At a recent event, Nissan India showcased three SUVs from the automaker’s global lineup including the 4th Gen X-Trail, 3rd Gen Qashqai and 2nd Gen Juke. The X-Trail has already been confirmed for release, but the automaker will test Qashqai, pronounced ‘kash-kai’, to see its potential for our market.
Most of us are not familiar with this oddly named SUV, so here are 5 things you need to know about it.
The Qashqai has a typical Nissan-like front profile complete with a wide grille called the V-Motion grille. Next to it is a sharp headlight setup with an angry eyebrow LED DRL. Its profile features some sharp folds and a sloping roofline. It also features stylish dual-tone alloy wheels (up to 20 inches in the European market) for a premium road presence.
At the rear, there are Kicks-like wraparound LED taillights and chrome ‘Qashqai’ lettering. The artificial skid plate on the bumper, which makes the rear look more solid than the front, rounds off the SUV’s design sense.
Qashqai’s proportions make it difficult to define an exact segment. It is larger than a regular small SUV like the Hyundai Cretan or Maruti Grand Vitara, but smaller than a mid-size SUV like the Tata Harrier or MG Hector. But it can be seen as an alternative to the Volkswagen Tiguan or Jeep Compass.
Inside, the Qashqai has an all-black cabin theme with a silver strip spanning the width of the dashboard. The console layout appears to have a high-end finish and is highlighted by two large displays. Most of the controls around the dashboard are tactile with buttons and dials, which is a welcome thing for a modern SUV.
Nissan got Qashqai’s upper model with a 12.3-inch infotainment system, while the lower-spec trim got an 8-inch touchscreen unit. This SUV also has a 12.3-inch digital cockpit display, a 10.8-inch head-up display, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic glass roof and an 8-way electrically adjustable cockpit.
Qashqai’s safety features include a range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features such as up to seven airbags, tire pressure monitors, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and rear cross-traffic warning.
A Choice Of Two Powertrains
For the European market, Qashqai uses two gasoline engines. One is mild-hybrid technology and the other is Nissan’s e-PowerStrong hybrid system, available for the first time in an SUV. The mild hybrid engine comes with a four-wheel drive (4WD) option, while the strong hybrid unit comes with only front-wheel drive (2WD).
When are you heading to India and how much will it cost?
We believe that automakers can bring mid-size SUVs to India by early 2024, subject to a market feasibility study. The starting price for the Indian spec Qashqai is Rs 30 lakh (ex-showroom).
Qashqai will be premium alternatives like MG Hector and Tata Harrier. Because of its price, it will also compete with Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass and Volkswagen Tiguan.