From the pint-sized Juke to the full-size Armada, Nissan’s product portfolio is chock full of crossovers and sport utility vehicles. Nonetheless, Nissan has found room for one more crossover, and is filling the gap between the Juke and the Rogue with the new-for-2017 Qashqai.
One of Nissan’s bestsellers around the world, the Qashqai (say: Kash-Kai) will also be sold south of the border as the Rogue Sport. It shares its platform with the Rogue, but is about 30 cm shorter in overall length, riding on a wheelbase that’s similar in size to the first-generation Rogue. Size-wise, it's similar to the Audi Q3 or BMW X1. The Qashqai's smaller dimensions make it more maneuverable in urban spaces, though the trade-off is a slightly smaller cabin and less cargo space.
The cabin of the Qashqai is very similar to the Rogue; the two are almost identical in their appearance with a sweeping dashboard design and straightforward controls. A sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel gives the Qashqai’s cabin a modern look, while luxuries such as leather heated seats, a heated steering wheel, proximity key, and navigation are all available. Overall cargo capacity for the Qashqai is a reasonable 648 litres with the rear seats upright and 1,730 with the seats folded. The Divide-N-Hide cargo system, standard on the mid-grade SV and up, provides extra versatility with a reconfigurable cargo floor.
Despite sharing its genes with the Rogue, the Qashqai uses a different powertrain, a smaller 2.0-litre four-cylinder with direct injection and variable valve timing. Output is 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or a CVT; front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive as an option. Expect the Qashqai to be among the most fuel-efficient models in its class.
Those concerned about safety shouldn’t worry as the Qashqai is available with all the latest active safety kit. Features like blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, emergency autonomous braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and radar cruise control are all available. As with the Rogue, the Qashqai benefits from Active Ride Control and Active Trace Control, two technologies that use the vehicle’s brakes to improve both ride smoothness and stability.
The Qashqai is available in three trims: S, SV, and SL.
The S trim level includes automatic headlamps with 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, tire pressure monitoring with Easy Fill Tire Alert, LED daytime running lights, power heated exterior mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, power windows, six-way adjustable driver’s seat, cloth upholstery, 60/40 split folding rear bench seat, 5.0-inch TFT instrument cluster display, display audio system with four-speaker AM/FM radio, CD player, Bluetooth, reverse camera, text messaging assistant, and Siri Eyes-Free for control of iPhones.
SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, power moonroof, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, remote engine starter, proximity key, cruise control, satellite radio, LED headlamps, and the Divide-N-Hide cargo organizer system.
The SL trim level swathes the seats in leather upholstery, and adds a six-way power driver’s seat, a 7.0-inch navigation system with Mobile Apps, 360-degree parking camera, Moving Object Detection, silver roof rails, and 19-inch wheels with painted pockets.