It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the Nissan brand here locally. They’ve been unusually quiet with the only sign of life being the subtle announcement of their updated Patrol in 2020. Fundamentally nothing was changed, just with some minor cosmetic updates. We’re excited to announce that we’ve finally received a postcard from the brand, and it seems they’ve been diligently toiling away in silence. The goal? To introduce an all-new completely redone Qashqai. If what is written on the card is anything to go by, this is a monumental step for the brand.

The vehicle is completely new from the inside out. Exterior design looks very futuristic, as though they expedited the process on a vehicle which was due for the year 2031. Upfront is the brand’s signature V-Motion grille, flanked by slim, streamlined boomerang headlamps. It’s as though the Qashqai is squinting at you. Things have been reworked at the rear too, where you’ll find a pair of streamlined taillights moulded into a more angular backside than the one we’re familiar with. Did we mention that those headlamps are matrix LED? Their beam changes shape and illuminating distance in response to your environment, and whether there’s an oncoming vehicle approaching. To give the Qashqai an aesthetic edge, its designers have given it a set of 18 and 20-inch alloys.

Its inside looks premium and will now boast a configurable digital instrument cluster as well as a 10.8-inch head-up display, which the firm says is the largest in its segment. Nissan has deployed some of the latest tech available in this vehicle, including a wireless charging pad for your smartphone, and wireless Apple CarPlay for iPhone users. A total of four USB ports are available in this vehicle, 2 of which cater to the USB-A crowd and the remaining duo purposed for USB-C devices. Very thoughtful of them! From a size perspective, the new Qashqai’s dimensions are similar to that of the vehicle it replaces, however, interior room has increased in the latest model. It also features doors that can swing open at a 90-degree angle, allowing for improved access and loading room. Careful not to ding other cars.

A good amount of tech and engineering have been applied to the Qashqai’s engine. In its latest form, the SUV will be powered by a 1.3-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine, which will be assisted by an electric motor powered by a Lithium-ion battery. A 5-speed manual as well as an auto which Nissan refers to as the advanced Xtronic gearbox, are available with this new motor.

Now before you get too excited, the new Qashqai is only available in European markets – for now. However, our turn is coming, and Nissan plans to launch the new SUV in Mzansi and surrounding regions in the latter half of 2021. Pricing and further details will be announced closer to its launch date.

By Gugu Masuku