Since 2007, Nissan has been producing a compact crossover SUV, the Nissan Qashqai (commonly known as the Nissan Dualis in Japan and Australia). It was considered as a replacement for the off-road skilled body-on-frame Mistral. The P32L platform used in it will also set the basis for the upcoming Nissan crossover SUVs.
Since December 2006, the Nissan Qashqai has been assembled at the Nissan’s NMUK Washington, Tyne and Wear facility.
The Qashqai is the first model designed by the Nissan Design Europe, London, while all the engineering work done by the Nissan Technical Center Europe (NTCE) situated in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. The vehicle was revealed for the first time at the Paris Motor Show.
About 100,000 units of Qashqai were sold by Nissan in Europe until 2007. The figures were: 17,554 in UK, 15,376 in Russia, and 10,746 in Italy. Nissan had set the target of selling about 500,000 units of Qashqai before the start of 2010, when they had planned to introduce facelift model.
The Qashqai is also imported in Middle East and many other countries.
In February 2007, the all-new Qashqai went on official sale with a sales target set to over 100,000 units per year by Nissan. According to Nissan, the car is named after the nomadic Turkic Qashqai tribe in Iran. It is a step below to the X-Trial in Nissan lineup and somehow manages to take the place of Primera, originally replaces the smaller Almera. As for size, the vehicle is 4,310 mm (169.7 inch) long and 1,610 mm (63.4 inch) high that make it perfect to fill the slot between compact MPVs like SEAT Altea and Renault Scenic and SUVs such as Hyundai Tuscon, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander.
Taking designing hints from the Nissan Murano, the Qashqai features a sleek, dynamic shape with unique shoulder line that goes up at the rear. Its large, prominent wheel arches and raised ground clearance makes it look like SUVs. Although, it shares it platform with the X-Trail, it is not as off-road capable or functional as X-Trail. The Qashqai has a competition with other Japanese cars like Toyota RAV-4 and the Honda CR-V. The car also holds best ever adult occupant score by earning a five star Euro NCAP safety rating for 2007.
It is available with two gasoline and two diesel engine variants. The gasoline options include: a 1.6-L with 114 PS (84 kW; 112 bhp) and a 2.0-L 141 PS (104 kW; 139 bhp), while the diesel options are: 1.5-L 106 PS (78 kW; 105 bhp) and 2.0-L 150 PS (110 kW; 148 bhp).
In July 2008, Nissan started the production of a seven-seat version of Qashqai marketed as Qashqai+2. It was also assembled at NMUK Washington, Tyne and Wear plant. The Qashqai+2 is slightly larger (i.e. 135 mm) than the original model. It was made public in October 2008. The third row seat was introduced by increasing the length by 211 mm. The height of the car was also increased by 38 mm at rear of the vehicle.
Except for its unique A-pillar back, all the trims and engine options are retained from the original model.
Nissan introduced the facelift model for 2010 on December 4, 2009. It was offered for sale in March. It features a revised front and back end. LED taillights are introduced. Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is made standard for the 2010 facelift. Two new colors are also added in the lineup.