First Look: Facelifted Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai 2018 1

The popular Qashqai has proved a major sales success and despite the segment growing in terms of the number of competitors, the Nissan is still one of the leading contenders. Now the Japanese compact family car has been facelifted and will arrive in local showrooms by November 2017.

According to Nissan, the Qashqai has an "unrivalled market share of 10.3%", which is impressive seeing as this SUV segment boasts more than 20 offerings to choose from. It's also won numerous awards over the years and was a finalist in the 2016/17 Consumer Awards, powered by WesBank

For the 2018 model year, the Qashqai has been updated in line with Nissan's research that suggests customers wish for "exterior styling changes to create a more contemporary and sophisticated look; new premium features and choices for customers opting to buy higher grade models; plus extra refinement and new safety technologies when behind the wheel." 


What's new is a flagship trim level called Tekna+, which is aimed at buyers wanting the most premium features in a Qashqai. There are new premium seats with highest-quality soft nappa leather, with luxurious 3D quilting on the centre panels. Black leather is standard, with the choice of a plum colour as a no-cost option. The driver's seat now features electrically-controlled four-way lumbar support with memory function. An upgraded Bose 8-speaker audio system is fitted as standard.

Visual changes

A new front is a key change for the Nissan Qashqai visually.

The Qashqai's front has been completely overhauled. There is a new front bumper with the latest version of Nissan's signature grille and revised headlamp clusters (with halogen units on Visia, Acenta and N-Connecta and full LEDs on Tekna and Tekna+). The halogen lights feature a new "boomerang" Daytime Running Lamp (DRL) comprising 9 LEDs (rather than 6), while the top-spec models now feature adaptive front lighting with high-beam assist. The rear bumper is also been redesigned with new LED tail lights and the parking sensors have been fitted in a neater manner. There are also new wheel designs in varying sizes of 17-inch, 18-inch and 19-inch, which have been aerodynamically improved to reduce drag.

New-look cabin

A new steering wheel, new seats and general improvement in the refinement are the key changes in the Nissan Qashqai interior

The changes to the cabin are extensive and claimed to improve the premium feel and look of the Qashqai. The steering wheel has been redesigned, plus the air vents and interior door handles are finished in higher-quality materials. All windows are now one-touch in operation. The seats have also been designed for additional comfort and support. The back of the front seats has been tweaked, with a new and more scratch-resistant plastic trim and two storage pockets, with a thinner finish which improves knee room for rear seat passengers.

Refinement improvements

Given these changes, the Nissan Qashqai is likely to continue to be a sales success

Nissan claims its facelifted Qashqai offers improved refinement and ride comfort thanks to tweaks to the spring rates and damper settings and modified rubber components. The anti-roll bar stiffness has been increased to maintain handling performance and body motion over large bumps has been reduced thanks to changes to the car's Active Ride Control system.

There are also improvements to the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance of the new Qashqai. More sound insulation material, and interior trims of a higher quality have been added inside the front doors and behind the rear wheel arches. Additional sealing around the front doors has been integrated, while the rear door glass is thicker.

Engine choices

The Qashqai's range of engines has been carried over, with the choice of petrol or diesel, six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmissions, and two or four-wheel drive configurations. 

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