping between windows. Chances are, though, you’ll hook up your phone through wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and forget about the stock system.


Another major improvement can be found at the back of the car. Nissan has extended the wheelbase of the Qashqai without making it a bigger car, meaning there’s more room for those in the rear. Leg and headroom has been vastly improved, giving those measuring in at six foot and above ample space. There’s also a regular USB and USB socket in the rear to charge both new and old devices.



Price and release


Nissan has yet to announce full pricing for the Qashqai, but it has realised prices for the launch model called the Premiere Edition pictured above. Naturally, they will come with a huge amount of standard equipment and a two-tone colour scheme included.


The Premiere Edition will be offered from £29,270 for the 1.3 DiG-T 140PS Mild Hybrid manual or £31,790 for the 1.3 DiG-T Mild Hybrid 158PS Xtronic automatic model.


A limited number of Premiere Edition versions will be available to UK customers, with deliveries beginning in the summer.


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Cameron Tait

20 Mar 2021