Autonomous driving and new higher-spec top model among changes to crossover king
Nissan have taken the wraps of the latest version of their ubiquitous Qashqai.
The car that helped create the crossover segment has had some cosmetic work to keep it looking fresh. The whole front end, including the bonnet, is new, with restyled headlights creating a new ‘signature’ and the option of a full, adaptive LED setup. Front and rear bumpers have been replaced as well and a new rear light setup reflects the signature shape of the front running lights.
Inside the cabin high-end models get new monoform seats and materials have been upgraded in the pursuit of a more premium feel. There’s also a new D-shaped steering wheel – first seen on the new Micra – but the rest of the layout remains largely unaltered.
The NissanConnect infotainment system gets a refresh with an icon-based interface aiming to make it easier to operate. And there’s an optional seven-speaker Bose sound system to make the most of the setup.
Aiming to push the Qashqai into more premium territory comes a new trim level. Tekna+ features standard kit such as adaptive LED headlights, satin-look roofrails and a panoramic roof, and it can be had with high-grade Nappa leather in a very fetching quilted “watchstrap” pattern.
Also as part of these efforts are improvements to refinement through using thicker glass, improving sound-deadening materials and the introduction of fancy-sounding vortex generators that cut the under-car wind noise.
Under the skin, drivetrains remain the same, with the option of 1.6-litre petrol or 1.5 or 1.6-litre diesels and two- or four-wheel drive. However, the chassis, suspension and steering have been retuned and new chassis control technologies introduced to offer a more secure and engaging drive than before.
Nissan claim they want to “democratise technology” and bring the sort of equipment usually seen on high-end cars into the mainstream. As part of that the new Qashqai can for the first time be had with intelligent emergency braking featuring pedestrian recognition and rear cross traffic alert. More radical than this is the introduction later this year of Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving system. Available on higher grades of Qashqai this features adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist designed to ease motorway driving.