We say “Nissan Qashqai” and we hear “market success”. This SUV has always successfully found its way to the hearts (and wallets) of a wide variety of customers. What can the third-generation Nissan Qashqai car offer to once again take a worthy place among the sales leaders? We are looking for answers to this difficult question.

The design of the new Nissan Qashqai: more determination

The history of the Nissan Qashqai began with the search for an alternative to the traditional C-class hatchback. Once there were such cars as Nissan Almera and Nissan Tiida – and the first Nissan Qashqai was created not only as a compact SUV, but also as an alternative to these hatchbacks (yes, yes, there were also sedans in the range, but now we are talking about hatchbacks). However, this did not deprive the model of the possibility of bold experiments: for example, there was a 7-seater Nissan Qashqai+2.

However, the “second” Nissan Qashqai clearly defined the vector of the model’s development: we have a SUV in front of us! Larger in size, more masculine in design. And the third generation can add a couple of points to this list – more determined and more stylish.

The Nissan Qashqai car of the first generation tried to balance between a hatchback and an SUV. The second generation was clearly determined to belong to the SUV world: the SUV became noticeably larger in size and bold in design. The third generation brought not so much an increase in dimensions (length 4.43 m; width 1.84 m; height 1.62 m; wheelbase 2.67 m; overall dimensions add +20-35 mm), but a noticeable change in design – a new Nissan Qashqai seems to have become more decisive and more stylish from the outside.

And it has become more modern and of higher quality inside. Just look at the design of the interior: a massive front panel and a powerful central console, a dedicated “climate” unit with physical switches, a separately installed 9-inch display of the multimedia system, a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument panel, a comfortable steering wheel with wide spokes. The front part of the interior looks and is perceived as if we have a car a class higher.

However, in the back, everything is standard: a normal amount of space, ventilation deflectors, an armrest and a couple of charging ports. As if it is not bad, but it does not impress the imagination and there are no additional advantages. Although (stop!) there is one important advantage: the third Nissan Qashqai received a new design of rear door hinges, which allows you to open the latter almost perpendicular to the body – this is very convenient for boarding people or installing a child seat! And the trunk has a 2-level floor, electric drive of the lid and side niches for small things. The Nissan Qashqai SUV has always been a master at transporting things – and the new one does not betray these rules!

The front part of the interior attracts with its design and details: it’s like a car in a higher class! There is no such excitement in the back, but there is everything necessary for a comfortable life – sufficient space, armrests and ventilation, comfortable seating. But the trunk deserves a special mention: useful volume of 436-504 liters (depending on the version) and many options for transformation which is great!

Technology: a familiar platform and a new “heart”

In general, the new Nissan Qashqai seems to repeat its predecessor: the CMF-C platform, independent front and rear suspensions, transverse installation of 4-cylinder engines, front or all-wheel drive, the availability of versions with mechanical or automated transmission in the form of a variator. But really a lot has changed. For example, aluminum and composite materials were used in the body structure – in the end, the car weighed only 6 kg more, although it increased in size and equipment. Also, from now on, a new Xtronic variator is installed, which is able to move the cones faster – which means improved “linearity” and predictability of acceleration control.

However, I consider the most important change to be the appearance of the 1.3 DIG-T 4-cylinder gasoline engine, which combines a turbine with direct fuel injection. Depending on the specific modification of the car, such an engine produces 130 hp. and 240 Nm (for versions with mechanical transmission) or 150 hp. and 250 Nm (for automated versions). Or even more! All because hybrid versions of the Nissan Qashqai with MHEV technology (that is, “mild hybrid”) have already been announced for Ukraine. There is a small electric bonus to the 1.3-liter “turbo” and an increase in power to 140 hp. (for versions with mechanical transmission) or even 158 hp. (for versions with automated transmission).

The new Nissan Qashqai is electrified! Hybrid versions of the car built on the basis of a 1.3-liter turbo engine have already been announced for Ukraine. Although this motor 1.3 DIGT (code designation HR 13) in itself deserves attention – after all it really affects the impression of the car while driving…

Behind the wheel: good acceleration, excellent comfort

These are two main points that are memorable in the character of the new Nissan Qashqai. A small turbo engine gives plenty of torque from the top of the tachometer scale: this is the case when the specifications do not make you doubt. We just gained 1.5-1.8 thousand revolutions – and immediately got reliable traction and acceleration. And this happens up to 5-6 thousand revolutions: the engine works out every promised “horse” of power and every “newton” of torque. And the new Xtronic automated transmission perfectly fulfills its technical descriptions. It is practically devoid of the traditional stretched “variator rubber”, instead offering an almost direct “motor-wheel” connection and smooth operation when changing the gear ratio.

Smooth, soft are great words to describe the suspension setup. I remember how the “second” Nissan Qashqai tried to balance handling and suspension comfort, as if offering an average level. Instead, the “third” Nissan Qashqai seems to have clearly chosen its side – and this is the side of comfort. Here everything is not bad with handling, the car obeys the steering wheel normally, does not resist the bends, shows moderate tilts of th body. But all this simply does not “light a fire” in the driver’s eyes and does not remain in their memory. But the comfort, softness, and energy efficiency of the suspension of the new Nissan Qashqai remain. It transports the driver and passengers very carefully, trying to avoid even minimal shocks on potholes.

The slogan of the engine is all ten! Acceleration to a hundred km/h takes a little less than 10 seconds, fuel consumption in the city is kept at the level of 10 liters per 100 km – although you can add/subtract a liter due to driving style and traffic. On the highway at a speed of 100-110 km/h, the car needs 5-6 liters of fuel per 100 km. That is, we seem to have “average indicators” for this class – but on the move, the car is memorable for acceleration and comfort: it’s nice! Behind the joystick of the “automated” Xtronic there is a selector of driving modes: next to the usual “eco/sport/standard”, there are two additional ones – if you choose mode for winter or off-road, the four-wheel drive system will constantly send 20-25% to 45% of the torque to the rear wheels. By the way, with regard to off-road, the ground clearance is 180 mm.

Nissan Qashqai cost: what is the price of innovation

One of the key advantages of the Nissan Qashqai car has always been a wide selection of different versions. This rule is relevant this time as well.

The model range is opened by the Nissan Qashqai in the Visia configuration: here is the usual air conditioner and steel wheels, but there are also seven airbags, intelligent “cruise”, control of the “blind zones” of the side mirrors, driver fatigue monitoring, automatic high beam switching. That is, even in the basic configuration, the car offers a lot of such equipment, which competitors provide only in the maximum versions. The price of the Nissan Qashqai Visia with a 130-horsepower engine, 6-speed mechanical transmission and front-wheel drive is from UAH 860,000 or $21,500.

Do you want to get an automated transmission? Then you need to choose the next Acenta configuration, which also offers an expanded list of equipment: added alloy wheels and 2-zone “climate”, a rearview camera and an 8-inch display, etc. Such a car with a 130-horsepower engine and mechanical transmission costs from UAH 950,000 (almost $24,000), and the version with a 150-horsepower engine and Xtronic automated transmission costs a little over UAH 1 million or $25-26,000.

The following configurations (N-Connecta, Tekna, Tekna+) immediately offer a 150-horsepower engine and Xtronic transmission, plus you can choose the type of drive – front 2WD or full 4WD. In addition, in the list of equipment you can already find all-round vision, adaptive high beam, panoramic glass roof, leather interior and much more. The cost of such Nissan Qashqai versions is 1.14-1.42 million UAH or $28.5-35 thousand.

It is important to note: the prices for the Nissan Qashqai 2022 model year with a hybrid MHEV based on a 1.3-liter engine have already been calculated. Such cars are more expensive by UAH 80-90 thousand, but they are characterized by better fuel efficiency and increased power – let me remind you that hybrids offer 140/158 hp. instead of 130/150 hp. in regular versions 1.3 DIG-T.

Of course, the test car was presented in the maximum configuration Tekna+ with a 150-horsepower engine and four-wheel drive – so it is not cheap: about 1.4 million hryvnias or $35 thousand. But there is something to show here: projection on the windshield, seats with back massage, all-round view, Bose audio system, black and silver 19-inch wheels, panoramic glass roof, many driver assistance systems…

Results of the Nissan Qashqai test drive

I had been thinking about the title of this article, until I realized – a new Nissan Qashqai SUV again took a noticeable step forward and “grew up” compared to its predecessors. And this happened in everything: exterior design, interior design, engine behavior, level of equipment. However, the same happened with the price – it increased. But, as you can see, this “con” of the car can be compensated by many new “pros”. That’s why it turned out that way: no matter which way you look at it – the new Nissan Qashqai SUV has really risen to a higher level.

Nissan Qashqai car test drive: a level higher

Car provided by Nissan Ukraine