The vehicle you see here is the one that was shown for Europe, but you can expect the Canadian-bound Qashqai to be a near carbon copy when it arrives at Nissan dealerships—likely toward the end of this year as a 2022 model.
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Compared to the outgoing generation (2017-2021), the new Qashqai boasts pretty much the same silhouette, yet it’s longer and wider by about three centimetres and taller by about two centimetres. It’s also sharper and more muscular-looking, drawing some inspiration from its larger siblings. Check out the updated V-Motion grille, aggressively redesigned LED headlights and newly sculpted front bumper.
The lower body sides have been revised, and there’s a new character line that stretches from the headlights all the way to the new taillights, whose design creates a 3-D effect when lit. New body colours and wheel designs (up to 20 inches in size!) are available. Nissan is also talking about two-tone combinations.
The cabin of the new Qashqai marks another big step forward since designers have used higher-quality materials, updated the various controls and added new white ambient lighting. There’s a bit more legroom in the rear (nearly three centimetres), but other interior dimensions have barely increased.
On a practical note, the rear doors now open to 85 degrees to allow easier access. Meanwhile, the cargo floor has been lowered, resulting in over 50 litres of extra luggage space.
Technology-obsessed drivers will enjoy the new nine-inch, high-resolution centre display, which is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa home-to-car skills are also supported. A 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument panel is even available, offering a choice of configurable layouts to display navigation, entertainment, traffic or vehicle information. And for good measure, a new 10.8-inch head-up display projects key navigation, driver assistance and road information onto the windshield.
In Europe, the Nissan Qashqai will be powered by a 12V mild hybrid system comprising a 1.3-litre turbo engine and lithium-ion battery. Later, an e-POWER full hybrid unit will be added. None of them are expected to land in Canada, however. The likeliest scenario is the return of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that’s currently producing 141 horsepower. And while a six-speed manual transmission is still offered across the Atlantic, we suspect it will be dropped on this side.
On the road, look for a more rewarding driving experience courtesy of a lighter yet stiffer new platform, upgraded front and rear suspension, as well as more responsive steering, Nissan claims. Additional safety features are part of the mix, including available ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving assist.
Keep following The Car Guide for more information about the 2022 Nissan Qashqai and its Canadian launch.