New Nissan Qashqai revealed with camouflaged images

  • Nissan's bestseller gets a new platform
  • Hybrid engines but no diesel
  • Wider, lower, sleeker

Nissan has teased images of the new Qashqai ahead of its full unveiling in Spring 2021.

A completely new platform, the latest raft of driver safety systems, and hybrid powertrains are the latest bits of big news from the team behind the car.

UK pricing and trim structures are yet to be announced, but Nissan has revealed that there will be no diesels on offer, and it will be built in Sunderland.

More practical, Nissan says

The Qashqai is Nissan's bestseller in Europe, so it's only fitting that it's the first car to receive Nissan's new platform.

This new architecture allows many differences compared with the old car - one of the most important being how practical it is.

2021 Nissan Qashqai rear camouflage

The new car is 32mm longer and 35mm wider than the old model, resulting in more room for passengers.

The boot is now more than 50 litres larger too, so expect it to measure in at least 480-litres worth of space. Interestingly, both petrol and hybrid cars will have the same amount of usable space.

Upgraded looks

We've only seen the same images as offered here - so it's hard to fully tell what the new car will look like.

The front lights look to be very different from the current model - much higher up. But the side profile and rear look similar.

Interestingly, the proportional changes aren't just for practicality-sake. Nissan Europe's deputy director of passenger car vehicle evaluation, Peter Brown, tells us that the changes are also to make the car look lower and wider and more befitting of something a bit sportier.

Engine options

There are two methods of propulsion, neither of which is a diesel. Nissan Europe's vice president for product planning, Marco Fioravanti says: 'When we look at the performance the new powertrains can provide, our customers will be more than happy with what's on offer.'

We'll start off with the simpler of the two methods to explain. It's a 1.3-litre petrol engine with mild-hybrid assistance. CO2 emissions haven't been published yet, but we can confirm that it'll come in the following configurations:

>> 138hp manual two-wheel drive
>> 155hp manual two-wheel drive
>> 155hp CVT (automatic) two-wheel drive
>> 155hp CVT (automatic) four-wheel drive

2021 Nissan Qashqai side camouflage

Real anaracks will have noticed that the automatic gearbox has changed. The current Qashqai uses a DCT, while the new one will use a CVT.

Peter Brown said: 'We looked at customer feedback and neither the CVT or DCT was perfect. This new CVT will be the best of both worlds - offering a relaxed smooth seamless drive at low speed, but enough grunt at high speeds.

'There are variable numbers of gears with a CVT depending on speed and amount of demand, not just the standard seven or eight.'

The second means of propulsion is Nissan's e-Power system. This is essentially a range-extender hybrid, which means it offers electric driving without range anxiety. The wheels are driven by an electric motor, while the petrol engine simply charges the battery.

No official mpg figures yet, but power output is rated at 188hp and it's only available with front-wheel drive.

Technology

An upgrade to Nissan's ProPilot semi-autonomous car tech is the biggest thing to write about here.

The system can now slow down to 0mph in stop-start traffic, and resume driving once the car in front moves. Software changes mean the steering system should be smoother and less jerky.

It will also be able to adjust the car's speed based on the speed limit by reading road signs and communicating with the car's inbuilt sat-nav.

Blind-spots have been thought about too - the car can intervene and prevent you from changing lane if there is a vehicle in the blind-spot on the motorway. While there's a new 'flank protection' system, which alerts the driver of a risk of contact with something in the blind spot at low speeds - for instance, a bollard in a supermarket.

These latest systems will be available from the mid-spec N-Connecta grades.

There's also an adaptive headlight system that alters the shape of its beam depending on road condition and road users. For instance, it can partially deactivate small sections of the light in order not to dazzle oncoming traffic.

All cars will get LED headlights, but only upper spec cars will get this technology.

What this means for you

Considering the Qashqai regularly features in the bestseller's lists, this could mean a lot for a fair number of people.

If you'll be in the market for a medium-sized crossover next year, it means the Qashqai will be one of the most technically advanced available.

As for the future of the Qashqai and possible variations, Marco Fioravanti says: 'This is our key model in Europe and we aren't closing any doors for now. (The car's) life cycle is long and full of surprises - we're pretty sure we'll surprise you in the future.'

'We are entering a new phase of our company. Qashqai is the first glimpse.'

Further reading: 

>> Current Nissan Qashqai review

>> The best SUVs for less than £200 per month - including the Qashqai

>> Deal Watch - the best new car deals around

2021 Nissan Qashqai front dynamic camouflage