Singapore debut for heavily improved Nissan Qashqai 2017

Nissan Qashqai Singapore 2017 2Nissan’s best-selling car in Singapore, the Qashqai SUV, gets lots of improvements to safety, more features and a sharp new look

Nissan launched a heavily revised version of the second-generation Qashqai sport utility vehicle (SUV) at its showroom on 25 Leng Kee Road this evening.

Two engine choices are offered for sale: The 1.2-litre DIG-T turbo, and the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated engine. The 1.2 Lite retails for $104,300 with COE, and th 1.2Premium for $107,300 with COE. The 2.0 comes with a choice of black interior ($126,300 with COE) or a ‘premium plum’ interior for $1,000 more.

On a side note, the pricing for the facelifted new X-Trail SUV, which is larger than the Qashqai and has seven-seats, has been revealed as $133,300 with COE.
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The 1.2 is powered by a 1,197cc turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with 115hp and 165Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is 5.6L/100km and emissions are 129g/km of CO2. The 2.0 has a 1,997cc naturally-aspirated inline four-cylinder with 144hp and 200Nm of torque, its consumption and emissions are 6.9L/100km and 159g/km CO2 respectively. Both engines are direct injection and use Nissan’s XTronic CVT with seven-virtual speeds, while the 1.2 has start-stop.

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The new Qashqai is slightly longer, going from 4,380mm to 4,394mm, which is a result of its new styling – notice the aggressive lower section of the front end with its integrated air slats and vortex generators on the underside.

The essential dimensions and platform remain the almost the same, it’s 5mm taller at 1,595mm, but the width and wheelbase are unchanged, at 1,806mm and 2,646mm respectively.

More importantly, the styling has been updated with Nissan’s ‘V-Motion’ grille, as seen on the Pulsar hatchback, the full LED headlights have been re-made with ‘boomerang’ LED light signatures – the taillights also feature a similar shape.

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On the 2.0-litre model, the Nissan grille is flat as it now hides the sensors for the active safety systems (read on for more), similar to those seen on the officially-imported Toyota Harrier.

New wheel designs are available in 17-inch (for the 1.2) and 19-inch size (for the 2.0), and there are two new colours: Vivid Blue and Chestnut Bronze. The 2.0 model has roof rails and a panoramic sunroof.

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They say crossover buyers appeal to a younger crowd….

Nissan says numerous upgrades have been made in an effort to bring a more premium feel to the interior – these include a new D-shaped three-spoke steering wheel that has a new four-way controller.

All variants have seats designed for improved comfort, with the 1.2 Lite having fabric upholstery, the 1.2 Premium has ‘Graphite leather’. The 2.0 has nappa leather, electrically-adjustable front seats, a memory function for the driver. Boot space remains identical at 430-litres, expandable to 1,598-litres.
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All variants of the Qashqai have dual-zone climate control, an active central display panel for the driver (‘Advanced Drive-Assist Display’), Bluetooth connectivity, and keyless entry and start. Only the 1.2 Premium and 2.0 models get a navigation-enabled, touch-screen audio system.

The Qashqai keeps its dynamic control systems from before, although their names have changed. Formerly known as Active Trace Control, Active Ride Control and Active Engine Brake, the ‘Active’ has been replaced with ‘Intelligent’. The first two systems use individual wheel braking to help handling and ride quality, while the Intelligent Engine Brake uses engine braking to help when slowing down and during corner entry.

Where the Qashqai gets a serious boost though, is safety, at least for the 2.0 model. All three have six airbags and VDM (aka ESP), but the 2.0 also debuts a number of active safety systems for the first time on a local Nissan SUV.

Systems already seen on other cars include rear cross traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning, but the Qashqai also has a 360-degree view camera, which has the added bonus of being able to detect moving objects and to alert the driver. Also new on the Qashqai is the Intelligent Emergency Brake that debuted on the Pulsar – it’s an autonomous braking system that will help slow or stop the car if the driver fails to take action.

While competition in this segment has become much stiffer thanks to the new Toyota Harrier and Mazda CX-5 which also have active safety features, the Qashqai has the advantage of being priced lower than those cars. Improved looks and lots of new features should keep the Qashqai at the top of Nissan’s strong seller list.

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Derryn Wong