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Autotrader review nissan qashqai
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The Nissan Qashqai has been a simply staggering success since it was launched in 2007. It took barely four years to bust the million sales barrier and even though it's now a six-year-old design, and being replaced, Nissan's factory in Sunderland in the UK (and the other global locations in which the Qashqai is made) is still working flat out to meet demand.
Nonetheless, Nissan has today (November 7, 2013) unveiled the car's replacement, an all-new Qashqai based on an all-new platform. It shares that platform with the upcoming new X-Trail (which launches next summer, six months after the Qashqai) and doubtless with many other Nissan, Renault and Infiniti models as the Renault-Nissan Alliance seeks to make the same sort of platform sharing savings that the Volkswagen Group is making with its MQB setup.
Indeed, the new Qashqai's platform is around 30 per cent cheaper to make than the old model's, a saving that Nissan says has been ploughed back into improving quality.
A glance at the new Qashqai's interior seems to confirm this, with a more upmarket cabin design and more premium-feel soft-touch surfaces compared to the rather cheap and plain cabin of the existing car.
Practicality hasn't been forgotten either. The new Qashqai is 49mm longer and 20mm wider, and although the roofline is lower, the seats have been repositioned so that headroom is actually improved. The boot is now 20 litres bigger, at 430 litres, and has a reversible floor that can sit at different heights, with a hose-off plastic cover on one side.
There will be no seven-seat Qashqai +2 this time around though, in spite of the bigger boot. Customers wanting a seven seater will have to upgrade to the new X-Trail, which will come with seven seats as standard.
The Qashqai will also gain much more in-cabin technology, including Nissan's 'Safety Shield' that combines a driver fatigue monitor with lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. Indeed, Nissan claims that the tech for autonomous driving is already embedded in the Qashqai. A self-driving Qashqai on the school run? It will happen, and someday soon.
Top spec models will get toys like LED headlights, Nissan's bird's-eye-view surround camera system for parking, satnav that can communicate with your mobile phone to help you remember where your car's parked and an electronic 'differential' that's supposed to improve the Qashqai's agility.
Engines are carry-over for the diesel models, and feature an all-new petrol version. The headline model will be the 1.5 dCi 110hp diesel, which now drops down to 99g/km of CO2 with claimed fuel economy of better than 70mpg. There's a 130hp 1.6 diesel too (with optional four-wheel drive) and for diesel-phobes, a new 115hp 1.2-litre petrol turbo, which will have emissions of just 129g/km. Nissan is also planning a hot Nismo version with 150hp.
With the Nissan badge, you might be assuming that the Qashqai is a Japanese car, but in fact, it only barely qualifies as such. In fact, it's more British than anything else, with the styling done in Nissan's London studio, the engineering work carried out at Cranfield in Bedfordshire and Sunderland being the lead plant for production.
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