Nissan Qashqai To Be Launched In Nepal By 2021
Nissan Qashqai has been credited with being one of the first ‘perfect’ crossovers to hit the market. The first generation of the Nissan Qashqai, which has been on sale in the international markets since 2007 has proved to be one of the most successful products for the Japanese automaker. The Qashqai has so far registered sales of over 1.5 million units in Europe alone and two million units worldwide. In 2013 however, Nissan presented the second generation of the Qashqai in London, which is said to be more fuel-efficient and better equipped than the current model. The interesting bit is that Nissan has officially confirmed that the company will bring its most potent crossover into the Nepalese market very soon.
Dimensionally, the new Qashqai is 20mm wider, 49mm longer and 15mm shorter than the out-going model. On the other hand, the headroom has been bumped up by 10mm. While the new model is bigger than the current model, it is also lighter by 50kg. The second-generation Qashqai is also the first Nissan model to be based on the new CMF or Common Alliance Platform developed by Renault-Nissan alliance. The model, therefore, boasts of aggressive and bold design language, taking a huge departure from the norm.
At the front, there are the new LED lamps with daytime running lights. The Nissan logo rests within the V-shaped engine grille. The new model stands on 19-inch alloys with spruced up wheel arches. The rear is adorned by the classic boomerang taillights. The interiors of the Qashqai has been updated as well, with the addition of more features and the overall improvement of the fit, finish and the build of the cabin. Internationally, the Nissan Qashqai is being offered in five and seven-seat configuration and the model also comes with all-wheel drive. For the Indian market, we reckon Nissan India will bring the model with seating for seven passengers. We also hear that Nissan will tag the compact crossover as Nissan Qashqai +2 in the Nepalese market.
The Nissan Qashqai +2 will be offered in a total of four engine options - 2 diesel and 2 petrol variants. The diesel variants could be powered by a 1.5-litre dCi engine that is rated at 108PS and a 1.6-litre dCi unit that is touted as the most fuel-efficient in the whole range and is able to produce 128PS of max power. The petrol variants, on the other hand, will be powered by a 1.2-liter DIG-T unit that is rated at 113PS and 190Nm and a 1.6-litre DIG-T unit that puts out 148PS of max power and 240Nm of peak torque. It is now known yet if Nissan will bring the Qashqai into the country via the CBU or CKD route. The said decision will affect the sticker price of the crossover significantly in the market. Nonetheless, when launched the Qashqai +2 will compete with the likes of Honda CR-V, Skoda Yeti, Ssangyong Rexton and the Toyota Fortuner SUV in the Nepalese market and will be positioned above the Nissan Terrano.
The Qashqai comes with all 4 disc brakes and they are very sharp and have no issues in shedding speeds. The crossovers are expected to come equipped with a range of safety and security features including six airbags (four that protect those in the front, plus two that run the length of the car at window level), Anti Lock Brake System, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Stability Control, Automatic Emergency Braking (which brakes for you if it detects that you’re about to hit the vehicle in front and haven’t braked at all), Blind Spot Monitors, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Departure Warning etc., all of this contributes to the Qashquai five-star Euro NCAP rating.
Nissan Qashqai has best-in-segment fuel efficiency in both petrol and diesel guises. Its 1.2-liter DIG-T engine is expected to deliver a mileage of 16-17 kmpl and 1.6-litre DIG-T engine should deliver around 15-16 kmpl while talking about the 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine, it is expected to deliver around 23-24 kmpl in real-world driving conditions.
The motor is very quick to make progress, it has a fantastic punch in all parts of the powerband – low, mid and top. The gearbox is butter smooth and a delight to use with a light clutch for relaxed stop-go driving in traffic. The handling is remarkable and this crossover doesn’t feel at all large or cumbersome on the road. Driver’s seat gets a lot of adjustment options and finding the perfect driving position is easy. Body control is very good, the steering has good feedback but isn’t as responsive and rich in feel as its rivals. High-speed composure is great and the Qashqai has a confidence-inspiring feel of solidity on the highway. NVH levels are decent and the motor gets a bit vocal only at high RPMs. The suspension system comprises McPherson struts in the front and a twist-beam design at the rear (2WD) or multi-link system (AWD) offers a quality ride.
High on comfort and quality, the Nissan Qashqai offers a good balance of performance and efficiency, ride and handling, something which is bound to go down well with prospective buyers. It will be positioned against the likes of Mahindra XUV500, Skoda Yeti and Honda CR-V in the Nepalese Market.