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Nissan has announced equipment and specification details for its redesigned Qashqai out early next year, including confirmation at last of the much-anticipated, Australian-first e-Power hybrid version due by the end of 2022.
But with the deletion of the six-speed manual base grade that currently retails from $28,590 before on-road costs, expect the cheapest version to start north of $32,000 when prices are announced when the order books open in October.
Along with a new platform, larger body and redesigned interior with more room than before, the third-generation, J12-series small SUV alternative to the Toyota C-HR, Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30 and Volkswagen T-Roc will also finally gain a turbo-petrol engine as standard.
Replacing the long-lived MR20DD 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated engine that dates back to the outgoing Qashqai’s Dualis predecessor released locally back in 2007, the HR13DDT 1.3-litre turbo delivers 110kW of power at 5500rpm and 250Nm of torque at 1600rpm.
Despite a 4kW and 50Nm boost in power and torque respectively, the 2022 Qashqai’s fuel consumption drops substantially, from 6.9 litres per 100km to 6.1L/100km, for a carbon dioxide rating average of 138 grams/km.
Even better economy is promised by the coming e-Power version, which employs a new 115kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder variable-compression petrol engine to charge a lithium-ion battery that powers a 139kW electric motor that drives the front wheels, for total outputs of around 140kW/330Nm.
For now, all drive is directed to the front wheels only, via a revamped continuously variable transmission (CVT auto). Complete with Eco, Normal and Sport modes, the CVT’s artificially stepped shifts are meant to mimic a dual-clutch transmission’s behaviour, according to Nissan.
Backing up all the extra urge is a sharper driving experience, courtesy of a quicker steering ratio (down from 19.1:1 to 14.7.1) and a substantially stiffer yet lighter body as a result of shifting to the new, stronger CMF-C platform (cutting weight on average by up to 60kg).
Additionally, as before, all Australian-bound Qashqais will be equipped with a multi-link rear suspension set-up, quashing rumours that a torsion beam rear-end arrangement found on cheaper grades elsewhere would be used instead to help keep prices down.
Speaking of grades, Nissan is sticking to decades-old nomenclature by wheeling out the familiar ST, ST+, ST-L and Ti badges (in ascending order of price) one more time.
As expected, the ST is the least expensive of the quartet, and includes LED headlights, a 7.0-inch TFT instrument cluster, an 8.0-inch touchscreen (up an inch over the current car), Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, six speakers, twin USB ports, a rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Every Qashqai is also fitted with a new central airbag to prevent the front occupants from colliding into each other, adding to the dual front, side and curtain items also fitted.
Adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), predictive forward collision warning with pedestrian, cyclist and junction detection, rear AEB with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and departure prevention, blind spot warning and blind spot intervention, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, driver attention alert, rear seat alert, high beam assist, front and rear parking sensors, and a parking camera further boost every Qashqai’s safety credentials.
Going to ST+ ushers in LED fog lights, auto wipers, a 9.0-inch touchscreen, sat-nav, wireless Apple CarPlay, surround-view monitor with moving object detection and 18-inch alloy wheels, while the ST-L scores 19-inch alloys, adaptive headlights, privacy glass, roof rails, LED turn signals, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a powered driver’s seat, wireless phone charging, dual-zone climate control and Nissan’s ‘ProPILOT’ system – a semi-autonomous tech that can accelerate the vehicle to cruise at a set speed, and can brake the vehicle down to 0 km/h in heavy traffic, before moving off again if fewer than three seconds have passed; it also includes lane keep assist.
The Ti flagship adds unique rear bumper finishes, a panoramic glass roof, ambient interior lighting, black headliner, a 10.8-inch head-up display, a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, 10-speaker BOSE audio upgrade, ‘3D’ quilted leather seats with memory and massage functionality up front, powered tailgate, side sensors and automatic parking.
As reported previously, the new Qashqai has grown to 4425mm in length (+31mm), 1625mm in height (+30mm) and 1835mm (+29mm) in width, while the wheelbase has been stretched to 2665mm (+19mm).
That’s the size of it for now, but stay tuned, because more 2022 Qashqai information – including the all-important pricing – will be revealed in a few weeks, so stay tuned.