The Qashqai has been the golden goose for Nissan with its immense popularity in many global markets and it isn’t a big surprise that the new third-generation model is an evolution of sorts. It’s a big deal in terms of numbers though and Nissan aims for the crossover crown when the new Qashqai arrives on Australian shores later this year, even with its big $8300 AUD price increase for some models.
The styling is a mixture of cues taken from the Aria EV flagship along with the usual smattering of sharp angles, while the Nissan grille is also nicely blended. Your attention is mostly diverted towards the new LED lights split in a V-style shape and the lowered roofline.
Underpinned by the CMF-C platform, the proportions have swollen by 31mm in terms of length and 19mm in terms of wheelbase with a wider track also enables the fitment of 20-inch wheels. The interior is somewhat sombre with its all-black look but the quality levels have taken a big jump along with the addition of a big touchscreen. Mercifully, you do get physical buttons for basic functions and it isn’t a nightmare navigating through the button stack.
We also like the subtle wraparound effect of the dashboard plus the dials are again simple but effective. The rear seat space has been carved out efficiently plus the doors open wider now for easier egress/ingress. Despite a panoramic sunroof, headroom isn’t compromised and the storage capacity is also solid. There are removable floor panels in the boot.
In terms of powertrains, there isn’t much choice with the sole 1.3-litre petrol being equipped with a mild hybrid system. The mild-hybrid provides idle start/stop and torque assist while a CVT is optional along with all-wheel drive with Standard, Eco, Sport, Snow and Off-Road modes. However, a more electrified Qashqai is in the offing soon with an e-POWER hybrid powertrain sporting a dedicated EV mode.
Prices in Australia have seen a substantial increase with the entry-level trim starting at $33,890 AUD before on-road costs. That said, even the base trim is well loaded with enough equipment to offset the price hike while the top-end Ti variant is now $47,000 AUD. There isn’t anything remarkable about the new Qashqai but maybe it wasn’t needed in the first place with the previous version already selling so well. However, until the proper hybrid version arrives, a single powertrain could be the only flaw of an otherwise well-packaged family crossover.