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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Nissan puts dramatic Ariya inspired look on facelift Qashqai

Official confirmation for South Africa remains outstanding, however, should approval be given, expect availability possibly by year-end or in early 2025.

Surprisingly already launched three years ago, Nissan has introduced the facelift Qashqai as the most radical makeover ever given in the nameplate’s almost two decade history.

Likely to provide a glimpse of the Japanese brand’s future styling direction, the Qashqai’s uptakes, which forms part of the 30 model “Arc” product roll-out announced last month, also involves a revised interior, but no mechanical or platform alterations.

Sharper looks

Styled to now resemble the all-electric Ariya, the Qashqai becomes the latest model to lose the almost omnipresent V-motion grille in favour of sharper creased look Nissan claims takes inspiration from a Japanese armour scale.

Along with the now X-shaped grille, the LED headlights are thinner than before and while still resplendent in a V-angle, boasts an integrated lower setup in which the diodes “flow” from the main beam into the flanks of the grille.

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In addition to a new bumper, Nissan has moved the LED fog lamps from above flanks of the numberplate to below the main headlight cluster, while also fitting a narrower lower air intake.

A mesh pattern to the grille itself comes standard on higher-end models, together with standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch alloy wheels. New on mid-range derivatives are 18-inch alloys.

Nissan debuts radically facelift Qashqai
Changes at the rear require a keener eye. Image: Nissan

At the rear, the changes are less dramatic and consists of a new bumper and four separate LED elements for the redesigned taillights.

Completing the exterior are three new colours, Pearl Black, Pearl White and Ocean Blue – the latter pair joining the carryover Ceramic Grey, Magnetic Blue and Fuji Red in being combined with a black roof as part of the optional two-tone body finish.

Returning to the Qashqai, the further aesthetically tweaked N-Design receives sportier bumpers and door sills, body-coloured wheel arch cladding and model specific 20-inch wheels.

Subtle inside changes

Dimensionally unchanged, and therefore still able to accommodate between 504-litres of luggage, or as much as 1 593-litres with the 60/40 split rear seat folded, inside, Nissan has made more minor changes in that the 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster and the pair of the infotainment systems continue without any size change.

Facelift Nissan Qashqai revealed
Infotainment system now gets Google’s latest Android operation system, a first for any Nissan. Image: Nissan

The latter pair though, which again measure nine or 12.3-inches, do receive new software in the form of Google’s latest Android operating system, the first for any current Nissan product.

Also new are upgraded materials, the first-time availability of Alcantara plus a new synthetic leather upholstery option, Qashqai branded seatbacks on the N-Design and ambient lighting.

Facelift Nissan Qashqai revealed
Qashqai embroidered seatbacks are reserved solely for the returning N-Design model. Image: Nissan

On the safety side, the 360-degree surround-view camera system has been extensively revised to include not only improved resolution, but also a 3D view.

Nissan debuts radically facelift Qashqai
Boot can still take 504-litres with the rear seats in place. Image: Nissan

Elsewhere, the Autonomous Emergency Braking system has been overhauled and the activation of the Lane Keep and Lane Departure systems incorporated from the moment the engine starts.

No powertrain change

Having debuted as the first generation Qashqai not to offer a diesel powerplant, up front, Nissan has kept the existing line-up of engines unchanged, meaning outputs of 103kW/240Nm or 117kW/260Nm from the mild-hybrid 1.3-litre turbo-petrol, and 140 kW from the e-Power, which uses the 1.5-litre petrol engine simply as a generator for the electric motor.

Transmissions again include a six-speed manual or CVT on the mild-hybrids, with a unique e-CVT featuring on the e-Power. All-wheel-drive is again optional on the lower-spec mild-hybrid fitted solely with the self-shifter.

Europe yes, South Africa unknown

Going on-sale within the next few weeks in Europe, production will again take place at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant in the United Kingdom with pricing to be announced in due course.

Still to be confirmed for South Africa based on sales having only started in 2022, expect the facelift Qashqai to only make landfall towards the end of 2024 once approval is given.

As a reminder, the current range spans three trim levels, all powered by the mentioned 1.3-litre turbo-petrol rated at between 96kW/240Nm and 110kW/250Nm without any hybrid assistance, and priced from R568 200 to R670 600.

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