The new third-generation of Nissan’s Sunderland-built Qashqai family crossover is launched today as its arrival is hailed as a huge vote of confidence in post-Brexit Britain.
Bosses said Nissan’s 35 years of car-building in Britain meant it had become part of the UK way of life and was proud to celebrate its ‘Britishness’.
The new Qashqai was conceived at Nissan’s European Design Centre in Paddington, West London, and engineered at its European engineering centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, before being manufactured in the North East of England, it pointed out.
Prices are expected to be between £22,000 to £32,000 with first deliveries from summer. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest version of Britain’s best-selling SUV for more than a decade…
Built in Britain: This is the new-for-2021 Nissan Qashqai – the third-generation of the UK’s best-selling SUV for a decade that will continue to be built in Sunderland
Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Nissan Motor (GB) said that in the wake of Brexit: ‘The Qashqai represents a great vote of confidence in Britain and in the British workforce here.
‘People want to buy British. And in terms of Britishness, the new Qashqai resonates. It was designed in London, engineered in Cranfield and built in Sunderland. It has credibility.’
Mr Humberstone said he was always ‘quietly confident’ that a Brexit deal would be struck and is pleased that the ‘clarity’ means Nissan can now forge ahead in the UK: ‘I’m very optimistic about what’s ahead of us,’ he said. ‘We’re here for the future’.
The new Qashqai has grown in size, gained bolder looks, been fitted with softer touch fabrics, and has the option of new green petrol-electric hybrid power.
Prices for the third-generation Nissan Qashqai are expected between £22,000 to £32,000 with first deliveries from summer
Bosses said Nissan’s 35 years of car-building in Britain meant it had become part of the UK way of life and was proud to celebrate its ‘Britishness’
How British is the new Qashqai? It was conceived at Nissan’s European Design Centre in Paddington, West London, and engineered at its European engineering centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, before being manufactured in the North East
Nissan says it is targeting ‘downsizers’ by offering business class comfort and tech at economy class prices – with up to a quarter of sales expected to come from drivers switching from bigger cars into the more compact Qashqai.
So successful has the top-selling Qashqai already proved for both Nissan and the 7,000-strong UK workforce which builds it at Britain’s biggest car factory that wags have even dubbed it the Nissan ‘cash-cow’.
The Japanese car-maker, which has given a long term commitment to the UK and invested £400million to produce the new Qashqai in Sunderland, unveiled the new crossover just weeks after Britain finally left the European Union.
The new third-generation of Nissan’s Sunderland-built Qashqai family crossover is launched today as its arrival is hailed as a huge vote of confidence in post-Brexit Britain
Ray Massey, motoring editor for the Daily Mail, has had an early look at the new car, which is bigger and more advanced than ever before
Behind the wheel of the new Qashqai: For each year the Nissan family SUV has been available in the UK, it has been the best-seller in its segment
Around seven out of ten of the new cars built at the Sunderland factory will continue to be exported across the Channel to mainland Europe.
So far nearly four million Qashqais have been built at the North East factory since the first generation of the popular model – which Nissan claims created the flexible family ‘crossover’ segment – was launched 14 years ago at the beginning of 2007, with the second generation version following in 2014.
For each year the Qashqai has been available in the UK, it has been the nation’s most-bought SUV.
The outgoing second-gen Qashqai is Europe’s most popular crossover with three million sold across the Continent and five million sold globally.
Nissan’s Sunderland plant which also builds the quirky Juke crossover and the all-electric Leaf – is also the largest car factory in UK history, with one in three of all cars made in Britain rolling off its production lines.
The new Qashqai has grown in size, gained bolder looks, been fitted with softer touch fabrics, and has the option of new green petrol-electric hybrid power
Prices are expected to start from around £22,000 for the entry-level mid-hybrid petrol while the self-charging hybrid will cost up to £32,000
The third-generation Qashqai is the first Nissan family-size SUV to be sold with a hybrid powertrain. There’s also a petrol version with mild-hybrid technology, but diesel is no longer an option
Third-generation Nissan Qashqai is the first to get a hybrid option
The new Qashqai launched today is available both as a petrol-electric hybrid and mild-hybrid – but no diesel.
Prices are expected to start from around £22,000 for the entry-level mid-hybrid petrol while the self-charging hybrid will cost up to £32,000.
The hybrid’s ‘e-POWER’ system uses a 1.5-litre 154 horsepower petrol engine to generate electricity – like an on-board mini power station.
The generated electricity is then used to charge on-board batteries which, in turn, power a 140kW (187 horsepower) electric motor to turns the front wheels of the two-wheel drive vehicles.
Designers have managed to make the Qashqai familiar but also evolved the design with a bulkier presence, raked lines down the profile of the car and squared-off sections from the rear arches
The front of the car follows the same design language as the smaller Juke crossover, sharing the same U-shaped grille
The new Nissan Qashqai will be available for the first time with a bigger alloy wheel size of 20 inches
Nissan said: ‘The petrol engine is used solely to generate electricity, whilst the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor. ‘This means the engine can always run within its optimal range, leading to superior fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared with a traditional internal combustion engine.’
It added: ‘Thanks to the pure electric motor drive, there’s no delay as with an internal combustion engine or traditional hybrid.’
The hybrid e-POWER Qashqai can travel for up to just over a mile on electric power only.
But the real benefit is the way in which the generated power – plus electricity created from regenerative braking – reduces petrol consumption and lowers CO2 emissions.
At speeds of over 6.2mph, motorists can chose to drive in ‘e-pedal’ mode – pressing down on the accelerator to proceed and taking their foot off the same pedal to slow down and brake.
Nissan said: ‘Drivers can start, accelerate, and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal.’
Customers can also choose a 1.3-litre mild-hybrid petrol version offered with two power outputs – 138hp and 156hp. These come with either a six-speed manual transmission or (with the 156hp version only), a new Xtronic continuously variable automatic gearbox.
Only Xtronic models offer the option of intelligent all-wheel drive with five driving modes: Standard, Eco, Sport, Snow and Off-Road.
To help passenger get in and out of the second row of seats, the rear doors now open wider to 85 degrees. It offers a tunnel-line entry into the back of the vehicle
To aid driver safety there’s a large 10.8-inch head-up display that allows the driver to keep his or her eye on the road while seeing key information – such as speed limits and sat-nav directions – projected through the windscreen
The tablet-style touchscreen is Nissan’s most advanced and is a high-definition display with bright and bold colours
New-for-2021 Nissan Qashqai is the biggest yet
The Qashqai has also grown in stature – being longer, wider and higher – with a bolder look and more space, especially for rear passengers.
Shoulder room has also increased by 28mm creating more distance between the driver and front passenger. Knee room for rear occupants has also increased by 28mm to 608mm.
Also bigger is the maximum wheel size, which now goes up to a whopping 20-inch alloy rim.
To help passenger get in and out, the rear doors now open wider to 85 degrees.
The interior of the new sports-utility vehicle is inspired by the interior of an Airbus airliner cockpit offering ‘premium feel, distinctive design and enhanced usability’.
The revised cabin is claimed to be inspired by an Airbus airliner cockpit. Nissan says it provides ‘premium feel, distinctive design and enhanced usability’
The Qashqai has also grown in stature – being longer, wider and higher – to provide more space, especially for rear passengers. Shoulder room has also increased by 28mm creating more distance between the driver and front passenger
The boot door has the option of power opening and a flexible floor. The maximum loading capacity with the back seats in the fixed position is 504 litres – though this will expand significantly with the backrests laid flat
To aid driver safety there’s a large 10.8-inch head-up display that allows the driver to keep his or her eye on the road while seeing key information – such as speed limits and sat-nav directions – projected through the windscreen.
Other premium kit includes massage seats, high definition displays, and wireless smartphone charging.
Buyers have a choice of 11 body colours with five two-tone combinations, creating a total of 16 variations.
Other features include a powered hands-free tailgate leading to a bigger 504-litre flexible boot.
The Qashqai takes its name from a semi-nomadic Iranian tribe renowned for their brave warriors and beautiful textiles.
New 3rd-gen Nissan Qashqai: Will it fit in my garage?
Built in: Sunderland and on sale from summer 2021
Price: from about £22,000 to £32,000
Length: 4,425mm (+35mm bigger than 2nd-gen Qashqai)
Width: 1,838mm (+32mm)
Height: 1,635mm (+10mm)
Wheelbase: 2,666mm (+20mm)
Wheels: 17 inches to 20 inches
Drive: 2 wheel (4 wheel drive some specs)
Top speed: 120mph (estimate)
0-62mph: 10.4 seconds (estimate)
CO2 emissions: from 139g/km (estimate)
Fuel efficiency: 44mpg (estimate)
1.5-litre 154 horsepower petrol engine (to generate electricity)
140kW (187 horsepower) electric motor
Range on electric power only: just over a mile
Engine: 1.3-litre 138 horsepower and 156 horsepower petrol
Gears: 6-speed manual or new Xtronic (CVT) automatic (with the 156hp version only)
(Only Xtronic models offer the option of intelligent all-wheel drive with five driving modes: Standard, ECO, Sport, Snow and Off-Road)
Nissan’s commitment to the North East
Nissan has pledged to support Sunderland long-term in the wake of Brexit.
Sunderland exports 70 per cent of its cars, mainly to the EU member states. In January it announced a new battery factory at the Sunderland site to aid production of electrified cars.
Work on the Sunderland factory began in July 1984 – breaking the militant Midlands’ car-workers’ stranglehold on vehicle production and revolutionising car-making in the UK – with the first Bluebird rolling off the line two years later in 1986.
Nissan said the Qashqai is a vote of confidence in Britain and its North East workforce following decades of success in Sunderland
Qashqai is the most successful UK-built car and fastest to reach 3 million units on record – a feat that took 10 years to achieve
Sunderland has built crossovers for Nissan since December 2006 when the first generation Qashqai rolled off the production line, with the second generation following in 2014.
Nissan noted: ‘Both generations of Qashqai and Juke were designed, engineered and produced in the UK. The Qashqai is the UK’s largest volume manufactured car with more than three million manufactured in Sunderland.’
In total, the Sunderland factory has built more than 10 million cars (10,478,120) up to the end of 2020 with the Qashqai and its quirky sibling accounting for 45% of the total.
Total production of all versions of Qashqai stands at 3,728,930, with Juke production at 1,053,178.
Total production of all versions of Qashqai stands at 3,728,930. The Sunderland plant has produced more than 10 million cars (10,478,120) up to the end of 2020
Sunderland has built crossovers for Nissan since December 2006 when the first generation Qashqai rolled off the production line, with the second generation (pictured) following from 2014
Qashqai is also the most successful UK-built car and fastest to reach 3million units, a feat which took 10 years.
Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said in January: ‘The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan. Being the largest automaker in the UK we are taking this opportunity to redefine auto-making in the UK.
‘It has created a competitive environment for Sunderland, not just inside the UK but outside as well.’
And he stressed: ‘We are committed to Sunderland for the long term under the business conditions that have been agreed.’
Last week Nissan celebrated the sale of its one millionth sport utility crossover vehicle to UK customers – the first car brand to reach the major milestone achieved by the trio of Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail.
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