A review of the new Nissan Qashqai was already published, where the main details were analyzed as nuances of the model were. But the story of the car is not over yet – recently the electrified version of e-POWER was added to the Nissan Qashqai line. What is it and why was it created? How much does it cost and is it worth it? Difficult questions I will try to answer below.
Nissan Qashqai e-POWER design: differences for connoisseurs
As usually happens during the release of any special versions of cars, the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER crossover is decorated with numerous thematic logos. The “e-POWER” designation can be found on the front doors and trunk lid. It’s not on the grille, but the differences are still there: look at the big dark solid stripe and the white flat logo. By the way, the wheel rim caps are similar. These are such small but noticeable differences – they seem to be specially made for connoisseurs of the Nissan Qashqai model.
Crossover Nissan Qashqai e–POWER did not change in format and size (typical C-SUV with a length of 4.43 meters), it kept its general design – but added small differences: the designation “e–POWER“, a wide stripe in the upper part of the radiator grille, white logos.
By the way, a similar white logo is also applied to the steering wheel in the interior. However, this is far from the only difference. For example, look at the original graphics of the digital instrument panel – from now on, the place of the traditional tachometer is replaced by a “power” meter with markings on energy consumption and energy recovery. Or take a closer look at the center console: you will find a new “joystick” control (instead of the traditional automatic transmission lever) and additional “EV” and “e-Pedal” buttons, which seem to reveal the electrified essence of the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER.
But the front panel and seats reveal the general essence of the model – everything is known and familiar: soft finishing materials of the panels, a separate “climate” unit, seats with good stitching and back massage. In the back, everything is also known: the doors open to a large angle, there is plenty of space, there is an armrest and ventilation deflectors, there is no possibility of adjusting the sofa. And just a look behind this same sofa again reveals the special version of the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER: the floor of the trunk (436-479 l) has changed, which, unfortunately, has lost its convenient shelves.
In general, the interior is familiar, but the details are different: look at the center console or the 12.3-inch instrument panel with original indicators and markings. Behind everything is familiar, but in the trunk, there are again certain differences. And all because…
Nissan Qashqai e-POWER design: equipment for fans
Of course, because the main feature of the electrified Nissan Qashqai e-POWER is its equipment, which affects the design of the car.
We have two electric motors under the hood. First, an electric motor with a capacity of 140 kW (190 hp) and a torque of 330 Nm – this turns the front wheels and drives the car. Secondly, we have a 1.5-liter VC-Turbo engine with a mechanism for changing the compression ratio (from 8:1 to 14:1), direct fuel injection, and three cylinders – it is responsible only for rotating the generator and generating electricity.
We still have two batteries at once: the main one is hidden in the lower part of the body – it powers the electric motor; the additional ordinary one powers the onboard systems of the car. But what we don’t have is a regular gearbox.
How it all works: electrified crossover Nissan Qashqai e–POWER always drives only thanks to the electric motor. Instead, the gasoline engine has no mechanical connection with the wheels at all – that is why there is no gearbox (there is only a gearbox for the electric motor). Electricity is produced by a generator driven by an internal combustion engine or accumulated during braking and recuperation.
We understood how it works. But now another question is – why is all this necessary? The thing is that such a constructive scheme allows you to get several advantages at once.
First of all, this is the complete logic of driving a car as an electric car: uninterrupted acceleration, no pauses in the reaction of the diesel engine and gear shifting, and the possibility of implementing quite intense recuperation. For example, the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER crossover in the “e-Pedal” control mode (remember the buttons in the interior?) allows you to slow down with an intensity of 0.2g and accumulate energy during this time. And in the “EV” mode, it allows you to move on the electric drive without any loss of dynamics or speed indicators. That is, even in this mode, a maximum of 170 km/h is possible if only the battery charge was enough. By the way, now the battery charge is enough for 4-5 km in electric mode – and even then with a careful style of movement.
But here is the “second” for you: if we completely remove the diesel engine and the fuel tank from the above scheme, and instead of them all free space is occupied by batteries – then what will we get? That’s right, we get an electric car! In fact, everything is already ready for the electric mobility of the bestseller Nissan Qashqai, it’s just that instead of a large battery, we have an internal combustion engine with a generator.
Equipment e–POWER promises electric vehicle control logic, good acceleration, and fuel economy. But what will we actually get?
Three times “how much” for Nissan Qashqai e-POWER: acceleration, consumption, cost
The general character of the new Nissan Qashqai is a story about comfort and softness. Moreover, softness is not only in matters of setting the suspension but also in general in the reactions of the car: a very pleasant and comfortable crossover that seems to be trying to protect and hide the driver from the aggression of the outside world. So: e-POWER technology fits almost perfectly into this outlook and character of the car. The word “almost” is explained by the gasoline engine, which is sometimes noticeable in operation – by a steady hum or split-second vibrations during its start/stop.
However, everything related to the control of acceleration or deceleration is made very well here. Starting from a standing position and gaining speed take place on one unbroken line. The reactions of the electric motor to the accelerator pedal are soft and at the same time without pauses at all. Of course, there are no gearbox shifts – so there are no dips or incorrectly selected gears. There is only a wave of acceleration. And then there are decelerations with energy recovery – also very soft in “B” mode or more intense when the “e-Pedal” is activated. In addition, the behavior of the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER can be influenced by choosing one of three comprehensive driving mode settings: the “ECO” mode is traditionally leisurely and muted; but the standard or sports mode finally lets you feel the full power of the electric motor, which is capable of…
Of providing acceleration to a hundred km in 8.2-8.3 seconds – this is a little slower than promised (7.9 seconds), but still the best result in the line of all versions of Nissan Qashqai. Plus modification of the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER is at the same time, it is also the most economical: stable in the city at about 5.5 liters per 100 km (the minimum was about 4, the maximum reached 6.5-7 liters). It is interesting that at a highway speed of 100 km/h (+/- 10) the car also consumes about 5.5-6 liters per 100 km. The driver has a choice of three general driving modes, plus a variety of specific electronic settings that also affect the movement.
The last “how much” refers to the cost of the car. If we talk about the Nissan Qashqai crossover in general, then the price starts at approximately UAH 1 million (a little less). But if we talk specifically about the Nissan Qashqai e–POWER version, then its cost starts from UAH 1.54 million or $41.5 thousand.
Expensive? But keep in mind that the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER crossover is offered only in three rather high-level configurations: N-Connecta (average), Tekna (pre-top), and Tekna+ (maximum). Also note that the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER version actually has an automatic transmission (the base versions of the Nissan Qashqai have a manual transmission), but cannot have all-wheel drive at all. Therefore, it will be correct to compare the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER crossover with its rival brother, the Nissan Qashqai 1.3 MHEV 158 XTRONIC 2WD in N-Connecta configurations and above – such a car starts at UAH 1.233 million or $33 thousand.
That is, for the e-POWER technology, you need to pay about UAH 308,000. But consider that this is a surcharge not only for fuel economy but also for more power and improved dynamics.
Test car Nissan Qashqai e–POWER was presented in the maximum configuration Tekna+ and it is generally the most expensive version of the model – from UAH 1.77 million or $47.5 thousand. In addition to the electrified power unit e–POWER, also the maximum version of Nissan Qashqai can offer the following: all-round view, BOSE audio, projection on the windshield, a wide-format 12.3-inch display, a back massage function, premium leather on the seats, LED headlights with adaptive light, monitoring of the “blind zones” of the mirrors, adaptive cruise control, traffic lane monitoring, etc.
Results of the Nissan Qashqai e-POWER test drive
Of course, when you look at the difference in the price of the Nissan Qashqai and the similar e-POWER version, you want to quietly say: maybe just return the diesel for $2-3 thousand extra?
But there are already many “buts”. First, new requirements (especially in Europe) for the environmental friendliness of cars dictate the gradual abandonment of diesel engines and the transition to hybrids. Secondly, if it has to be done, Nissan decided to do even more than just another “hybrid”: this is the electrified version of e-POWER.
Thirdly, this version gave the Nissan Qashqai a simultaneous improvement in the economy and increased power and, accordingly, improved dynamics. Finally, e-POWER versions will also be offered for other Nissan models: for example, for the new Nissan X-Trail, the e-POWER option will be able to add all-wheel drive to the aforementioned list.
Therefore, the story of Nissan Qashqai e-POWER is not just the story of a separate version and model. This is a story about the future of Nissan cars in general in the perspective of the next few years.