(Pocket-lint) – The Nissan Qashqai is one of the most popular cars in the crossover segment, with over 3 million cars sold since 2007 when the Qashqai was originally introduced.
The new third-generation model will hit the roads in 2021, bringing with it an all-new design. It sits on the new CMF-C platform – shared across the Nissan and Renault alliance – getting an updated to design to make it sharper and more sporty.
Nissan is introducing 20-inch wheels, up an inch from the 19-inch wheels of the previous generation, although it remains to be seen what impact this will have on ride and cabin noise.
It’s still recognisable as a Qashqai, but there are nips and tucks all over the exterior and a considerable reworking of the interior. The new model is a little longer, giving more passenger space, while the boot capacity increases to 504 litres too, for added convenience.
The focus of the interior, according to Nissan, was to increase the quality across the cabin, with new switch gear and finishes to compliment the new design and layout.
Moving to the tech, that sees a large 9-inch central display, compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – the latter also available wirelessly on supported devices. There’s a 12.3-inch digital driver display and the option for a 10.8-inch head up display to project information into your eyeline when driving.
The car is supported by the Nissan Connect app, giving you functions like remote unlocking, while there’s support for Google Assistant and Alexa, allowing you to tell your Amazon Echo to send directions to your car, for example.
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Moving onto the drivetrains and Nissan hasn’t quite gone all the way over to electric – that’s being reserved for the Nissan Ariya – but it is offering mild hybrid options and e-Power for the first time in Europe.
The mild hybrid option aims to improve the efficiency of the 1.3-litre petrol engine by harvesting energy on braking to charge a small battery. This then runs a secondary electrical system that will allow it to handle some systems when the engine isn’t running, allowing engine-off idle for longer times and reducing the overall amount of lost energy.
There will be manual 138HP or 156HP options, the larger engine also getting automatic and all-wheel drive choices.
More interesting, however, is the e-Power system. This uses a similar setup to an electric car, with electric motors powering the wheels, with a battery for energy storage. There’s also a 1.5-litre petrol engine, however, which supplies electrical power to the battery, rather than driving the wheels.
This hybrid system is designed to give the convenience of easy long range motoring, as you fill it up with petrol as you would a combustion car, but then the engine can run at its most efficient as its job is to recharge the battery. The advantage is that it drives with the smoothness and response of an electric car.
There’s no way to plug this model in, so it’s sort of a halfway house between the two schools of thought – a stepping-stone for those who perhaps aren’t yet convinced about the electric cars. It will be available as a two-wheel drive only.
Prices and availability to be confirmed, but we’d expect the new Qashqai to continue the trend of being popular with families.
Writing by Chris Hall.