RAC Cars News


Nissan Qashqai Due For An Update

By raccars Published

The phenomenally successful crossover vehicle has been with us since 2007, during which time it has helped to spawn a rash of imitators. However, the originally bold and adventurous looking Qashqai is starting to look a bit tired, particularly next to its newer stablemate, the Juke. Fortunately, Nissan is on the ball and a rather dramatic redesign should be ready for next year.

Taking its cue from the Juke, the next generation Qashqai will get a bold, eye-catching design and racier engines. Keen not to lose its edge as the leading manufacturer of sporty, crossover type vehicles, Nissan is aiming for a futuristic appearance and to increase the Qashqai's consumer base, from those looking for something practical but fun, to include genuine driving enthusiasts.

Nissan executive, Andy Palmer, has admitted that the brand is happy to be controversial with its styling in order to maintain and build upon its growing reputation for producing interesting vehicles, that are a departure from the usual suspects. The brand's Hi-Cross and Resonance concept cars are likely to influence the new Qashqai's design team, although both are larger vehicles and the updated Qashqai is not due to be any bigger than the current model.

Nissan's design department claims its brand is aiming for a sharp, purposeful and utilitarian look with this vehicle and the rest of its current and upcoming cars, in contrast to its Infiniti marque, which is taking inspiration from nature and organic forms.

The new Qashqai's front end will probably sport outsize headlamps and pronounced bonnet creases, while the sides will have a wave-form with C-pillars that sweep up from a set back position. Further significant changes are planned for the cabin, which is an area of the original model that has received some criticism for the quality of materials used within. With the unexpected demand for the original Qashqai having allowed Nissan to benefit from economies of scale, the company claims it can afford to go upscale on the interior, without a price increase and endow the same futuristic design concept. Once again, the funky Juke is likely to give a clue what to expect in this area.

The engine range will also be modernised, with the current 1.6 litre unit being replaced by a 1.2 litre turbo, in addition to two versions of the brand's 1.6 litre DIG-T. A 215bhp performance edition in the vein of the Juke Nismo is on the cards too, for those looking for a sportier ride of 0-62mph in less than 9.0 seconds and a 140mph top speed, yet still maintaining that sub £30,000 price tag.

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