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First look: X-Trail’s smaller brother

European touch: The Qashqai fits between the Tiida and X-Trail.

Nissan reveals its Qashqai compact SUV ahead of its official Paris debut

13 Sep 2006

NISSAN president and CEO Carlos Ghosn officially revealed the company’s new compact crossover last week ahead of its global production debut at the Paris motor show on September 28.

Significantly smaller than the bigger new X-Trail compact SUV due to surface next year, Qashqai is expected to play a key role in Nissan’s European sales ambitions from next February and is also high on Nissan Australia’s wish-list.

The production Qashqai, which will be produced at Nissan’s Sunderland factory in the UK and will also be sold in Japan under the name Dualis, is based on the concept of the same name that first appeared at the 2004 Geneva motor show.

According to Nissan, Qashqai “will cater for those car buyers who want a more dynamic design than offered by a traditional C-segment (small) car, but are not attracted to the large, aggressive nature of a compact SUV”.

12 center imageAs the first model to be designed by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) since its move to London in 2003, Qashqai features a similar rising shoulder line to that of the Murano and a cockpit-style driving position with deeply recessed instruments and a raised centre console.

Sized somewhere between Tiida and X-Trail, Qashqai is 4210mm long, 1610mm tall, 1780mm wide and rides on a 2630mm wheelbase. Nissan claims that makes it about 100mm longer than a typical hatchback but 150mm shorter than a typical SUV, as well as up to 150mm taller than a small hatch but up to 130mm lower than an SUV.

Four engines will be available in Europe, including 86kW/160Nm 1.6-litre and 105kW/200Nm 2.0-litre petrol fours and 79kW/240Nm 1.5-litre and 112kW/320Nm 2.0-litre diesels.

Five- and six-speed manual, six-speed automatic and continuously variable transmission choices will be available, depending on engines, but Nissan’s All-Mode 4x4 system will only be available with 2.0-litre variants.

"European customers want it all: dynamic design, driving performance and attractive premium interior," Mr Ghosn said.

"Qashqai delivers it all, which is why it will lead our sales growth in Europe and the growth in recognition of Nissan as a truly bold, thoughtful and innovative Japanese brand.

"We expect Qashqai will sell more than 100,000 units a year on average across Europe – with 80 per cent of those customers buying a Nissan for the first time. Before Qashqai, they drove a premium C-segment car, a compact 4x4 or a D- segment car," he said.

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