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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

All-new Nissan Qashqai finally out

Nissan South Africa has confirmed availability from later this year.

Nissan, after a series of teaser images and divulging select details, has officially revealed the all-new third generation Qashqai South Africa will be getting later this year.

The effective initiator of what it is now the compact SUV segment when it bowed in first generation guise 15 years ago, the Sunderland built Qashqai rides on Nissan’s CMF-C platform and measures 35 mm longer in overall length than its predecessor, while also being 32 mm wider and 25 mm taller. Sporting a 20 mm longer wheelbase, the Qashqai is a claimed 60 kg lighter than the model it replaces thanks to using a combination of aluminium and high strength lightweight steel, which also resulted in a 41% gain in overall stiffness.

Riding on 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as a first time 20-inch wheels reserved for all-wheel-drive models, the use of the new platform has also seen the fitting of a revised suspension combining MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion-beam at the rear, although a multi-link design features on all-paw derivatives. Aside from the suspension, the Qashqai also boasts revised power steering for better feedback, new springs and dampers.

Styled along the lines of not only the all-electric Ariya but also the Japanese market Kicks and Patrol from some angles, the Qashqai’s already teased interior represents one of the biggest departures from the old model with the inclusion of not only a new nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but also a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, a 10.8-inch Heads-Up Display and on higher spec models, a wireless smartphone charger, diamond quilted Nappa leather seats with massaging function for the front chairs and a Bose sound system.

Offering up to 28 mm more rear legroom and 15 mm additional headroom over the old Qashqai, the new platform has also had an impact on luggage space with Nissan claiming an improvement of 50-litres to 480-litres with the rear seats up.

On the safety front, and again depending on the trim grade, the Qashqai comes with Nissan’s semi-autonomous ProPILOT system, Forward Emergency Braking, Moving Object Detection Alert, Traffic Sign-based Adaptive Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitoring and Lane Keep Assist.

As already revealed, the Qashqai will derive motivation from two electrified petrol engines with a diesel not being offered for the first time. Displacing 1.3-litres, the Daimler co-developed 48-volt mild-hybrid petrol produces 103kW/240Nm or 117kW/260Nm with both coming paired as standard to a six-speed manual or an optional CVT. All-wheel-drive is offered exclusively with the latter ‘box and engine, which gains a overboost function that raises torque output to 270 Nm for 20 seconds.

Debuting later is the e-Power which uses a 1.5-litre version of the Note’s 1.2-litre powerunit to produce 140kW/330Nm. Available for the first time outside of Japan, the setup involves the petrol engine serving solely as a generator for the electric motor connected to the front wheels, with Nissan claiming an “EV-like response” without the delay of conventional hybrids. The innovative one-pedal design will also feature on the e-Power.

Final specification and pricing will be announced closer to the local launch date, but chances are that the Qashqai will be limited to the petrol power with or without the hybrid assistance.

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