Nissan claims the torsion beam set-up’s new, vertically aligned spotting and dampers allow “a settled, composed ride, while maintaining excellent anti-roll performance”. The multi-link set-up, now mounted to the sub-frame via bushes to reduce road noise, is said to offer a “best-in-segment balance between ride comfort and dynamic response”.
Powering the new Qashqai is a slimmed-down, fully hybridised engine line-up that doesn’t feature a single diesel. The standard engine choice is a 1.3-litre turbo petrol incorporating a 12V mild-hybrid system. Nissan claims a 12V system is “the best proposal for cost versus benefit”, rather than a 48V system. It’s available with 138bhp as a manual, front-drive-only model, or 155bhp equipped with a CVT automatic gearbox. A four-wheel-drive, CVT-only version tops the range.
Nissan says the new CVT gearbox, which replaces the dual-clutch transmission used in the outgoing model, offers the “best of both worlds”, with the low-speed smoothness typical of a CVT combined with ‘stepped’ changes to reduce the ‘rubber band’ effect associated with that transmission type.
Also available, and expected to account for a significant proportion of sales, is a new e-Power hybrid variant. Details are scarce at this stage but it will put out 188bhp through the front wheels only. The e-Power system isn’t a plug-in hybrid but instead uses an internal-combustion engine as a generator to charge a battery, which then drives an electric motor via an inverter. This is supposed to provide a similar driving experience to an EV around town. The system has proven popular in Japan, but Nissan claims it has been “adapted for European conditions”.
The Seat Ateca rival’s host of new tech features includes a more advanced ProPilot driver assistance package. This has more sophisticated sensors to allow, for example, the predictive forward collision warning to follow two cars ahead, rather than just the one immediately in front.
The autonomous braking has been tweaked for more smoothness, with an increased speed range, and the lane-keeping tech has been made smoother and more natural, while being able to self-steer in cornering forces up to 0.2g. Alongside a system that can automatically slow your car to the legal limit, there’s one that reduces speed ahead of corners, junctions and so on. All Qashqais will feature LED headlights as standard, too.