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Geneva show: Nissan updates Qashqai mid-size SUV

Qashed up: The Qashqai was Nissan’s third-best selling vehicle last year behind the X-Trail and Navara.

Styling and handling tweaks feature in Nissan Qashqai update, due early 2018

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Nissan logo10 Mar 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

NISSAN has revealed an updated version of its Qashqai mid-size SUV at the Geneva motor show, featuring a mildly updated exterior and interior, revisions to steering and suspension and the addition of Nissan’s ProPilot driving aids.

Nissan’s third-best selling model is due in Australian showrooms early next year, to do battle in the hotly-contested and ever-growing mid-size SUV market.

The most obvious exterior change is the tweaked front fascia that emphasises the ‘V-motion’ grille that is slowly being rolled out across the majority of the Nissan range, as well as narrower lower air intakes and the inclusion of side air vents.

As well, design of the headlight cluster has changed with revised daytime running lights, with adaptive front lights included as part of the update.

Rear styling tweaks are minimal, and include a mild revision of the tail-light cluster with a greater emphasis on the ‘boomerang’ lighting signature and a two-part silver bumper.

Two new colours have been added to the Qashqai’s colour palette – Vivid Blue, featured on the revealed car, and Chestnut Bronze.

Interior enhancements include a new flat-bottomed steering wheel with satin-chrome inserts and revised button layout, while the new top-spec Tekna+ variant – which is not coming to Australia – gets new seats adorned in quilted Nappa leather.

The NissanConnect infotainment system now features a new user interface, while a seven-speaker Bose sound system will be offered as an option.

The Qashqai update will also feature Nissan’s ProPilot suite of semi-autonomous driving aids, which include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and rear cross-traffic alert for the first time, along with traffic sign recognition, driver attention alert, park assist, around view monitor, blind spot warning and lane departure warning.

Tweaks have been made to the Qashqai’s suspension, damping and steering systems to result in a smoother driving experience, while noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have been improved with the addition of thicker rear glass and additional absorption materials, says Nissan.

Wheels option include 17, 18 and 19-inch alloy rims depending on the variant and customer preference.

No changes have been made to powertrains, with Australian variants expected to continue employing either a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a six-speed manual or continuously-variable transmission (CVT), or a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel range-topper mated exclusively to the CVT.

Last year Nissan registered 12,259 sales of the Qashqai, making it the third-best selling model in the Japanese brand’s line-up behind the X-Trail SUV (18,903) and Navara ute (16,755).

So far this year 3259 Qashqai’s have found homes, putting it on track for almost 20,000 sales by the end of the year.

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